The Four Frustrations

I. Communication
Hi. You know me. The fact that I’m here, talking to you, proves I exist. Not this body you see me in; that’s just an apparition. No. It’s the talking. You understand me. We communicate. Thus I exist.
As one of the four Universal Frustrations, my dominion covers the entire world. You think not? What about the many different languages existent, rampant in their own areas? I tell you, it is precisely because of this that I am called a Frustration. Communications is what pulls and pushes people, towards, or away from each other.
The language I speak is nothing you have ever heard. You understand, though, only because I am talking—communication—straight towards your mind, your soul, your heart. I am not of this world, nor of other worlds—I am simply existing in a dimension (it is needless to say whether temporal or spatial) that is different, that is remote from where you are.
Languages are entirely my doing. English, Chinese, French, German—all created in my aim to confuse, to obfuscate, to facilitate secrets, to lead to arguments. It is a joy to watch several parties struggle over each other’s languages, to watch the rising tempers, the confusion! I understand all of them, being my creations, like plants taken root and gone crazy, mutating into many many forms, a myriad of variations on the same theme—communication!
I am universal, I am total, I am complete—
You are a mere part of my all-encompassing existence. You, my dear reader, are a little pawn in a four-way game of chess.
II. Death
I must admit, I have failed only once. Only once. And yet, the one, that single one, is threatening to take over my place. ‘At eternity’ is what he says. Maybe I shouldn’t care.
I am as universal as Communication is. Everyone will have to submit to me sooner or later, and none will escape. Life is created as and when I want to; it can be called a gift. Life, as it is, flourishes in my absence, yet my present does not seem to hinder it. What a strange creation, to be almost independent of its creator! And life, eternally under my rule, will end—also when I feel like it.
Being the most important and most powerful Frustration, I have a host of little minions under my authority. These faithful workers have never failed me; indeed, I think they find it wise not to. My subjects promote my cause; they are responsible for much of the world that you are familiar with. They are Disease, War, Hatred, and Technology. Do they sound familiar to you? You should know that whatever you do, you’ll play yourself into my hands! You can keep off Disease, you may run from War, but you can never run from me.
Oh, sure, you still think that my opposite number is Life. There’s no such thing as Mankind being a struggle between Life and Death. I’d like to reiterate that there’s only my presence—and my absence.
Some people are afraid of me. Some people want me—desire me, call for me. Some people abhor speaking about me, some delight in doing so. I am the most revered, the most feared, amongst the four Frustrations. And only one will defy me. I will not be under any obligation to anyone.

III. Stupidity
Surprised to see me here? Didn’t expect me? Well here I am! And I know why you don’t recognise me; your brain was wired not to.
See, I’m responsible for human thought across the globe, and all emotions, all decisions. I plant the seeds of ideas, I harvest the fruits, the chaos that ensues. All ideas are mine, all thinking. I can control you like a puppet if I want to. I created your brain, I created your soul, your mind. The human thought is so complex such that it will never be deciphered.
I am the most direct cause of frustration. I cause mental blocks, blank thoughts, frozen motives. I cause obsession, I construct fetishes; illusions and falsities are things of my devising.
Emotions I give, generously to some, withholding from others. The ebb and flow of the heart, hindering logical thought and causing rash decisions, is a great delight to me. Hatred, love; joy, sadness—all things that influence though, all poisonous to the soul, to the health of the collective unconscious.
I am the one that gave you, gave the world your politicians and lawyers; beings of curbed intelligence, the Deltas and Epsilons of the human race. They spread my cause, they are my robotic army, causing schisms, global arguments, giving rise to further emotion, obscuring the fragile thread of logic.
It gives me great joy to bestow my blessings on people. I have two kinds. One, the blessing of extreme intelligence, I am very thrifty with; it is hard to decide the whens and wheres and whoms, but with this gift, success is practically guaranteed. The other, which I am much less tightfisted with, can close off and stop all thought—doubtless you are familiar with this blessing.
I am universal. I will be seeing you very soon. Farewell, you cannot escape.
IV. Pain
You may think that I cause death. Or that death means the end of my existence (at least to the relevant person). Well, let me tell you that the first is simply wrong, and the second is incomplete. I am a totally different entity, as separate from Death as Communications is from Stupidity. Yet we are so closely related that it is difficult to say where who and what ends, and another begins.
Pain enlivens a being to its senses. I am real, physical, tangible, yet as immortal as anything can be. I am responsible for how you touch and feel, how you see and hear, how you smell and taste. And I too have my own blessings: I take from some and give to others—not a good thing for both parties.
You physical aspect is created by me. I make each one unique, but have some fun sometimes and make several of the same. Each muscle, each bone, was fashioned by me, to be sensitive to—and this irritated by—your surroundings.
Nothing talks like pain. I can cause you, through my means, to do absolutely anything I want. I have total control over your physical and physiological selves. You are a small piece in this universal game of checkers. You can never fully fathom what I am, what my causes and motives are, or when I strike. You have no chance of escape; you are hopelessly bound to this world.
I watch over all. None defy me, nothing can stop me. You hide behind your medicines and safety functions, yet deep down, you know. I am lurking everywhere. I am omnipotent, omnipresent. And I see everything.


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