Have you ever happened to sit down to eat in a crowded and noisy restaurant? On an evening special with promise. One of those where serious talk is called for, maybe with some real emphasis. The cuisine is tasty and refined, thus stimulating exotic imaginings. From a vibrant Beaujolais Nuveau springs the eloquence of great occasions.
But the conviviality is drowned in the chatter of the other diners, the background noise is overwhelming. As in a dark Tibetan samsara where sense and will are swallowed up in a cathartic vortex. You don’t manage to express yourself as you would like, “You know darling, I thought that we should make the most of our lives, to make this life really worth living, a supreme masterpiece of the synthesis of love and liberty. I thought we should, indeed we might...” – you dare.
“What?!”, she says. “Sorry darling, I couldn’t hear you, what did you want to tell me?”. This brisk interpolation has wrecked your best intentions. Repeat myself? It’s not on. The authentic and mythopoietic energy of the message has been dispersed, the words are just an empty shell, devoid of texture and pathos. Better recover with a “Nothing dear... I was just saying this octopus carpaccio is divine, even divinatory!”.
“What!?, she interrogates, more and more puzzled. Maybe even a little irritated. “Look, just forget it.” so you raise your glass of rosso novello to the heavens and smile inanely and think, wincing: “Thank God you didn’t hear me...”. Or maybe: “Lucky you who understand nothing!”, To quote Schopenhauer…
This is a fairy tale about democracy, the excess of freedom and communication. To understand how in a society where everyone feels competent and authorized to say what they want (and often blatantly contradict themselves the next day), where every freedom becomes license and loses every possible relationship to a collective dimension; where the sense of responsibility is always delegated to others and never to ourselves, and where ethics, modesty and personal and professional dignity are finished, and the visible sense of words and actions destroyed. How everything is inevitably shredded and melted down in a huge amplification of meaning. Then what does the destruction of meaning itself matter?
It’s that background noise that is killing our freedom, depriving us of our own proper self-awareness and consciousness.
Recommended listening: Hamlet Suite, Carmelo Bene