Neon Codex

Where digital meets classical.

Psychic Currency

"Let me take you down, 'cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about"

-"Strawberry Fields Forever", The Beatles


Hey, you. That's right, you, there in front of your computer screen or smart-device. You could be anyone, anywhere in the world. In fact you are everyone. I'm speaking right now to a universal audience; a sexless, faceless, person of no particular nation, creed, or set of generalized principles. It must be pretty exciting to be you right about now, I can only imagine, in envy, as I need to retain some semblance of physical reality and/or believability (I.E. the ever-coveted, and always overblown, narrative voice) in order for this unspoken writer-reader contract to work for us. You are no one and everyone at the exact same time, the cumbersome burden of the self has temporarily been removed from you. You know, that thing that society, admittedly in it's best interest, keeps imposing upon you but you always find yourself trying to resist through Netflix binges and drunken nights out on the town. You just need precious seconds, minutes, hours from the strain--it's fine, you'll see it in the morning. And right now, depending on how much attention you're paying, you are completely untethered, moving unbound by space or time through a pure imaginative context.

What we're experiencing was conceptualized in classical and cave-dwelling society as magic (or shamanism, or zen, or yoga, or transcendental experience, pick your poison). I'm sure you (and I use the term loosely) have noticed how exhausting it is to be "on" all the time, to feel the constant pressure to be "that person" in day-to-day life who moves from Point A to Point B. The guy or girl who gets things done. Not the person you are deep down, no, you've been taught from a very young age (in subtle ways--by school, by media) that that person isn't good enough. That person dreams too much, does too little, he/she isn't naturally defensive or reactive enough to make it. Too squishy and vulnerable. It takes a certain finesse to get things done in this world, a greasing of the personality from instinct to construct.

I'm not suggesting that I, as the current holder of the proverbial talking stick that is narrative, am above any of these things. Just the opposite, I even need to play into them to some degree in order to do my job convincingly. And my understanding of anything that I'm telling you can only inherently come from first-hand experience, which then leads me to wonder what makes me qualified to tell anyone anything. How can a person possibly possess enough knowledge to be so arrogant as to write with the expectation of an audience? What the hell could I possibly tell you that you don't already know? Even if the you in question is so abstract as to be no one and everyone simultaneously. Well, I suppose that's the magic of it. There you are floating in an infinite ocean of raw consciousness and I'm little more than a prattling sound trying to make sense of things for you, my job literally to contain and present feelings and ideas to you from out of the murky abstract. Because this is where we connect, without walls, illusion shucked aside, and that's why this, the internet, and that, art.

It's natural to resist the breakdown of the self, the reality. That's the ego's job. And like any parasitic organism which has successfully attached itself to a host, it has a natural set of defenses in order to remain in symbiosis, however so detrimental or one-sided. It's tough to totally relinquish control, because who are you relinquishing it to after all? A person who has trouble keeping track of things, right? Like all of the things that you have to keep reminding yourself to believe in or to hold true; the borders, the barriers, the rough contours which you've been taught all of your life comprise you. To let go of that would be to buckle under the pressure, to forfeit your person-hood. What is a person as far as we're concerned anyway? In our generation it seems to be defined as a string of symbols, baited on lines throughout the sea of cyberspace meant to reel in gratification--a tweet, a selfie, a meme. Well I can assure you, if you need anymore convincing, that this is a safe space, after-all you're not trying to move up the ladder at work, or fuck anyone, or tighten up your chosen ideology with further proofs or evidence that help to solidify a static, unchanging idea of yourself.

There's no reward right now other than purely listening, and feeling out your own impressions. You don't need to say anything to impress me, well, because you can't (at least at this moment), and as a result of reading this and internalizing the contents, the only gratification you can really receive comes from inside. Not that you shouldn't lean on other people or desire their approval, but as a thoroughly consumer-based society we've become obsessed with the possibilities of the information age as just another form of currency--psychic currency, the gratification game. So do something for yourself for a change. There's nothing to buy here, no one in your head to read along with you, to be impressed, to like your thoughts, to follow them, no pay-off whatsoever.