Monday, September 7, 2009

The Subject is The Predicate

Do you remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher showed you how to diagram a sentence?

Every sentence is made up of a subject and a predicate, right? When you diagram the sentence, you draw a horizontal line and split it in two with a vertical line. The left side is for a thing called the subject and the right side is for a thing called the predicate.

Subject     Predicate

So, “The blackboard is black” would look like:

blackboard    black

Then you would hang diagonal lines under the subject and write in an adjective or an article (the, a, or an). Modify the predicate and you put a diagonal line under it and write in an adverb. If you have more than one subject (called compound subjects) you would put subject #2 under the other subject. You could also have multiple predicates and you would put predicate #2 under the other predicate. You could modify the compound subjects and you could modify the compound predicates. The more sophisticated you are the more agile you become with compound subjects, compound predicates, adjectives, articles, and adverbs. The more sophisticated you become the more compound subjects, compound predicates, and modifiers you acquire. As you can see, it doesn’t take long for you to have a large web of subjects, predicates, adjectives, adverbs, and articles in your repertoire.

Some of the ways we describe ourselves are:
I am married.
I have a wife.
I am homeless.
He is a policeman.
I drive a BMW.
He is a good person.
He is the alpha male.
I don’t want to.
She is the CEO of her company.
The car is white.
We are Christians.
I am better than you.
My husband doesn’t love me like he did before we got married.
You are an infidel.
I can’t control my daughter.
My son is a failure.

The list is endless. Life is full of subjects and predicates. You can’t communicate without them.

You use subjects and predicates just like you use fingers and toes. The problem is that we have done a damn good job of convincing ourselves that we are our subjects and predicates.

What if diagramming a sentence has nothing to do with sentence diagramming? What if it is an indicator that life is going in the wrong direction? What if it is a clue that you are going down the wrong path?

Why are the subject and predicate separated by a vertical line?

Is it merely the copula or connector like our teachers told us? Or, is it something more? What is represented by the vertical line? More importantly, why haven’t we pressed on and demanded an answer about that vertical line? It’s almost as if everybody is saying “S-h-h-h-h, don’t ask about the vertical line.”

The vertical line represents the am and the is in the ways we describe ourselves (see above).
The dictionary defines the am as: the 1st person singular of be.
The dictionary defines the is as: the 3rd person singular of be.
The dictionary defines be as: verb and auxiliary verb. 1) To exist in actuality; have life or reality

Those aren’t definitions! The dictionary doesn’t tell us anything! In fact, the dictionary turns be-ing into things called verbs, auxiliary verbs, 1st person singular, 3rd person singular, existence, actuality, life, and reality.

That’s not am-ing, is-ing, or be-ing!

The dictionary can’t define be-ing! If it could you wouldn’t be reading this. It couldn’t exist. It wouldn’t have been written because there would have been no condition to write about.

You are not a thing called a being or a thing called a human being. You are be-ing! Be-ing is different than things!

We have spent over 2500 years avoiding the issue. We have been looking for be-ing in the subjects, in the predicates, and in the dictionary because we already know it’s not there! Putting up a smoke screen and distracting yourself with all of the drama of life will not make it go away. Like they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result.

This condition has existed for over 2500 years. It has been addressed by Socrates, Emerson, and others. What makes you think it will disappear in your lifetime? The time has come for us to raise ourselves above the level of territorial monkey and start be-ing human.

Only you can define be-ing! And you can only define be-ing for yourself. You can’t do it for anybody else so leave them alone and let them do their own work!

The dictionary can’t define be-ing and the world is incapable of doing it for you. The world won’t know who you are until you reach into the abyss that is you and create something that doesn’t already exist. If you don’t define who you are, it won’t get done.

In the course of your life you will do what it takes to provide yourself with food, clothing, and shelter or you will die. That’s a no-brainer! You will do what it takes to procreate. Or you won’t. You will have houses, cars, stature, jobs, toys, & relationships. You will spend your entire life doing and having. You don’t have to reach into the abyss to survive.

Now that doing and having are taken care of, what about be-ing? Who are you going to be while you provide yourself with food, clothing, shelter, toys, and all the others things you will acquire? Who is going to show up in life to raise your kids?

Are you going to hide out in your marriage and blame your wife for your life not being fulfilled? How about spending time with your things and telling the world how great you and your things are? You could climb your way to the top of the company ladder and show the world who’s the boss? Are you going to hide out in the television and in the newspaper when you come home from work? Are you going to tell your children that “Children are meant to be seen and not heard”?

Will you answer the call of be-ing, strike out on your own and dis-cover who you are. or will you get scared to death, throw a tantrum, join a club of tantrum throwers and distract your self, again. The world is full of people defending their right to be distracted.

Two things to remember:
1) The unspoken agreement in life is: “If you don’t call me on my bullshit, I won’t call you on yours”
2) The only way anybody can bullshit you is because you are bullshitting yourself.

Do something else! Put down the turd and let something else take its place.

Why put down the turd? That’s easy. It’s the only way to find out who you really are. As long as you are playing patty-cake with the turd, life is the turd.

The answers to life are not in the subject and the predicate; the answers are in the vertical line. But you already knew that. Ultimately, when all else is said and done there are no subjects, there are no predicates, there are no definitions.

There is only you, the vertical line – be-ing.

You, be-ing, is the answer the world is looking for.

You can be who you are in a world of machines,
but you can't be a machine and know who you are.


  1. Holy Shiz..I totally dig it!! I get it..I'm still working on putting down the turd..I wish I didnt know so many people who coveted the turd..the turd needs to go..

  2. That's crazy and in a good way. Crazy good. I'm going to "be" the vertical line. I am the vertical line. Honestly, that's awesome!