January 29, 2007

Consolation

So here I am, no longer afraid of work but now only doing enough to get by, still leaving that comfortable buffer zone between myself and that elusive thing referred to as self actualisation. This is due to a new found love of a peculiarly self destructive brand of hedonism and a voracious and defeating skepticism which destroys all but the most minimal mental crutches on which one could build a life.

So now the time comes to choose something to do when I leave university, and the more I think about it the more concretised and clearly delineated comes the block which obscures my vision of the future. For some, this presents itself as an exciting challenge- something through which to carve a fulfulling and achievable career. Naah, Im never going to be that person.

One problem emerges: I am inherantly opposed to fulfillment.

For me, the block becomes the cornerstone of an intricate mental prison I create and maintain with each moment of consciousness. Partly due to the ability of a philosophy degree to demolish the mental structures I clung to, I create with self mocking delight an intricate objection to nearly all careers.

In order to escape the vertiginous moral consequences of anything like law or the civil service (urgh urgh) I have decided to opt instead for something consisting of (relatively) simple ethical relations such as medicine or nursing. This is possibly what may be referred to as a philosophical cop out if I were feeling in a reductive mood, which I am. Not itself but perhaps in terms of my reasons for choosing such careers. I trick myself that despite the fact that our society needs people do to all these different jobs I am more virtuous as I don’t wish to tread other people under and struggle for power and kudos in the rat race. This is a half truth; I impotently and jealously hate anyone in power, suggesting my desire to be in a politically influential arena such as this but also despise motivatedness and the lack of self doubt endemic in such people. This is partly a projection of my own neuroses, it is eaiser to bicker at the sidelines than to particpate and fail. I am undoubtedly a member of the herd who embitteredly throws barbed comments at the suited and briefcased people of the world.

This mental tick is especially tricky to shift in a neurotically self rightchous 22 year old with a penchant for despair:
I am better than most other people as I do not think I am better than other people.
This thought is usually followed up by ‘oh christ, that doesn’t work hmmm but yet I am so attracted by the reassurance it offers, lets just forget about logic and how vane I am’.

My unstable mood also means at low points I lurch into self destruction to cleave the mental numbness and affirm the fact that I exist, this make positions of responsibility seem unwise, so there goes my simple ethical relations. Yet somehow I still believe what I do in life should be useful and helpful to others however impossible this task begins to seem. I love humanity and yet am unable to face it so console myself with all encompassing abstract visions of the goodness of the universe. This may be a hollow idol but yet it is something I can lean on and lever myself out of bed in the morning by.

Of course all this means Im giving up philosophy as soon as possible, the equisite torment it offers me is not something which my constitution is able to bear. I feel the questions it poses within me as sensation, this leaves me unable to write a clear essay or say much about it. It troubles me in a way that causes me to wish to flee from its prying eyes, in time I will forget and return to ordinary consciousness; perhaps one day I will even be capable of making decisions regarding the weekly shop without envoking the free will vs determinism thought. Wow, actually better retract that- don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I love philosophy like you would the bad guy, I know its not good for me, won’t make me happy yet I follow it about, admittedly in a decidedly half arsed fashion, like a puppy. And its a reaaally bad guy, never calls, gets under your skin, RUINS you for any other subjects and life. But now Im giving up, its not worth it.

This leaves me with a question for Nietzsche: Is consolation really such a bad thing?


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