Acid Heroes

April 7, 2010

To be or not to be isn’t the question but the way it f***ing is.

Filed under: Random Archives — Ace Backwords @ 2:48 am
Tags: , , ,

Originally published December 9, 2002

One of my favorite home-made sayings is: “The ways of karma are absolute.”

In other words: The way it is, is simply The Way It Is. Or in other words: Our fragile little Hopes and Dreams are often no match for the brutal thrust of our Inevitable Destiny.  You dig?

For example, if some total stranger comes blasting through a red light and runs me over while I’m crossing the street, I don’t look at that as an “accident.” I assume that I had done something equally fucked up to that guy in the last lifetime and this is my karmic payback. I know this attitude sounds odd to many people. And I could see how it smacks of a certain wish fulfillment, i.e. projecting a moral order onto the Universe that might very well not be there. And I certainly can’t prove this philosophical premise to you.  But I assert that no other philosophy or spiritual outlook makes any sense out of all the shit that happens to us in this lifetime.

When one looks at the physical structure of the Universe, one finds that its so intricately-ordered, as well as being so mind-bogglingly complex, it strikes me as even more nonsensical that there wouldn’t also be an underlying moral order to the Universe, whether we can perceive the patterns or not. I mean, the planet Earth is revolving around the sun in an exact, specific pattern. My very body temperature is being exactly regulated by a sun millions of light years away. The very cells and molecules that make up my physical body are locked into endlessly intricate patterns within the infinitely-regressing micro-universe of inner space. Just as my body is one slice of the onion, plopped in the middle of, and perfectly in sync within, the tapestry, the very fabric of this infinitely-expanding universe of outer space. To say that life doesn’t make sense is the ultimate absurdity. Maybe I, personally, can’t make sense of the order of it all. But to assume that it’s not ordered borders on the obscene. I’ve never understood existentialist who maintain Life is meaningless. To me, there are so many different meanings bombarding my brain constantly, its a wonder my mind can even process the informational over-load without exploding.

There was an English soccer coach who recently blurted out to the press comments to the effect of: “People in wheelchairs get what they deserve because it’s their earned karma to be in that situation.” There was a huge uproar; protests; threatened boycotts by Disabled organizations, etc. And the coach was fired. Of course I always wondered afterwards if the coach felt bitter about the unfairness of getting fired for a trivial offhand remark, or if he, too, felt that this was his earned karma also. For it often doesn’t cut both ways in people’s minds.

There was another guy on the Berkeley street scene; lets call him Happy Joe, because he’d always come up to you with a big smile and a big speech about the incredible good vibes he was sharing with one and all. Moments afterward he would be hitting you up for a cigarette or some of your pot, or your food, or whatever else was going around. He was half-crippled from shooting up dope, every year or two he’d have another dope-related seizure — you’d literally see the guy disintegrating in front of your eyes. Body parts shriveling up before your eyes. You sense he almost did it on purpose; because his true nature was that of a bum and a leech and a baby. And as he got increasingly crippled he ended up with more and more opportunities to hit up on other people to nurse him and baby him (I’m not implying that this is representative of disabled people — there’s plenty of bums and babies of all persuasions, but that was his particular trip). He was just one of those guys who always wanted you to wipe his ass for him because he didn’t want to do it himself. Anyways, after a short time he had used up his allotment of favors and services from me so I cut him off. Forgive me, I’m no fucking Mother Teresa. If this guy wants to turn himself into a baby that’s his right, but don’t expect me to be his mother. And that, in fact, is the trip with a lot of street people. They largely come from broken homes, they never received the nurturing they craved from their Mother, so they constantly put themselves into situations where they’re helpless so that you, or somebody, will come running up and save them, rescue them, baby them, nurture them, pat them on the head and tell them that it’ll be all right. Give them a warm glass of milk and tuck them into their sleeping bag. You see this pattern so often on the streets, that you can’t help speculating on the psychology of it. Anyway, after Happy Joe pulled his “ain’t-it-so-cute-how-pathetic-and-needy-I-am” act one time too many with me, I cut him off. It wasn’t just that he constantly asked me for help, he did it in the manner of a lord or prince ordering around a servant. Snap snap. “Hey Ace, can I use your chair?” “Hey Ace, can I look at your newspaper?” “Hey Ace, will you go to the Free Box and see if there’s a clean shirt in there (preferably a blue one with striped patterns)?” “Hey Ace, will you gather up my 4 bags of stuff and 3 bags of garbage that I’ve strewn all over your vending area and carry it about 20 blocks to my crash spot?” I mean, after a while, you realize there’s no end to his requests for assistance. So finally I said no. I said it firmly. And I said it repeatedly. Which is the only way to deal with these bums.

So Happy Joe turns to me with a smirk and says: “Yeah, well, what goes around comes around.”

In other words: If I don’t help him, if I don’t endlessly serve him, then I’ll get bad karma for my terrible, cold-hearted behavior, and that someday when I need help, nobody will be there to answer my call. It’s really just a form of emotional blackmail, and these guilt-tripping, motherfucking parasites are masters at hitting those chords within the suckers.

But I was also tempted to say: “Yeah, Happy Joe, that’s true. What goes around comes around. But did it ever occur to you that what’s going around to you right now is exactly what you got coming, too?”

But of course, it never cuts both ways with these types. Somehow you are responsible for their karma. Which is precisely why they are in such a hopeless mess. Because nothing really starts making sense on any level until you start taking responsibility for your own life and your own destiny. That’s when the action really starts kicking in and the pieces start coming together.

But of course I kept my mouth shut. Because this guy doesn’t even deserve my assistance in the form of spiritual advice either.

But I do know I will get whatever I deserve. I’ve been told that planet Earth is the realm of karma. This life is not heaven and it’s not hell, but a strange mixture of the two, with all manner of gray tones between those poles. I’ve been put here (by who?, you might ask) to experience the rewards and the punishments of my previous incarnations. And once I’ve done that, once I’ve paid my bill so to speak, it’s off to the next level of Existence, whatever that may be. I’m not laying this out to proselytize my position; I couldn’t care less if you believe it or not. In this life, you pay for your ticket, you go for the ride; you’re perfectly allowed to choose any outlook you see fit. And more power to you. I’m just laying this down because its a rainy Monday night in Berkeley and I’ve enjoyed sitting here inside the warm lobby of the Student Union building on campus, typing out whatever nonsense comes off the top of my head. And I’m grateful for the relatively benevolent karma that I’m experiencing at this moment. And I wish nothing but the best to you, too, my friend, whatever you happen to be experiencing on the other end of this computer.

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