A person’s development is riddled with misguided expressions which occur as a result of ego. There are a number of causes which light fires under many types of people, but the causes are, in so many cases, secondary. Further down that road of development, a new self-defeating desire invades which serves to neutralize distractions in hopes of giving one serenity. Life is an unwinding and we finally put to bed one grand hope to make way for a more humble hope. Our existence, according to the fervor of youth, is a gradual decline which we foolishly hope to reverse; our existence, according to the complacency and embittering of age, is an anti-climatic autumn of beautiful and dormant “once upon a time’s.” It is, on the one hand, something very bothersome and melancholy; and it is on the other hand very peaceful. It’s as if the world is completely altered in the course of a few years. As Regina Spektor sings, “you’re young until you’re not.” Of course, there can be a condescension in claiming old age in comparison to the silly youth, and I do not intend that. What I’m suffering is the awakening to what was always the case, but what I supposed I was above. I am told that we all go through it, but that is not satisfying because, regardless of what I say, I want to make in impact. The more I try to claim about my own state of existence, the more I realize that I am not alone. For many, a solidarity with others could be comforting, for me, it is depressing. I enjoy having things in common with others, but my rabid insecurity demands recognition above and beyond! I wish to recognize community as an ornament, as a claim to my humility (a simultaneously paradoxical claim on my ego). Ahh, it’s truly pathetic, but even so, I can’t become unique. I merely blend in to the room of well dressed people furiously focused on their treadmills. We’re all the same, some dress themselves better than others, some understand themselves better than others, some understand their role better than others, some know what they want, most don’t.
I think it’s best to refrain from being creative when emotionally inspired.
As humans, we are surprisingly incapable. Of course, there have been many grand feats accomplished by the glory and industry of mankind. It doesn’t take much research to look down the long list of inventions and ideas which have come to fruition as a result of this gloried tenacity and devotion. One can get all teary eyed reading an Ayn Rand novel–a beautiful adventure and victory of the human spirit, the drive, the good willed indifference, and the talent. Our thirst for advances of the mind, new technology, new art, new ideas to assuage human suffering, new versions of the categorical imperative spoken with a tone of regrettable condescension and dismissal of the spiritual, and let’s not forget the reverse of that–the appeal to spirituality for the cure all. (We have tragically forgotten the words of Pascal who gracefully made the case for the inclusion of both reason and faith).
But ultimately, we are essentially incapable. We know nothing of true value, because true value is masterfully hidden from us. True value is transformed to appear absurd and pathetic. The health of the soul is dismissed and made a mockery of. It’s so easy to become dramatic with grandiose appeals for cultural progress–peace, love, fairness to all people regardless of income, race, or faith. But what do we know of peace, love, or fairness? We know nothing. Despite our genuine attempts and well-meaning projects, the soul will remain eternally sick. The soul cannot be cured through global initiatives, and until the soul is healed, these global initiatives will merely be coats of paint, a temporary fix, a reason for investment (All very necessary, and all fleeting). The value of these projects lies within the transformation of an individual. Success is not exclusively linked to achievement.
I’d like to ask what we are celebrating. The trenches of our psychology go untouched by large events that celebrate a good cause while inflating the wrong vessels.
(a narcissistic turn)
And me? I am no cure.
Ultimately, I am a weak individual who sees aspects of myself in everyone. I’m not even me. I would claim that I am not a true identity, just a creation of one, born from the conditions of my development. Each opinion I have can be traced rather easily to some passing event from my youth, or perhaps an eloquent book I read in college.
So therein lies the dilemma–I do not know myself. I do not know what I am capable of. I don’t know my soul. I do not know what drives me. I only know that I am a narcissist. I am selfish in that I seem to equate value and production. I am part of that new generation that can’t see the connection between hard work and success. I am part of that new generation that has successfully merged altruism, fashion, and ego–while leaving the soul out of the picture altogether.
“Every human existence not conscious of itself as spirit, or not personally conscious of itself before God as spirit, every human existence which is not grounded transparently in God, but opaquely rests or merges in some abstract universal (state, nation, etc.), or in the dark about itself, simply takes its capacities to be natural powers, unconscious in a deeper sense of where it has them from, takes itself to be an unaccountable something.”–Kierkegaard (SUD)