Gondola Meme Analysis
The Gondola meme is not particularly popular. But it is special. In a massive ocean of violent, passionate, and vicious memes, Gondola is a calm spot.
While many of the memes I have analyzed embodied Godly archetypes, like Pepe and Dionysus, a chaotic god of madness,
and Wojak and Apollo, a disgusted god of thought,
Gondola is not a vessel for a *raging* energy, he is the Sage who bears witness to these forces.
He is a Taoist. Like the Boomer, he is detached from the conflict of the world. He accepts things as they are. And unlike other memes, he does not have arms or hands, he has no need for them, he isn’t there to manipulate the world. He is the embodiment of the Taoist’s wu wei, or do not, to do *not*.
When one reads any Taoist text they will be immediately impressed with the character of the Sages, those who wrote the texts, and those who live by them. I feel a similar feeling likely occurs in the comfy Gondola threads that populate 4chan and other websites. Even there, in the midst of constant chaos and idiocy, Gondola is smiling, and going about his business.
Gondola is a rest from the activity of other memes, and as such he bears witness to the world as a series of forms constantly being created and destroyed, where the only permanent things are the elements and energies that constitute them.
As I don’t want to sully the wisdom of the Tao with my own nonsense, I shall read some beautiful passages from the Tao te Ching:
Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen,
hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have
the Tao do not like to employ them.
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most
honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp
weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the
superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm
and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him
undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the
slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot
get his will in the kingdom.
-"Heaven and Earth are not humane.
They regard all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane.
He regards all people as straw dogs.
How Heaven and Earth are like a bellows.
While vacuous, it is never exhausted.
When active, it produces even more.
Much talk will of course come to a dead end.
It is better to keep to the centre."
- Chapter 5
-"Be completely empty; be tranquil to the core
The creatures of the world are all born
And by this I see their deaths
Things pour forth from the earth and each returns to it
Know this and you know tranquility, for your own fate is clear
See what is, accept it, and you are free of all burdens
No good can come from rejecting this
Without such burdens you have no prejudice
Without prejudice you give to all equally and fully
Giving equally and fully is a step along the way
And being so, you will fear nothing to the end of your days"
- Chapter 16
I have been studying Taoism for some time now. And while I spend much of my time on this channel utilizing Jung and Nietzsche, in truth, they are figures of extreme complexity, which to be honest, without a long term devotion will be impossible to understand fully. The Tao has been the opposite. Something so simple that devotion and passion are the only things that can see it.
I see the Tao in Jung’s psychic energy, and in Nietzsche’s Will. The creative nothing that produces all. Gondola, without arms carries immense wisdom that many will never grasp. To understand Western philosophy is to have a grasp, and fine motor skills, to nimbly craft. Things that take a lifetime to understand. The Tao is knowing wisdom can be found in sitting still, or going for a walk. And as I noted a little while ago in my video on the Enlightened Boomer, grilling.
In the context of the internet, Gondola is someone who does not allow himself to fall into rabbit holes, he is not distorted by algorithms and ideologies. He remains fixed and sturdy. When you use the internet, and you are enraged by something, aroused by something, or you allow yourself to endlessly scroll, you are following a manufactured path, not the Way of the Tao.
A good example of this disparity is in the only Tao that Westerners know, the Dow, Dow Jones Industrial average. A shorthand for the state of the US economy. Like the Tao of the East, it is an energy, we watch it ebb and flow, it dictates the state of things. But it is with anxiety, with greed, with lust, that we watch the Dow rise and fall, not with a calm embrace like the Tao. Money is a form of energy, a materialized form. But when we devote our lives to the material stand in for the real thing, we are bound to lose it all.
Therefore, use the internet with calm intent, do not be dragged about by hooks and digital passions. Be like Gondola.
He is one of the wisest memes. Who goes beyond his origins in more vulgar and violent memes to become a solid, blameless, and wise sage. He is a meme that matters.