A thought at 23.19
Its all quite wonderful really, this life thing, isn’t it?
Its all quite wonderful really, this life thing, isn’t it?
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?
You have a new theory you would have said to him, you did even, but he was already waiting there, waiting not to listen. It was that pretentiousness was heroic as even if it didn't quite make it, it was aiming for something beautiful, honest, maybe painful. He called you pretentious, an appropriate use of the word. Yes you were obviously the pretentious one, the one whose words were bathetic, while he of course had that Kantian finesse. Your words weren't referenced so fell onto the table between you and were ignored. You write about him now as he's gone, gone untill you can ignore him in a chance meeting awkwardly because he makes you cringe and feel sick.
You write about him now as he has been edited out of a happy present. You toy with how successful erasing him completely would be, is the past's reappearance inevitable? Maybe its probable but has none of that certainty which would free you. You could live in order for it to be very unlikely. You decide to inflict the most insistent punishment and also, luckily for you, the one that offers the allusion that you haven't chosen it- silence. Silence as silence just confronts him with himself. You didn't realise you had such a malevolent side but every month of absent minded silence is sweet. You hope that you will forget this course of action and it will become like breathing. Silence is the final response to the questions posed during that time. You refuse to be the one who breaks it, to do that would be time travel, which is neither possible nor desirable.
The city was often obscured by a state of mind. The buildings given life, reluctantly by a jaded intelligence. It was just the right size and had the right level of incongruity for her to let herself believe that it unfurled itself in soley order for her to comprehend it. She found the vanity of this a cause for embarrassment. Fireworks especially had a strange affinity with her city, artificial fire which lit it in flashes and let it make sense, if only for a night.
Shut up in a first floor room, her thoughts swirled around her, an interior world projected onto its woodchipped walls. Her arrival had somehow awakened something of the frisson of childhood. That almost tangible sense of something beyond, indicative of a time when a mind is most able to project itself upon the world. Perhaps it had something to do with the orientation of the house and her room mirroring those where she spent the time when there almost was no time.
It felt so strange and yet exhilirating to think of recounting to another this inner world. She always had the urge to recede into the shadows with ambgiuity and an undertone of destruction. There was an urge to release this entity and leave herself bereft of the ability to control what it did from then on. It reminded her of having a helium balloon at the fair as a small child. She would always be advised to tie it tightly around a wrist but yet despite the inevitable scolding, she always longed to let go.
It only ever seemed an inadequate copy of the world she inhabited. A world which was altered and sqeezed into a form constructed from words. She was impelled to look at her own world with different eyes, divorced from those used to sustain herself. What was worth reporting from this particular mobile outpost, she could never be sure.
Writing as potential difference, voltage across two points. Bereft of the tension produced by longing, the spark which impels the stream of writing does not come.
You still have your loyal commitment to failiure of course. Not proper failiure truly- that would be too much of a success. No, you do your quiet almost-middle-class form of failiure. That withdrawing, absenting yourself from situations where you may have to prove yourself; exams, essays, creative endeavours. All this will be passed off as a fiction. You will not commit. That would make you vulnerable and would consist in that most vulgar of things- being sincere to yourself. Success also envoked that other most troubling spectre- closure. And the repeat performance.
There may not have been the couch and that particular silent other then, but that fear of endings and closure was ever present. The undammable tears at the end of The Snowman, such that the only option was for it to be shown on an eternal cycle of rewindings till your 5 year ild lids grew too heavy. The fear of the persistently held off possibility of the drill caused by my 8 year cavity-free run. And then there was the academic success. The growing conviction that this was all just an elaborate structure that was being erected for me to fall from. Potential difference rose not just in percentage points but across the synapses of an ever more disordered mind. So rather than fall, you jumped.
And how liberating it is finally, after they slowly put you back together, from within and without. Those fractured parts reformed into a whole, stronger for the marks of dissection it bears. The fall from the heights of perfection and a peculiar sort of idealism had a curious landing place. For your life then was all in your mind, a perfect non-entity, trivially true. You finally discovered that you may not be able to fail up there but then again you're also a blank page.
|Feb||| Today ||