The seas, the seas and the seas

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There are reasons why I love the seas.

First, seafood. I love it as much as I love the meat of land critters. Love it more than fresh water ones. Tastes extremely varied: savoury, sweet, pungent. For me, the fishiness is a lot more tolerable than muddied-water taste of fresh water fish. Seafood also makes perfect seasoning. Too bad it’s relatively scarce. I can talk about this whole day long.

But, nourishment isn’t the only one. For years, I’ve been having this inexplicable desire to live near the sea. No, this has nothing to do with my love of seafood.

Living near the sea doesn’t guarantee its abundance and quality. Not every cubic of seawater is biologically vibrant. The water’s rough for fishermen. Marine aquaculture is a difficult practice. Marine pollution is constant. So, why do I have such desire?

Well, the prospect of a thoroughly landlocked living unnerves me. My entire life, I was never that faraway from the sea. Sometimes, it did take hours to reach the nearest beach. Even then, it was more about the traffics than the distances themselves. Also, Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in on earth. My upbringing is an obvious contributing factor.

It’s one reason why I’m reluctant to live in continental countries. Many of their cities are inland, way inland. Chicago and Toronto, for examples, aren’t that far from the Great Lakes. But, they are lakes. Even saltwater ones won’t do much for me. They have to be wide open seas. I can’t imagine living far from them.

Actually, I can. In my mind, such inland living would feel isolating. The bigger it is, the more intense the feeling would be. I would be literally insane! Pure paranoia, caused by my emotional dependence on the seas…

…And I just used the ‘crazy’ card. As volatile as I am, I don’t suffer from any emotional disorders. Besides, I have never actually lived right next to a sea. I barely have any mental mementos from the beaches. Emotional dependence doesn’t make sense in my case. So, why am I attracted to those foul-smelling bodies of water?

Their spirits, maybe? Why would I be enticed by those personally unfeasible and revolting entities in the first place? Metaphysics always encourages me to see beyond the unappealing and deceptive physicality.

For start, our understanding about the deep sea is minuscule compared to the outer space one. We know little about the critters living down there. The ones we’ve discovered are usually grotesque and alien. So, why is marine biology significant here? It deals with actual physicality. It’s not metaphysical. Well, the question’s already answered…twice.

We know little about deep sea critters and the ones we know are often grotesque and alien. The marine spirits still exude strong mysterious and freakish auras. Things I easily fall for.

I love mysteries. I love to be ‘tormented’ by overwhelming curiosity. The sensation encourages me to not take knowledge for granted, to be humble about my understanding of life, to always be keen about learning.

I also love the ‘grotesque’ and the ‘alien’. They call out my judgy temperament, rebel against the mist of traditionalism that still plagues my mind, challenge what I perceive as ‘normal’. Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up loving them.

How can I expand my horizon when I’m already satisfied by its narrow vastness? How can I improve my vision when I’m comfortable with my worn-out lenses? We eagerly dismiss the mysterious and the offbeat as cock-teasing and ‘abnormal’, respectively. It’s destructive to our state of mankind, more than we like to admit.

As much as I’m captivated by the marine spirits, they also taunt me. They make me feel vulnerable as a living being. I said something about how I have actually never lived right next to the sea. Well, I want to keep that way.

Visiting a beach is different from living on one. Living there means you’re at the sea’s mercy. You’ll be among the first pitiful humans to suffer its wrath. But, living further inland won’t make you safer. The sea still can torment you from faraway, albeit slightly less cruelly. Only slightly. I’m willingly submit myself to one rightful authority that is nature.

Nature. As a whole entity, it is an almighty menace that radiates mysterious and freakish charm…similar to my illustration of the seas. So, my sentiment to every territory in nature should be alike. Yet, the seas are the only ones that greatly shape my metaphysics.

Don’t get me wrong. I also appreciate the other territories. I acknowledge their innate power on mankind. But, except for the outer space, none of them evoke equally compelling (and pretentious) sentiment from me. As I have said many times, the seas, the seas and the seas.

I always thought the reasons for my marine obsession are too enigmatic to unearth. That or I let the spirits haunt my life, turning me too dainty about my dwelling. Either can be true. Can be.

