Essays · September 16, 2021 0

chasing magic all the way to apocalypse

Untitled [Way] by Aleksandra Waliszewska

Humans seem to be creatures who are easily enamored by the allure of seeing the world not in the orderly manner it’s trajectory as a race may lead you to believe is their tendency. The fascination with mysticism, with the feeling of existing in a universe not governed by mere logic but something more magical, leads people to manifest magic in ways not to be witnessed by mere mortals. Indeed, nobody warned about the devils waiting to hatch from the eggs that fell from the sky. Yet the urge to touch the divine without earning divinity ourselves will lead us to extinction.

At least, that’s the imagery I would like to portray if asked to paint an image of “hell on earth.”

What does it mean to be civilized? I don’t suppose that it’s merely to live in harmony with each other, regardless of how absurd the generally accepted set of sophisticated restrictions surrounding us are. And yet, it seems that we just can’t help but replace one set of absurdity with another as generations come and go. It’s like fighting fire with fire, while slowly engulfing ourselves in the very hell we thought we are ultimately eradicating. And thus, what comes with calling ourselves wiser are puzzles far more complicated than the ones we burned because were too frustrated to solve them.

But why do things look like a Beksiński painting hanging on a Neo-Nazi establishment with a Mahler music playing in the background?

The Nightmare by Henri Fuseli

One of my diagnoses is the rampant neglect of reason in the promotion of love. I find it sublime yet sad whenever I witness people gouging their hearts out and planting them in public parks. Surrounded by carnations, pink roses, daffodils and pink stargazer lilies, corpses of these people decay with blissful smiles on their faces, pristine until worms start crawling to the surface. It’s a noble yet unnecessary sacrifice, for they could simply not destroy the forests where such flowers naturally grow. The butterflies roam with blood on their wings, becoming almost like vampires. They fly in a city overgrown by cruel nature and time. But as Tammara Webber put it,

“Love is not the absence of logic
but logic examined and recalculated
heated and curved to fit
inside the contours of the heart”

Another possible reason for this paradoxical march to the future is the hesitance to fly with devils, the very people we view as responsible for the flames surrounding us like walls. Instead of trying to develop wings and fire-proof skins, people wait for a grand storm to put out the fire, when all of the water in the world are in a lake formed from all of the tears that they cry and the blood that they spill. Meanwhile, the devils swim in the lake, cleansing themselves of guilt and shame. The ring is an arena where one side is full of people who refuse to acquire the capacity to fight. Unfortunately for them, one has to fight in order to win. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

It could also be said that our propensity for namelessness is an elusive thief robbing us of a chance to overthrow this cruel fate. There are supposedly hundreds of billions of people in the memory of the human race, and yet the pages of history could only record the names of a chosen few. We spend lots of time naming creatures born from other people’s imaginations, such as long dragons wrapped in flags weaved from iron threads, iridescent phoenixes which can read minds and burns its victims, and cannibalistic unicorns vying for supremacy in a forest of concrete trees. And yet, we neglect to lift our pens and have our names written down in anything beyond gravestones which would definitely fade in time. Thus, this world has become a zoo and a cemetery, a fitting stage for actors and actresses who have forgotten their names because they are too engrossed in playing the roles given to them by the true directors of life. In the words of Dejan Stojanovic,

“In trying to be perfect,
He perfected the art of anonymity,
Became imperceptible
And arrived nowhere from nowhere.”

The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea by William Blake

Perhaps there is salvation at the end of it all. Perhaps the overgrown city would give way to an exotic forest which would become a testament to how humans truly love to live alongside nature. Perhaps a great storm would actually put out the wall of flames surrounding the masses. Perhaps the people would get the recognition that they believe they deserve for playing the scripts written by the hands that they kiss every now and then.

But in the end, we are ultimately chasing magic all the way to apocalypse – the magic found in self-deception, in hesitation, and in utter lack of being. It is a magic which allows people to conjure doves which eat brains in order to survive, keys for padlocks made of clay, spiders which could spew webs made of golden strings, and eggs containing whatever creatures are imagined by whoever owns it. The magic show would entrance countless of nameless people, all oblivious to the world burning around them. And needless to say, I think that it’s an apocalypse which may very well have been crafted by the people who’s going to suffer in it.

Then again, what do I know?