Lifeless Living

Words by Jack Arpert

Photos by Flip Mayernik

The world turns. The seasons change. The wind blows, the rain falls, the sun burns, and the snow cools.  Mountains rise and fall.  The leaves die, fall, and grow back.  The rivers come and go.  What more do you need?


We should be trying to fill our lives with the most inspiring exhibitions of our existence.  Sure the things we create and control are extraordinary productions.  Yet while we are remarkable entities and creators, we must remember that we are not the only entities, and we are ourselves still just creations.


The countless components of our world individually exist, but they are all constructions of their coexistence.  That coexistence, as well, is our creator.  We have become so engrossed by the capacity of our creations, we neglect to explore the reason we are able to create.  That which has allowed us to exist.  NATURE.  Which’s existence can only barely be explained.  How are so few of us intrigued by that?  How is that which gave us life not interesting enough to satisfy us in it?  

Let me live with nothing but my own capabilities, like the other natural creations on this earth, and let me explore what it is to live.


Everything around us, that precedes our earthly presence, functions magnificently without our intrusion and has for billions of years.  Why do we need all these “things” and all this organization?!  What are they but evidence of our unnecessary manipulation of the sheer essence of our subsistence.  The life processes of all raw existents, entirely unrefined, have produced the most phenomenal creation we have ever been presented to experience, our ability to exist in this world as we know it.  Yet we strip natural elements of their ability to perform their congenital process, simply to fuel our unsatisfiable interest in our ability to create.  To make unnatural from natural.


Our fixation with the capabilities of our existence has blinded us from the benefits of perceiving our existence for what we really are, elements of an extraordinary natural phenomenon.  Natural constructions have managed to function on a cycle that’s agelessness has been threatened only by our interference.  Even though they haven’t existed for half as long, our artificial constructions have already created the possibility of absolute global destruction.  We kill each other over things that only have the value we put on them when we created them.  We get lost in it all.  We start wars over control of the natural elements that are necessary for us to continue creating. How did they become ours to control?

Why do we live this way?  We are not all the same, but certainly none of us need all these “things” in order to live.  One day we are going to let our creations destroy us and (more importantly) destroy that which originally allowed us to exist.  We already let them control us.  We let the industries that produce, distribute, and manage our creations decide where we live and define our individual experiences of life.  But why stay in one place?  Why spend your whole life doing one thing?


There is only so much to see, in one place, and there is only so much life to be lived.  We should see the extent of this world we live in simply because it is so magnificently vast!  Our creation of technology has, at least, allowed us to be aware of all that exists, out there, in this world.  Which makes disregarding of the opportunity to explore all it has to offer so much more unsettling.


There is so much more to be learned by going out and experiencing the practically endless bounds of our world first hand, as opposed to voluntarily limiting the expanse of our one life experience.  Sitting in the same minuscule portion of such an immense wonder, trying to learn about all it has to offer.  How pointless!  


The most genuine lessons we can take away from living are gained through exploration and interaction with that which is greater than we are.  Remarkable as some of our creations may be, what is more worth dedicating your existence to? Examining the things which we can explain and control, or exploring those which we know so little of but offer us so very much.


Nobody sat you down and tried to teach you how to run and jump or have your own thoughts about things.  We develop unbelievable abilities, simply by going out and attempting new feats.  We had to be taught how to use the internet, Ipads, smart phones, but what is the point?  So we can learn about all there is to experience in this life without actually experiencing any of it?


We are extraordinary creations with incredible abilities and we barely use any of them to survive!  Instead we have fashioned all these things to do everything we “need” (in order to live) for us.  What is the point of living if we aren’t doing the actual living for ourselves!  What a waste of this unbelievable opportunity.  

Our creations may make the “requirements” of our daily lives easier to accomplish, but there were no requirements for living until we created them.