THEE BLOODY WATERS
The feeling of your back against the cool water on a scorching day, with occasional splashes to your face that adds a salty tang to your lips. The water's briny scent continuously glides past your nose. And like a shepherd, the wind herds the water into one direction, and you just sit back and let the flow be your guide as you surrender your control. Ah yes, this is what they call — serenity. But this is what I call — a trap. Get out of the water immediately — before you drown. The flow is something we’ve all drowned in before. The flow is very subliminal. What is this “flow” all about? Before I get into that, I want to dive into something called, Terror Management Theory or TMT.
TMT investigates how people react to their fears and anxieties in relation to death. It hypothesizes that being aware that our death is inevitable creates a sort of subconscious terror, which drives people to adopt world-views that protect their sense of self-esteem, worthiness, and sustainability. It’s a defense mechanism the brain uses to heighten our sense of “happiness” by making us feel “important”. Remember, it’s subconscious, so it isn’t something you can consciously swim in.
Unlike shallow water, we can get very deep with this topic, but let’s just get our feet wet since I value your time.
The flow is another way of saying societal norms. Instead of isolating a singular norm, let’s net all the societal norms in your community and spread them out; that would be the flow you live in. Example; in America, we live in a society that values sex, money, food, alcohol, material possessions, and in recent years, screen time. Of course there are good things we value, but this isn’t a post about that. Today, I’m here question your ability to swim for your life.
When you go with the flow of our society, you have agreed to flow towards those values. Society can negatively impact how you handle your fears and anxieties. Example; I used to tell women that I was going with the flow whenever they'd ask what I was “looking” for. Most times, that flow would lead to the bedroom. In a way, I sought to validate my sense of self-esteem and worthiness through women. In my society, men valued sex with multiple women, so I decided to follow suit. This is one of many examples of how we try to feel important; like we’re not insignificant; like we’ll at least die knowing we had something (even if it was superficial). TMT investigates this very phenomenon that occurs in the human mind. An urge that drives people to conform to society out of fear, but more specifically, and at a subliminal level, a fear of death. How important would money, sex, and entertainment be if you could live forever? The flow can be so mesmerizing, but underneath that layer of beauty is a facade. I understand that it’s human nature to adapt to your environment. But if the values of our environment isn’t serving our higher purpose, or isn’t magnifying life’s beauties, then where are we really flowing here? Why do we adopt beliefs that doesn’t serve our end goal? Is it really because we’re subconsciously scared of our inevitable non-existence? Is it because we don't know the end goal? Who’s being fearless and going against the waves, instead of succumbing to the predetermined flow we’ve been put into.
Every flow must take us somewhere, and sometimes the flow may feel riveting — until you hear the violent sounds of raging rapids. Before you can turn back, the currents have become too strong to escape the danger! Within seconds you find yourself cascading down a rocky and slippery slope like a rag doll. Rugged rocks rip into your flesh until — splash. You're drowning in a sea of not only your own blood, but the blood of everyone who’ve came before you. All because you didn't swim against the currents in time.