A Society of Island Universes

Anna_Chromy_AloneAlone by Anna Chromy

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“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves.”
― Aldous Huxley

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You ask this – You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick? as though you consider it to be an unusual experience, an anomaly in life, one which will probably never happen. But what if it did? you prompt, offering an amuse-bouche for the imagination. Imagine a life like this… but this is life.

We’re all exiles on private islands living on restricted diets, captives of others and ourselves. And others are catptives of ours and themselves, subsisting on an equally strict regimen.

 We all feel alone and hungry.

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“By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”
― Aldous Huxley

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And we all eagerly search the horizon surrounding our island for a ship which will save us, rescue us from our private island, from solitude, from the gnawing of our internal yearning, that one person who will feed our cravings and make us feel less lonely.

Someone to love, to love us, to fill our lives and hearts until they overflow.

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“Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain.”

― Aldous Huxley

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Think of your favourite food…

… is it sweetness you long for? The gentle touch of a caring hand? The soft eyes of love watching you? The kiss of kind words? The delicate ear to hear your story?

… is it salty? The zing of interest? The playful interaction? The sting of fun and frivolity?

… spice? A lively moment? An intense interaction? An awakening of the very tips of your nerves and your senses come alive?

… starchy? Safety, comfort, and relaxing? A slowing of time until now is all there is and now is good?

What’s your flavour… and what does it mean beneath its exterior?

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“All that the conscious ego can do is to formulate wishes, which are then carried out by forces which it controls very little and understands not at all.”
― Aldous Huxley

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Think of your idea of a private island…

… is it a tropical paradise? The warmth of the Sun, its rays paying attention to you, caressing your body with its eyes, a spotlight on your face, on you – it sees you and you are who it wants to see?

… is it a stormy fortress? The sturm and drang protecting you, keeping the world at bay, and only the worthy can find safe haven with you, but first they must run a gauntlet of rocks, reefs and certain death?

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“The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone.”

― Aldous Huxley

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… is it in the centre of the world or at the edge of it? In the hubbub or far from it all? Populated or uninhabited except by those you deem worthy to be there, those you wish were there… or by those who you wish were not there?

… is it a treasure island? A chateau d’if? A devil’s island? An island of lost souls? An island of doctor moreau? A monte cristo? A pleasure island? An desert or dessert island?

And who is your captor? A prince or princess charming, keeping you safe for them? A witch or a warlock, keeping you all for them? A crowd of lovers or haters? Are you envied or adored by them? An idol or a sacrifice to them?

And who are you? A siren, a shipwrecked soul, a traveler, a wanderer, a hapless victim of circumstances or a pioneer seeking untamed and unclaimed territory?

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“Most lead lives at worst so painful, at best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principle appetites of the soul.”
― Aldous Huxley