That Makes Sense

Knit Sausages

I live in a very “Christian” part of America.  I live dangerously close to the largest Fundamentalist Christian “University” in the world.  The earth is only 6 to 10 thousand years old here and it is possible to turn gay people straight if everybody prays hard enough.  Around here every time an automobile accident happens and nobody gets killed it is because Jesus was looking out for the people involved.  When someone does get killed it’s because God had a good reason for it and it’s OK because they are in a better place now.  Even when people around here get cancer it’s only because, for reasons that forever may remain obscure, God knew that they needed it.  The phrase one hears over and over when something unfortunate happens is…. Everything happens for a reason.

Welcome to my world.

Living here has taught me some very valuable lessons.  They say that everybody should travel and broaden their horizons and I think the reason “they” say that is because it does us all good to learn that different cultures have very different ways of making sense of the world and the lives we all live on it.

What they don’t tell you, what they don’t warn you about is the danger.

I called this little essay “That Makes Sense” because, it seems to me, that is the one phrase we want to tell ourselves over and over again.  As long as we can say that to ourselves, inside our heads, all is well with the world.  It means we know what is going on and it is going on according to plan.  No rules are being broken.  There is no reason to worry.  Everything is cool.

It’s when we find ourselves saying, inside our own heads, “That doesn’t make ANY sense“, that the trouble begins.  That’s when we get nervous.  That’s when our blood pressure goes up and sleep eludes us.  That’s when things can get dangerous.  That’s when we say to ourselves… “I just can’t live with this not knowing and not understanding!”

Welcome to OUR world.

It is quite amusing when you really think about it, but, there is absolutely NOTHING we won’t believe, nothing we won’t convince ourselves of if it permits us to say, now…”that makes sense” instead of… “that doesn’t make ANY sense”.  The sky is the limit when it comes to the crazy things we will believe if it permits us to exchange that second statement for the first.  Our imagination knows no bounds when it comes to manufacturing reasons for things.  One might even conclude that, if we have a purpose, it can only be to make sense out of something that doesn’t make any sense.

So there you have the answer to the BIG question…. What are people for?

People exist in this universe for one reason and one reason only.  People exist to MAKE sense out of something that, in and of itself, makes no sense at all.  Understanding that and understanding that no matter how screwy other people appear to be with their crazy headed explanations for this and that they are just doing their job to the best of their ability.  You can scratch your head over it.  You can think to yourself… “How the hell…”  Or, you can just kick back and appreciate the magnificent, unending variation of all the stories, schemes and excuses people can come up with for anything… and be amazed at the skill they show in persuading others to agree with them.

In a way it’s almost like music, or, painting, or, dancing….

Undeniably it is an art form.  In my opinion it is the highest of all the arts and, in the end, the only one we are incapable of ever living without.

[Post Script]

I had a bowl of soup for lunch and assumed a supine position on the couch in preparation for my daily nap.  As I made myself comfortable it occurred to me that, perhaps, people are like beavers in that show I viewed a while back, on NOVA, Public Broadcasting.

They said that beavers don’t “plan” to build a  dam.  They said that beavers just get really pissed off at the sound of running water and pile crap up in an attempt to stop the sound.  When people filming the beavers put a hole in one of their dams  the beavers got really pissed off and scurried right over to the hole and filled it in with sticks and mud until all the noise stopped.

Maybe we are like that…… except with question marks.



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4 responses to “That Makes Sense

  1. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t make any sense. Just kidding. Great post – love that last paragraph, especially: “People exist to MAKE sense out of something that, in and of itself, makes no sense at all.” And yes, there is a certain entertainment value that comes with what we humans do – but I suppose it can also make you nauseous if you stare for too long.

    • Maybe that is our reason for existence Brad. Maybe the universe invested 14 billion years, all that open space, billions of galaxies, black holes and exploding super nova (or, novi) for no other reason than to come up with a planet crawling with carbon based bullshit machines.

      Ya think?

  2. Isn’t just the christians who believe everything happens for a reason. I’ve met way too many educated people who believe this king of all delusions. “I’m basically a positive person” they say,”and I believe everything happens for a reason”. Becuase I am an atheist, and therefore possessed by Satan, I’m often tempted to say to these imbeciles something like “so…Nazis used to take mothers with their newborn babies out to ditches their newly dead husbands dug before they were shot in the head, and now its the turn of the mothers and said babies…what was the ‘reason’ for that? Hmmm? And if these people could come back from the dead, what do you think THEY would make of your explanation?”

    New agers, Buddhists, right-wing free market fundamentalists….they all got reasons and justifications and rationalizations. I’m pretty content embracing meaninglessness and chaos myself. Better food for the artistic soul.

  3. Listen you Godless Heathen… You need professional help!

    If I were you I would contact before it’s too late. Ask for Brad and tell him Mrs. Neutron sent you. He’ll know what to do. I’m no expert in “crazy”, but, if I were asked to diagnose your case I would have to say that you are suffering from the same illness this guy is…

    “Portrait of the artist on crystal meth”…. Except, in your case, it’s Maple Syrup!

    Trust me on this Brent… one look at you and Brad will know you have “existential issues”.

    Memorize all this before you go.

    Good luck
    Mrs. N.

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