To take part in an initiation, is not to learn something per se, but to simply mark the transition of not-belonging to belonging. For instance, loyalty isn’t learned during initiation, instead a switch is flipped, loyalty is activated. Roles aren’t taught during initiation, they’re simply inherited as part of membership.
Hazing is the part of initiation that scares, strains, and humiliates prospective initiates. Utilizing the crudest of methods, hazing attempts to make membership high-value by adding effort to the initiation process. Membership isn’t simply given, it’s earned. And through the shared muck and mire, it’s hoped that devotion and conformity are established, leading to an enhanced solidarity.
I wonder if life on earth is an initiation process involving hazing. For instance, when I sit on the toilet with a bowel issue, it’s hard for me to imagine that I’m some ethereal being seeking perfection. Instead, I envision a dirty smelly pooping creature that often eats like a pig. So much of life seems to involve anxiety, stress, and embarrassment — just like hazing.
And like hazing, life doesn’t really teach us much, it’s the same thing over and over: misunderstanding followed by overreaction. Everyday’s a new day as we forget what came before. None of us seem to be learning, yet we all seem to be going through the same struggles. And for what? Is there an advanced society waiting for us at the end of this?
For those of us that are soft-at-heart, not wishing to inflict unpleasantries upon others, perhaps we must recognize the greater good. Perhaps the cohesion built by experiencing life-on-earth is a necessary component of a healthy thriving futuristic society. It’s a vaccine of sorts, a hurtful prick with potential side-effects yet ultimately preventing the breakdown of society.
With all the cruelty and corruption, all the blood and guts, all the wanton violence, all the fear and worry, and all the embarrassing and shameful acts — it often takes great effort to view this world with a positive perspective. We don’t learn from life’s unpleasantries, we perpetuate them, like feces flinging fools. Perhaps there is no ultimate lesson, only the camaraderie brought about through shared abuse.
Perhaps we’ll all meet on the other side of this world, high-fiving and swapping stories. What a time we had, the strain and scars were worth it — we made it through. Some of us got messed-up real bad along the way, but we’re fine now, we’re home, all committed members of a futuristic society. What we experienced was virtual, an artificial event designed to add effort to our initiation into an advanced civilization.