Survival in the background
Marty tells Wendy “enough money to never have to worry about money ever again” this is the moment they start their trip to crappy creek valley. Its not easy to judge, when we are all after the same thing. But we are not surviving Mexican drug cartels or Saber-toothed tigers. We’re survive uncertainty.
Money is about as much control you can exert on your existence to bring about certainty. What is the certainty in its complete form? Infinity.
infinity! It can’t can’t run out, it can’t die, its the most certain thing in the universe . We get that impression of certainty by by accumulation of stuff. It gives us the impression of growth, of progress, it makes us think that we can touch the infinite. The problem comes when we confused certainty for happiness. We keep chasing certainty, that day when you get that thing which you thought will give you certainty. You get ‘enough money to never worry about money ever again’ and uncertainty only goes away for a few days. You can’t paint away the uncertainty, becuase the paint will always crack with time. You need to work on that thing which you are painting over – you.
The only thing you can control, is how aware you are of the thing which exerts control in the first place – you.
Survival in the foreground
When that barricade you are leaning against breaks. When you find yourself in the tiger pen, your fanny pack dangling on the barbed wire, and your wife fainting. You see the sleeping tiger waking up and giving you a side-eye – then survival comes to the foreground.
Survival has three modes, fight, flight, and indecision.
The default response here is of indecision. You get carried away with your own self-talk, you’ll do everything to get outta this bad situation. You’ll try to fob it off to someone else. You’ll call for the zoo warden, you’ll cry to you wife to do something, you’ll start praying. At this point you’ve not chosen to fight or flight. You are not running away from the tiger, you are running away from yourself.
Then finally, you see the only you can save yourself. Then you choose, you decide. All that energy which got built up can be released. That choice could be to climb back up that wall, grab onto your fanny pack and somersault onto the ledge. Or it could be to figure out how to stab the tiger in the eye with your index finger. Either way, when the choice is made, you have purpose.
There is no purpose more powerful than the purpose to survive.
You can choose to run, or you can choose to fight, but that choice to survive is what creates the energy, its what created the strength, the focus. Physically it releases adrenaline, you become stronger, faster, meaner, etc. But existentially, it transmutes your self. It doesn’t matter if you are going to run or to fight, the energy is the same, and the commitment you put towards the choice is no different.
When we don’t decide, the energy has nowhere to go.
This is why we all need a purpose in life, because we are all aware, on some level that our time here is limited. We need to dig away, to grow, to expand and to touch on the infinite. Because the infinite is the opposite of death. If we don’t choose, if we just stand in front of the headlights, frozen, then it eats away at you.
Marty is not choosing to fight, he’s choosing to run and this is a reflection of that purpose, to survive. Its the root program coded into our being. When you see someone else fighting for survival, you get aware of that algorithm which for most of us just works in the background. As we see Marty jumping through all the hoops, evading his and his families death, we are jumping those hoops with him. Everything we do is towards survival, of us, and humanity as a whole. Every desire and for pleasure and pain has its roots in our desire for survival. Where we live in perpetual safety, where death is nothing more than a story line, indecision seems like the only option.
What makes humans unique is that we can be self aware of our drive to survive. We can observe ourselfs and see the parts which make ‘us’. You can see yourself surviving, you can see the code. Then you shift your focus on whats beyond the code. You become in tune with the very mechanism which creates the desire for purpose, the desire to stay alive. You get in tune with your humanity. You start to become self aware. This doesn’t have to be from racking up 1,000 hours of meditation, or a Ayahuasca trip, although it’ll probably help. One of the most powerful ways tends to be when you stop running, when you stop surviving, when death comes at your doorstep. When you see a glimmer of death, you see whats finite, and in it you see its opposite, the infinite. Then you stop running. You sit down. Everyone is Ozark is running, everyone is surviving, apart from buddy.