The Offered Banality

Thought really is the vile infestation of Satan, I say sadly. Sitting there alone with my own thoughts. Only it doesn’t matter how many times you say it because no one will ever listen to you. You’re a voice crying out in the wilderness. No one will ever understand what you’re saying no matter how many times you say it. They just stare at you. It’s too big a jump. They can’t understand you because they think that thought is where it’s at – they’re afraid of not thinking. They’d rather do anything than not think. Who’s ‘they’ you might ask? The answer is that it’s everyone. It’s all of us. It’s the whole human race…


Maybe you don’t think that this is sad. I don’t know. I don’t know what you think, to be honest. But consider – we obsess from morning to night over the ‘offered banality’, the hideous repetitive nightmare that is thought. We can’t get enough of it, we want more and more and more of it. If we lived to be ten thousand years old do you imagine we would have had enough of our thinking? Would you say that we would by then have reached the end of thought, that we would by then have had our fill of it?


You know well that we wouldn’t. At the end of that time we would still be as hungry for thought as ever and the reason for this is that thought never satisfies. It only ever whets our appetite for me. It only ever drives us mad with desire. The more we think the hungrier we become because there’s no reality in thought – not even a homeopathic trace of it. There never was anything more parched and arid than our thoughts. We crave reality like a man dying from thirst craves water but the sad truth is that we wouldn’t know reality if it came right up to us and punched us in the face. How are we to know reality when all we ever have are our thoughts about it? We wander the world like ghosts, lost in our own decaying patterns of avoidance, lost in the unwholesome labyrinth of our darkly futile obsessions.


The sad thing is that even if reality came knocking on our door one day not only would we not recognize it, we would run panic-stricken away from it. We wouldn’t see reality, we would see our worst nightmare come to get us. We’d see a demon standing there. We would see our own worst nightmare come a-knocking boldly on our door. Reality is too rich for our blood you see – we’re just not used to it. We are too used to the appallingly arid sterility of thought and we wouldn’t be able to make the jump. Jumping would be beyond us – there’s no jumping in the thought-realm after all, only this wretched crawling, this wretched pedantic creeping. We spend our lives crawling like worms on our bellies, dotting all the ‘i’s and crossing all the ‘t’s and hoping that this will get us somewhere. Hoping that we will get our reward for all the shit we have had to eat. How sad do you call that?


Mythic magnificence surrounds us on all sides but we have no eyes for it. Every day we walk right by depths of profundity that the mind could not ever comprehend, and we think nothing of it. The wisdom of all the ages can be found in the little breeze that stirs the leaves on the tree in our back-garden but we pay it no heed. The poetry of life leaves us unmoved – we’re like stones. We don’t see it. We’re too caught up in the offered banality.



Art: Khaled Hafez – Realms of the Hyperreal





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