Watery Mirrors Day 1 on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

I am writing this account of a hike on the Pembrokeshire Trail three years after the fact, in 2018, or the 2nd year of the Trump Era, 2 TE. Whether you like him or not (I try not to hate, but with him I have trouble suppressing that feeling ), he is most certainly a defining moment. I have found this era both entertaining and enlightening. It has also prompted me to look more deeply into certain subjects that have intrigued me throughout my life. As we wander along the trail together, I will bring up these subjects in a fashion that, like Trump, you will either like or hate. I would say sorry, but, in truth, I don't really care that much.

Taking drugs, and alcohol is a drug, has always been a way to alter consciousness. The real question is why do we feel the need to alter our consciousness.

Consciousness is an enigma. Thousands of years of philosophical debate and hundreds of years of scientific study have done little to answer this question. What then would be the purpose for me to pass my water onto this massive grave of thought? I don't know, but it won't stop me from making the attempt.

In reality, I don't have a clue about consciousness. I don't know when it started, how it started or if it even really exists. The human condition is defined by chemicals, electrical fields, conditioned responses, organic algorithms and an evolutionary design that is so complex that it may have created the illusion of what we call consciousness, as Daniel Dennett would attest to. I confess that I lean toward Dennet's view on the subject, but I can't help but think that even if it is nothing more than a mystical mistake, just another dopamine hoodwink, there is something happening that has just a bit of poetry to it, something more than an evolutionary culdesac.

“I think the easiest people to fool are ourselves. Fooling ourselves may even be a necessary precondition for fooling others.” ― Iain Banks, The Bridge
Ah yes, President Trump, I am referring to you.

"It has been suggested by some commentators that the primary biological function of human language is to deceive and selfishly manipulate social competitors." This statement by Nathan Oesch from his paper Deception as a Derived Function of Language basically states that lies are the foundation of language, and that language is just a tool to help us extort others with greater success . So, I suppose we should contemplate the possibility that Donald J. Trump is the epitome of our species, and that his ability to live totally immersed within a world of lies is merely a result of evolution. I can't wait until the machines take over.

"The only journey is the one within." - Rainer Maria Rilke

There are some who are petrified of taking this journey for fear of what they might find. Count me as one of them. Nietzsche said "if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." I don't want to know what the abyss might see.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

The great thing about walking is that you put one foot in front of the other in the hopes of reaching your destination. During the journey, the mind is active, the heart is pumping and life slows down. All the while, if you listen very carefully, you will hear your name whispered in the wind.

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. - W. H. Auden

How many years had this watery mirror shown the audience its visage, its beauty, and its memory? How much had been inspired by this rippled skin of reflection? Was it aware that it had played us for fools, making us believe that the show above was the only stage where there were players? Below this mocking treat of colours, was a parade of life, just like ours, unconcerned with the world outside.

Our dreams drench us in sense, and sense steeps us again in dreams. - Amos Bronson Alcott

I am at a crossroads. I am lost. I don't know whether I should go forward or backwards, left or right, or just sit down and wait for the devil to come forward and make me a deal.

Did we have a choice about being governed? Do chimpanzees have a choice? I suppose they do, as a lion, a wolf or a human does. The choice, however, is one that will lead most certainly to an earlier death and provides a smaller chance of achieving the main goal of any organism, which is reproduction. So, once again, we are not slaves to others of our own species, but to our biological engineering.

"All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was." - Toni Morrison

And what of us? Are we not on a similar path? Perhaps not, like the eagle that is holding a snake in its claws, we wish to break the circular pattern of the Ouroboros, break the cycle of returning to where we started. We want linearity. It is only within this process that we can hope to reach an end. It is an end that we will use any means necessary to reach, even killing the planet that bore us.

"To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude." - Jeanne Moreau

Without a name, does solitude exist? Is language the architect of the plethora of emotions and states of being? These are the thoughts that drift through my mind as I wandered the beach. And as I gaze at the picture now, listening to Michael Moore warn of the danger Donald Trump poses to democracy, I embrace my solitude, and think longingly for the next beach that I can traipse upon.

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. - Henry David Thoreau

Trump, the rise of nativism, the fear of socialism, and the dismissal of global climate change is ravaging the canvas. With the ochre colour of moral depravity, the Republican party, lead by the odious reptile, Mitch McConnell, is darkening the scene. With their broad strokes, they have created a landscape where they have cornered the market in democracy while having only a minority within the population. Yes, it is true, conservatism and dull minds are the best artists for a militaristic empire.

As individuals, we are swept under the carpet of a species' ambition. This is understandable but maddening nonetheless.

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility. - William Wordsworth
I am not a poet for I do not have their spirit. I am not a philosopher for I do not have their wisdom. I am not a scientist for I do not have their perseverance. I am nothing, and for this I am thankful.
When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there. - George Harrison

You may also find the abyss, or the darkness that emanates from societies lower bowels. Personally, I am torn between the idea that we are just beginning to stretch our wings and the idea that we are decaying, heading into a period of dementia. In the end, neither makes much of a difference in regards to the search for self and the contemplation of who and what we are in this grand stage. In reality, one can only put one foot in front of the other in hopes that the journey can be completed.

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scott tate


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