As a continuing reader of Duct Tape & Bubblegum, you’ll become an expert on Meatbagism, but for now, we’d like to reintroduce the subject as it is the axis around which our philosophy rotates. We realize that the use of the word “you” will become a bit confounding by the end of the post, but you’ll get it.
Meatbag Syndrome 101: The Meatbag’s Guide to Meatbagism
The idea of “you” is the story you chose to believe in based upon situations and circumstances that have conditioned your responses since birth. At any moment you can (if you chose to) divorce yourself of this narrative and contemplate a larger truth for your life. The idea of “you” (I, me) is based upon the consciousness that formed as the result of your biology being subjected to genetics, people and experiences. Most of these experiences are only cultural preferences that are further rooted in socioeconomic models. Our identification with our body and self (The I-Me-Complex) is a set of programmed influences, body identification and identification with time and place. In the extreme, we can see the tentative nature of body identification in people who chose sex change operations so that their external reality can represent their internal reality.
Recognizing this truth can be found in answering a simple question:
If we could swap bodies at anytime in our lives, how would we know what our true identity is independent of the body we inhabit?
If we were separated from our place in time, our people, our genetics? If you can appreciate that 99% of your perspective, which informs your daily reality, is the result of this body identification (including the time/place identification) then you have the ability to expand your worldview by including the experiences of other people, who are also identified with their body attachment. Think of a person who you are most judgmental of and imagine how you would be living in that person’s body. Attempt to understand everything about that person’s reality as it is informed from within that body. Think about how that body moves, how it sees, how it believes other people see it and about the family it will interact with (and that family’s values).
Do you think if you were in that body, and you had no perspective separating you from that body, that you would act and feel any differently? Probably not.
We participate in this experiment daily and we don’t know it. We are participating through judgement. All the time, in passing, we judge people from the perspective of our differences, rather than similarity. Judgement creates the scenario in which you believe that you are somehow separate and apart from other people. That somehow your experience is the better, or worse one (depending on your mood and situation). But in all this judgment of other people, we rarely stop to see it through the theory of Meatbagism: if all the same factors were true of us as it is for them, ‘Wouldn’t I be that Meatbag?‘ That is to say, how do you know you’d be any different if you were wearing that Meatbag instead of your Meatbag? With that in mind, you are a Meatbag (and we mean that in the most loving way).
So what? Why would you care that you are a Meatbag (as we are, too)? Here’s the beauty… this is one of the quickest ways to develop empathy and compassion for others; you come to an ultimate realization that (according to Meatbag Theory) you ARE the person that you are judging. Metaphorically speaking, you are not separate and now you can view your similarities rather than differences. We are all the same spiritual being, poured into different Meatbags but drawn from the same source. Dealt a different hand, we might be you, you might be me.
Understanding Meatbagism (the belief that there is no inherent “you”) is liberating because it allows “you” to divorce yourself from your painful story, a narrative that you are addicted to, and divorce yourself from the judgement that separates you from other people… this judgement ultimately separates you from yourself and from your life.
When judgment separates you from other people, you feel lonely in a populated world.
Depression is a disease of loneliness. Loneliness is the result of isolation. Isolation is the result of feeling separated and you feel separated, as most people do, because you have Meatbag Syndrome.
Really enjoyed this piece and your perspective, which is right on. In short, your Meatbag post is well done 😉
You’re very welcome. I spent some time on you blog this morning and am really enjoying your mixture of common sense, humor and the uncommon approach you take in writing about it.
A saying that I have known for a long time, “there by the grace of God, go I”….MJ. I still don’t get the meatball thing, but it is thought provoking. Thanks for poking my brain!
Meatbag Theory isn’t for everyone! We understand.
Ned is our 8th satisfied customer! But unfortunately he will not receive a Ginzu knife set. He is however in our Blog Roll because his blog is quite funny! As a clarification for readers, we have 5 writers on this blog. You can find out who they are at our About & Contributors pages on the top menu.
As a student of Karl Jaspers’ Existenz Philosophy and a follower of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, I want to thank you for making this concept of “meatbagism” so nice & succinct. It goes directly to the heart of many notions both of these thinkers are attempting to get across but in SO many more pages. So, thanks!
Reblogged this on Reason & Existenz and commented:
This piece from Duct Tape & Bubblegum goes right to the heart of what Karl Jaspers means by the concept of “shipwreck” in communication as well as what Edmund Husserl is doing in his work on experience & judgment. Well worth the read.
WOW! All we can say is WOW, Keith! We’ve both said it twice now. We of course are familiar with those authors, and humbly thank you for making the association. We come to this philosophy through Buddhist thought and love to be in the good company of thinkers like you, and oh WOW, Jaspers & Husserl! We deeply appreciate the reblog, Keith. Rock on.