We are suspended in mid-air, but for some reason we imagine that our world is an immovable monolith. We are not even suspended in the air, but in airless space, but we have made the sphere orbiting the ball of gas the very centre of eternity in our imagination, immutable, infinite, sustainable, like our own lives.
Against the backdrop of a completely aimless rush, multitasking, milling around the city and the shops, scrolling through smart phone apps, browsing through socnets, we try to hide the fact of impermanence from ourselves, living in constant fear of the truth. We no longer think, we only get angry if someone as we understand it encroaches on the house of cards that we have so carefully constructed, in a futile attempt to protect it from the winds of reality.
The question, like ourselves, hangs in the air, whether we want it or not. We can close our eyes, plug our ears, close the windows and doors, slam the dampers, but it looms, creeps up like a vagabond shabby, rustling under the covers just before we fall into an anxiety-relieving slumber: how long do I have left, what is waiting for me?
The threat of nuclear war grips the throat with icy fingers - when? Maybe give it all up and leave? Anxiety turns into fear. On the screen, alien blood, alien deaths, crumbling cities, fatherless children, crippled old men crying without tears, women screaming, the horrible alien pain seeping through all the plugged cracks.
And we rush to find answers. We read the statements of politicians, catch the words of their advisers. Everything works for us - wizards, influencers, experts, real and fake, con artists, psychologists, entertainers, Sky news and the minister's wife. Maybe they will finally tell us, maybe they will console us with their answer to the main question we are so concerned about.
The vast amounts of conflicting information add to the tension. We start to stagnate in our thinking, in our behaviour, in our daily work; we are late everywhere, so we are in a hurry, so we are stressed, we press the buzzer - the cock sleeps at the green light, turn left, you moron, don't scroll!
The "moron cock" scrolls the same as the rest of us. From the President to the half-naked star who said one thing and the President said another, and his statement is being trolled by this and that wag, this and that star without knickers.
Who should we support? Who is a fool and who is clever? Why does Tim Sykes not write anything? Who is talking here? Ooo... aaa - I'll support that one, because he has more followers, I'll be tougher on the tough ones. Because with most of them I feel like I'm behind a wall, like I'm behind solid barricades. Of course, they're right - the stupid one is that one. I'll get right back to commenting...
- WATCH OUT! - screams my wife.
I can't sleep. Nothing helps. And it's like I've just been to the Adriatic Sea, and the wine, and the sun, and the warmth. But the anxiety is getting over me - for my job, my children, my future. The images are still flashing across at the junction on my phone. The scrolling is like a reassurance, like a handrail, like a crutch, without which I don't know what's going on, without which I don't even know where I am. I scroll in my sleep too, beep! - I tap my phone - maybe something very important, maybe it's nuclear... Thank God, not yet.
Information operations, psychological tricks, marketing. PR companies and political technologists... have gone on the hunt. The hunt is on, and so are you. Everybody is hunting. You are being hunted because they want more followers. They want to increase sales. They want ratings and they want to get into Parliament. Honour, power, wealth, women, men, self-esteem, love, happiness, to get rid of loneliness, to be in the spotlight and in CNN.
The media deliberately publish screaming headlines such as "Nuclear war" and "Putin has come up with something terrible". The information provided and the cleverly and sonorously written headlines are designed precisely to attract you, to hook you, to make you click, to open the post, to make you approach it like a cheap glitter on a shop shelf.
It is all an illusion, just like our immovable, immutable and eternal life. Stress, emotions, anxieties, fears are natural, they are part of us once we give in to the play of this illusion.
Enough rambling, do you have an answer?
Yes. We have an answer for you, even for that terrible question that makes you shiver.
Everything will be all right.
But for tomorrow's good, we sincerely advise you to review and adjust your reactions to anything. Because, it is obvious to us, you are doing the same thing too much and too fast.
First of all, you are reading and watching too much. Choose what to read, what to watch, and do it in a particularly measured way. Quantity will not compensate for quality. It is better to choose a few, but of good quality. Only 5% of the information that enters our brains is accurate, correct and useful information that we can rely on. The rest is information garbage. But it affects our brains, our thinking and, therefore, our bodies. Because our internal organs are affected by reactions: cortisol and adrenaline are released in large quantities, blood pressure rises, and our heart beats frequently. Imagine your engine is running at maximum speed and you are pressing the brake pedal.
That means getting rid of rubbish is the right thing to do. Reduce RPMs.
Secondly, you are living the old routine. Your leisure time, your work, your dreams, your thoughts, your opinions, your reactions, your values are planned for you by others and prevent you from being yourself. You do not even notice how they are selling a "product" to you, who are also being sold a product, who are also being sold a product. The closed circle creates an automated system of unthinking robots and snails. Eventually, this system, which is supposed to be at our command and is supposed to make our lives lighter, becomes a routine that controls us. Others think for you and tell you what you want, what you like, what makes you happy. You have a life programme, planned from A to Z, in which there is no room for your own will. You waste your time, you live someone else's life, and sometimes, before you fall asleep or take a bitter drink, you feel an inner dissatisfaction that is hard to describe, like constipation or bad breath from the mouth of an interlocutor, which you accept, want it or not.
That means you need to get rid of the thieves of life and time.
In the morning, instead of Facebook, exercise. At lunch, a meeting with a dear friend. After work, instead of scrolling, a walk in the park. Instead of a pint of beer or a glass of wine, a bag of vegetables and a glass of juice. And in the evening, instead of the internet, it's a book that smells of paint, or better still, a book that's been snipped. Not the one you need, but the one you want. Spending the day this way will quieten your mind, clarify your thoughts and give you the opportunity for a calm, objective assessment of information.
Once you start to look objectively, you will be able to analyse and activate your slow thinking mechanism. Not the quick acceptance, rejection, agreement, contradiction, juggling of opinions, endless arguments with oneself, a sea of waving thoughts.
By thinking, you will be able to predict. After all, that is how we humans differ from the rest of nature.
By thinking and anticipating, you will be able to prepare. Prepare for anything, even the worst.
By thinking, anticipating and preparing for the worst, you will know what to do.
Then serenity will come. Knowing what to do if the worst comes true will make you realise and finally understand that all the questions in the air that you are afraid to ask out loud, even the ones that you used to think were the most important, the most basic, are the ones that make you smile and are, in fact, completely meaningless.