Where There Is War, There Is Art

The last of three essays regarding (apparent) aimless chaos of the human species.

It is mystifying to watch humanity, seemingly, shoot itself in the foot. Meanwhile, it is simultaneously awesome and bewildering to watch culture become increasingly complex. These two forces seem to collude with one another… traditional governance and information spaces are in disarray.


There is an underlying truth that seems to inoculate against much fear or worry…

We all arrived here, mysteriously, from some place. Not our parents, the great apes, or the fish that predated mammals. I’m talking about the force of life itself. We are quite literally the living mystery. It’s not as if the universe is bewildering, and we are some tiny frightened separate creature that has to accomplish something. It’s not as if humanity is hopelessly abysmal, and we are some sole member with the “right” idea. It’s all one big thing. The apparent good, the apparent bad, the apparent ugly, and whatever happens next. All of it can only be exactly as it is – one massive interrelated unfolding. In this sense, it is astonishing. The sheer force of it all. And here we are – somehow – bearing witness.

This is not nihilism, detachment, or some kind of coping mechanism. It is recognition of an obvious truth: This experience is a massive mystery that we are all part of – and it is humbling, stunningly so, to grasp this while taking it in.

If I recoil at some minor internet transgression, or feel disheartened by vast atrocity toward life, it is always, ultimately, the sheer force of the universe running up against itself. Like watching a wave crash into another wave.

In conclusion, where there is war – or seeming conflict, there is always art – oneness colliding with oneness, with no inherent meaning. How could it be any other way?

This is not to suggest resignation or passivity. All we can do, as apparent individuals, is scout opportunities to be easy. Less righteously saving the world, more asserting what feels intuitively golden, artfully – empathizing with others caught in the grips of personal hallucination – perhaps most especially when it is hostile.

Somehow, I am permanently relieved that there is nothing to “win” in this life. Nothing to take with us or cling to. Each moment of experience quite as wonderful as the next. There is nothing to fear! In a way, life feels like a dream from some other place, a place that cannot be known. Whether or not this is true is beside the point.

Seems reasonable to say, the more minds who stumble upon this frame, the better shot we have at collective wellbeing. At the same time, others will do what they will, and it is what it is. Although it might seem preposterous, it is possible to see it all as marvelous.

Perhaps an increasingly bizarre and contradictory culture is a blessing – one that will stun humanity into awe. What more can we expect from the most complex organic creatures we know of? Then again, what do we know. Then again, what does “we” even mean?

The title was inspired by convo with a friend, who, shot me some poetry yesterday:

“Well sometimes there’s a war
Well sometimes there’s art”

Jonathan Finley / Jeff Tweedy

Oh, The Absurdity

Some famous clips that illuminate various aspects above. 1998-Present.

  • Clip 1 – Culture can only get weirder
  • Clip 2 – Life doesn’t make sense!
  • Clip 3 – Find peace – meditation and spirituality
  • Clip 4 – Life is a controlled hallucination
  • Clip 5 – Humanity roars

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