September 05, 2006

"An unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates.

pic by madalina iordache

Some say that great poetry is born out of lonely, miserable lives. And unrequited love. Somehow, the human spirit blooms out of misfortune and suffering.

Freud rethought his system into a constant battle between life and death, our life and death instincts - that is. He figured that, apart from needing the balancing of energies, the human psyche needs the constant reminder of its human limitations. Like the Creator saying to Adam and Eve: ‘do anything you please, just don’t…’. and they needed that! They needed to know where their limit laid. And, of course, their breaking the limit was a reasonable expectation. Forbid something, and it becomes desirable. Common sense.

Rules and restrictions have been driving our spiritual evolution ever since.

I don’t know what to write anymore. My life is ... fine. Just fine. No more drama, no more tension. Nothing to fix – nothing to worry about. Everything’s fine, and it’s boring the hell-out-of me!

I’ve kept a diary all my life. Alright, not all of it.

The first 14 years of my life have been … well, GREAT; there was no need to write about it, no need to complain. I was on top of the world; my world anyway. I was unbeatable, invincible, ‘my way' was ‘the way’. No one even dared to dispute that. Teachers, parents, my extended family, my friends, even strangers. I was so used to telling everybody what to do that I was never . thinking . about . Me.

I remember everything - back to when I was like 2, maybe earlier. Not even one reflective thought. Nothing. Never stopped for one second to notice who I was, what I was doing, why… Oh, how I wished I had! I miss the old me. Sometimes, I wonder if everything was well worth it.

Not thinking about your life seems such a blessing sometimes. Ignorance is a blessing.

Around 13 years of age, things changed. Many things changed – and I turned reflexive. I stopped ‘talking’, and ‘doing’, and started thinking, watching, observing. The more I watched, the more it scared me, the more depressed I became. It all looked so completely pointless.

That’s when I fist became aware of my limits in life. Outside limits. That depressed me.
Up until that point, I had always felt as if everything was within my reach – everything was attainable, possible. It was only a matter of my will: wanting or not wanting it.

And that fateful summer, I met this girl. And she had something – something denied to me, something not within my power to have: not only did she have a full set of parents, but they were also nice, loving, caring, involved parents. She had a loving family - I had one extremely busy mum; a pushy, sometimes violent, always ignoring-me mum. I was on my own. And up until that point – for 13 years – that never ever bothered me before.

But there was nothing I could do to change that. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how smart, powerful, determined, brave, ingenious, independent I was, it made no difference.
And my powerlessness to make my life what I wanted it to be made my whole universe collapse.
I suddenly became ‘powerless’. ‘Imperfect’. ‘Incomplete’. I began doubting myself, my decisions. Who was I to tell people what to do? My own life was out of my hands – what right did I have to mess with other’s lives?

It was all natural, I guess. I was interiorizing the external limit – that’s how self-discipline is formed. It should have happened long ago, as a child. My parents should have taught me about imposed restrictions – so that I would have learned how to deal with my frustration.

I started keeping a diary when I was 14. Keeping track of my misfortunes, of my depressions, my anxieties, my fears, my doubts, my pain. I don’t write when I’m happy. It would take me away from enjoying the experience. Of course I am much wiser, mature, empowered, self-willed, more complete this way. The thing is… I’ve never been truly happy again ever since.

This awareness destroyed my ability to completely enjoy life. There is always, in the most blissful moments, some part of me that’s witnessing the event. I can never go back to that state of ignorant bliss.
I don’t trust it anymore. Now I consider it an illusion.

In my weakness, I too long for it. I dream of it, try to trick myself again into that state of mind; sometimes I pretend my conscience away, like I don’t really grasp the full awareness of the situation at hand. But it’s there alright: laughing back at me: who are you trying to kid?
When I’m deeply depressed, I toy around in my mind with the possibility of escape.
Madness is one way to escape reality; death is the other. ‘Giving in’ or ‘giving up’.

I’m far too serious I guess to even consider simplistic ways like fantasy, lies, deception. These are the ways of common people! People who lie to themselves. The cheaters, the hypocrites, the weak ones. The ones that never truly dare to make a definite choice - always in the middle, always ready to jump ship, should it begin to sink: “neither dressed, nor undressed; neither on foot, nor on horseback, neither on track, nor aside it” (Romanian folklore).

I am condescendent towards such self-deceptive people cos that’s what I fear. (‘cowards’ I call them capitalizing on my publicly acknowledged courage). I don’t share some people’s fascination with mentally ill patients, nor with death. Because I’ve had first hand experience with both and, having tried them, I feel they are within my power. They are deliberate options one can make in regard to one’s life.

Self-deception, though, terrifies me.
Not being aware and not knowing it – that’s scary! Going back to Eden, losing everything we’ve learned since ‘Adam & Eve were thrown out’: that’s scary! No-way: we gotta keep going!!

And we must wake everybody up. Ignorance may be blissful, but it prevents you from knowing yourself. You never stop to acknowledge who you are, what you’re doing, why…

pentru Ingerash

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