It's this strange purgatory really, and on the other hand an assault on the very ideas that have shaped my existence up until this point. A purgatory because I am utterly confused about how to lead a life of virtue and ascertain a certain "higher" level of existence, bound by the apathy that results from excessive and cyclical questioning of one's own purpose on this earth. And an assault because I am well aware that cognitive dissonance is rearing its much needed head into my fruitless existence and making me feel like a moron for not doing anything of use.
Now, I don't say this as a fatalist, but rather as somebody who has on one hand questioned the world around him, been disgusted with its sorry state for years, but on the whole become accustomed to fatalist attitudes. It's hypocritical to put it frankly, that I don't act on some of the beliefs and that in and of itself may make me just as bad as some of the people I have criticized, but on the other hand I wish to work out a healthy, productive regimen for myself. It's what feels like the college student's equivalent of mid-life crisis. Student-crisis, I suppose you could call it. Or youth-crisis. Whichever.
The picture I am trying to paint is one of an individual who has had ANUS and its respective philosophies and mannerisms on the horizon, but initially as nothing more than the incoherent, pseudo-pretentious ramblings of an elaborate internet troll, intent on luring as many pseudo-pretentious individuals who would "fall prey" and ultimately fight for a cause that's not there. I will save the life story and just say that my introduction to metal started after a chance encounter with an unlikely friend who exposed me to Master of Puppets and from there, my curiosity grew to the reaches of internet metal communities, where I would eventually come to "understand" metal and the philosophies behind subjectivity, taste, etc. I had many bouts of dissonance as my ideas of what music was supposed to be like were challenged. But at the end of each one, I still believed the "different strokes for different folks" mentality. It seemed virtuous, liberal and honorable among other amiable qualities and values. But, as ANUS was becoming a recurrent theme of discussion on my internet community of choice, I naturally couldn't help but try to understand it. After all, when somebody says something so many times, you're bound to start believing in its viability as a valid outlook.
And so, skip forwards to now where that individual has spent many nights reading the articles, lurking the boards, etc. It's already been many months that I have began to understand the objectivity of art and of the many ideas that surround this controversial site. I suppose I could simply ask towards navigation. I don't take pride in not being as resourceful as I might be, but I found the site very overwhelming. There are so many ideas spread around here that it ultimately becomes a chore to go through. So I was hoping that somebody with a penchant for helping a brother out could set me straight on where to start and where to go from there. As well, some of the questions looming over my head remain unanswered and keep me glued to this senseless, apathetic state:
-How does one become more adept at understanding the inconsistencies around himself? I say this in light of the fact that had I not read ANUS material, my mindset would be unchanged to this day. But now that I read about the ways in which crowds and governments are in place to manipulate the individual, it dawns on me that I still don't understand this in depth. I'm inclined to believe that we're sheep, but when I desire to try to convey the validity of some of these topics to others, I find myself unable to give the whole picture, which in itself renders me unable to express what now seems obvious in a sense. And it becomes a nuisance that I can't explain something that I seem to believe in and understand. I wish I could explain this point better without coming off as entirely clueless, but this is the situation.
-The next points stem from the previous in that it deals with how do I do my part? First of all, is the understanding of the previously mentioned concepts, yes. But more in specific is understanding the practical methods in which I could apply that knowledge. I noticed a thread by Conservationist about the ethical approach to life and it got to thinking about how I carry myself as an individual. As well, how do I treat others? I remember a thread somewhere here that consisted of a member talking down to an American Idol fan who didn't "understand" Beethoven, and thus was treated with contempt. However, some of the other users had a consensus in which a medium between contempt and helpfulness was established, but not concrete to me. In that, my question of how do I treat others still stands. I find that many students I meet my own age have little motivation or aspiration to truly learn and understand their world. Like most, they are content with their unchallenged lives, their sole existence watching Lost religiously, binge drinking and getting stoned to escape the dull state of existence. I am personally not the most enthusiastic and outgoing myself, but perhaps I could "convert" others to a more positive approach. On the other hand there is the question of "do I 'convert' others?" or do I simply try to pander to their shallow sensibilities? Then there is the question of, what's morally or ethically right? Are morals and ethics so absolute or will whatever means I approach others with not matter? I am leaning towards it seriously mattering, just it being a question of committal: do I challenge the beliefs of those who are so content in the world they want to believe exists? The entirely subjective, trivial world of inconsequential and symbolic interactions with the faceless corporations and institutions in our society?
I apologize for the rambling, but I'm afraid it's the best I could come up with in my confused state. In fact, I feel like I may have come off as possibly more hypocritical than I established myself as in that I claim to side with much of what ANUS says, but being utterly unable to explain and thus consider myself as an advocate of the ideas here. In a sense, I feel like I haven't fully transcended and gone above my sheepish state of old and still remain a puppet of the crowd. It's as if the strings which control me are invisible, but my perception of there being some force at the forefront of my consciousness, and my physical body remaining in compliance with the strings and oblivious to the true state of the puppet master that wields them.