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The Way The World Works

As I appear to be approaching adulthood I have been turning my attention to the way the world works. It seems to me there are certain patterns at play which it would be in my best interests to stop ignoring.

This afternoon I was chatting with a German friend of mine on Facebook – let’s call him Rutger – although his real name is in fact “Mr Beautiful.” Can you imagine. With a name like that, would it be possible ever to experience self-loathing? Even the slightest tinge of insecurity would see me standing at the mirror smacking my lips saying “Come on Mr Beautiful, who’s the daddy?” And it would be me, every time. But I digress.

So Rutger tells me that he is becoming a musician. He helped out a friend of his on a song which went to number 1 and now he’s a household name. He was very excited. “It’s a lot of fun.” he said. He was however sensitive to the fact that this instant success might be somewhat galling to someone who has devoted their life to a career in music, but I was curious.

We are taught that you put effort in and you get a result. In many cases this is true. Such as tree-planting. Or cake-baking. If you sit with eggs and flour and sugar on the table and get on with something else, nothing happens. If, on the other hand, you whisk them up and put the mixture in the oven, cake necessarily ensues. So the consequences are quite direct in this case.

What gets tricky is where other people are involved. Other people cannot be predicted or indeed imposed upon to act in a certain way. Nevertheless there are certain things that other people tend to respond to, and certain things they don’t. Desperation is repellent. In any field. But so is complete disengagement. Like a tree with no roots, the appeal of vacuousness cannot last.

What truly fascinates is art of the self-sustaining variety. It seems that you must turn up on the spot with every pore of your being and manifest wholeheartedly, without a shred of attachment to the outcome. The moment of creation itself is like this. Whether it’s a song, a sculpture or a baby you’re making – when the inspiration strikes you are not thinking of the consequences.

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