Perhaps I deem myself too admiringly. Perhaps I love to perceive myself as a profound and mystifying individual who grasps what others fail to, whom others fail to hold in high esteem. The mirror I have been using all my life is possibly an illusive one.

I love seafood. I have very mild emotional dependence on the sea. They are equally valid as the probably causes. I shouldn’t be belittling just because of their supposed futility. I’m a humbug. Bear in mind how I loathe humans who belittle the ‘mysterious’ and the ‘grotesque’.

Intellectualism is a must…and so is being down-to-earth.

I don’t know any better (and I also do)

First published on Medium.com on July 29, 2016.

I was introduced to this website by a university lecturer of mine. Writing articles was a part of the assignments. Even though the topics intrigue, I deleted all of my works. I did so because they were assignments. Not only they lacked any passion, they were also very badly written. They were all over the places and I pretended that I knew everything. I have a bigger issue with the latter.

The older I get, the more I am obsessed with being accurate, precise and truthful (pretentious, I know). I need to understand scientific theories and social facts which I still fail to do many times. But, nowadays, the failure makes me feel really guilty. The feeling is so great, it feels like I have doomed humanity forever.

Okay, okay. I am exaggerating. But, you cannot deny that misinformation can be harmful, even though many don’t believe it. Well, the examples are already around us. Pseudo-scientific beliefs cause health-related problems and social ignorance encourage bigotry. I believe misinformation can be either deliberate or unwitting. The former is caused by people’s greed while the latter is genuine ignorance and is actually preventable. I believe it can be prevented if we stop acting like we know everything. Okay, I know it is simplistic. But, it sounds reasonable and realistic enough. Did I just say know-it-alls are out of touch from reality? Yes, I just did.

Let me tell you something you have probably known (and also cliche): There are literally billions of us and countless other creatures on earth, a tiny planet in a solar system that has seven other planets, which is in a galaxy of billions of planets, which is in a cluster of dozens of other galaxies, which is in a supercluster of hundreds of clusters and there are millions of superclusters out there. Yet, many of us choose to be insufferable know-it-alls.

I don’t know why those creatures exist in the first. I can only make guesses like “sheltered upbringing” or “overt self-confidence”. Unless I have evidences, they should not be taken seriously. But, I still think about them simply because they feel right for me…..

….Feel right. We often use emotions to determine what is truthful and what isn’t. That is not how we should live our life. Our feelings only exist inside us. They cannot be used to measure our surroundings. However, they can measure things like our morality or, in this case, our rationality. Your hurt feeling cannot refute scientific theories that contradicts your far-too-easily debunked personal metaphysics…nor can it disprove social facts that violate your unbelievably hateful prejudices. The so-called “liars” and “ignorant ones” may know more than you do.

Oh and about that. When you know the truth, speak up! When people make dubious (and potentially harmful) claims about the others, call them out! When people spread pseudo-scientific ideas, call them out! Even people who act like they know you say false things about you, call them out! Unless safety is concerned, your silence is unjustified. I cannot comprehend how some people knowingly tolerate ignorance. The reason for this may complex. But, it feels like nailing the legs of progress to the floor. As I was writing this, I just realised calling people out is not an easy task.

Before you do, you have to ask yourself first: who is the ignorant one, me or them? Because of our biases, it is difficult to answer. But, I have my own solution. When it comes to social topics, we should rely on various sources, not take social statistics for granted and not depend on stereotypes. When it comes to science, we should rely on studies with replicable results and not on metaphysical claims. When it comes to someone’s personal life, you barely know a thing about him/her, unless he/she has shared his/her deepest thoughts and feelings with you; even then, refrain yourself from judging quickly. But, once again, I still fail those things many times.

My so-called solution is too simplistic. I don’t practice what I preach. My future articles would probably have the same ignorance I condemn for moral reasons. I am a hypocrite who has the integrity of a moral police. Then, why did I waste my readers’ time (if they even exist) with this crap? Personally, this topic always intrigues me. I am genuinely interested in humans’ exploration of truth (and our shameless rejection of it). I genuinely don’t care if my article has a clear point or an applicable solution. I won’t pretend it is of any merit. I just want to express my thought regarding this topic (regardless whether people care or not). If I am going to write more in the future, I would try making an improved version of this article.