I was sitting on the back of the bus, going down a road on the outskirts of the city. On one side of that road is human settlement (suburbs), and on the other side is wilderness. I was sitting on the side of the bus which was closest to the strict wilderness, and listening to music, and so I wasn't entirely focused on the landscape as it was rolling by, just sort of thinking about shit and observing the passengers on the bus with the eye of a wannabe psychoanalyst. There are some pretty fucking interesting people in the world, which makes me feel better about humanity. I'd probably go completely insane if that weren't true. But maybe not. (More on that later.)
Anyway, my glance happened to fall on the forest, and I experienced a moment of spontaneous, solemn reflection. I looked at the forest. The abundance of this healthily swelling vegetation, and the sheer beauty of the thousands of different shades of colour in the forest as it all burst upwards, reaching towards the sun. It expressed something that's simultaneously completely primitive and infinitely majestic.
I looked at the forest and just openly appreciated its blithe abundance, and I could feel my tear ducts dilate, as if I could have cried if I kept meditating on it. But I don't think I could have had the ability to feel that unsad type of melancholy if I didn't have any source of misery in my life. If you're sad about one specific thing, but manage to push it to the back of your mind, eventually you'll find that you're sad about something else. Misery is like a colony of worms that crawl through your brain-mind, looking for a way out. They often escape through the mouth, materializing themselves as mournful wails, cries for help. Or they can crawl down into the body, where they can try to escape through physical acts; a violent fever, a self-mutilation, an evening spent drunkenly to indifferent everything that it's possible to be indifferent to. But no matter how many worms escape from your mind, the colony will remain until it's wholly drowned, so long as one worm has another to feed upon.
But that's not the only way that a worm can escape into the world, and if there was a worm escaping from me on that bus ride, then it was breaking out through the gelatinous material of my pupils, reaching out into the open country air and up towards the sun, where it continued to climb up into the air, stretching itself upwards to the point of destruction, to the point where ideas don't exist anymore, to the point of sublime meditation on the fact of existence, to the point of blank ecstasy. Misery doesn't have to be negative. Suffering doesn't have to be negative.
Excuse me, I got quite a bit sidetracked. I looked at the forest and appreciated its blithe abundance, and then I looked at a telephone pole overlooking a glade off the road, and I noticed that observing that telephone pole created no reaction whatsoever. It just looked completely blank, almost profanely neutral. The straight, logical, functional, practical lines of the wires and transformers held above the road just struck me as strangely, deeply inconsequential. I saw the telephone pole, not as a materialization of the mankind's will to grow, but as a bare entity, a cog to be taken for granted as commonplace in a machine that expresses an overpoweringly enormous neutrality.
The neutrality of the infrastructure of civilization is marvelous. It doesn't express anything but acceptance, and above that, enthusiastic acceptance of practically anything, except that which detracts from its normal functioning. When tragedies occur wherein large numbers of people die, or when transportation systems fail, or when resources become unavailable, we express a desire to adapt, to rectify the situation, to help everyone affected to overcome all potential obstacles. To pave more roads for our cars, to build more buildings for our society. All for the sake of overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of accepted human actions.
Looking at the telephone wire makes me feel absolutely nothing compared to the rapture that I feel when I observe the natural world. The telephone pole expresses humanity's triumphs, and also its flaws. The telephone wire isn't negative, but it isn't strictly positive; it has flaws, and it can be negative. For example, someone can potentially order a massacre over that telephone wire. As much as we progress in positive ways, we must also progress in terrible ways. Another perfect example is nuclear fission. The technology provides us with relatively clean power, but it can also be used to create weapons that are capable of monstrous amounts of destruction. In this way, nuclear fission becomes neutral. It has positive and negative qualities, but the fact is that the technology exists, and it will probably continue to be an integral part of humanity's progress for a very long time. It becomes neutral, because the positive and the negatives are so multitudinous that they are impossible to measure.
At this point I've forgotten what I was originally trying to say, so I'll just post this and go on to something else.