Sunday, January 23, 2011

who are we really: mach II

ore Fictional Stories:

Most "normal" people fall into the category of saying that they simply want to be happy.  If they end up not being happy, they will create a fictional story about that, conveniently excluding any information that does not reflect their belief that they ARE "happy".  For example, these people can exist in a totally dysfunctional life, terrible relationship, or unsatisfying job and convince themselves that they are just trying to be "happy".  These people will tend to talk about all the shortcomings in their lives as if it has nothing to do with them.  They fail to do anything about it because underneath it all, they are fine and it is the rest of the world who is to blame for the shortcomings in their existence.  Instead of changing the story, they doggedly hold on to the fictional one.  Underneath it all they are totally miserable, but would never admit that.  So their story becomes fiction, their story is one of denial.

Then there are other people cast themselves as perpetual victims in life, its hard to tell what motivates them and if you asked them, they possibly wouldn't know themselves.  Wandering through life like an empty shell, waiting to be filled by some external source.  Never knowing who they are, and simply assimilating with those around them to feel like some part of it all.  They are almost transparent in life.  These people attract abusive partners, bosses, friends, almost everyone around them reinforces their self image of victim-hood.  This is also a fictional story, victims almost never realise they can stop at any time, it's a self fulfilling prophecy, you will always attract the story you are telling.

There are also the ones I like to call the surrealists, they simply block out all of the information that opposes their view of the world.  The "lalala" set.  You point out to them that they have no money, they live in their sisters garage with all the odd shoes and lost tools, and they simply say...... "lalala"....this is not to be confused with denial, this is surrealism.  They honestly believe that if they do not think it, it cannot be true.  I don't feel these kinds of delusions can be at all healthy.  Being grounded in reality is an important survival tool.  There is no use standing in your house while it is being bombed to hell saying "but I didn't think this negative thought?"

Now I can sit here on my comfortable little throne of judgement, and smugly assess the world around me, but at some point I have to allow myself to be judged, it only seems fair.  So how does one go about assessing themselves with the same piercing insight we project on to others?  This is the one question that baffles and frustrates me.  I don't want to be perceived as " being superior", even if I do feel that way most of the time - I am totally laughing at myself right now - I want to be real, but how can I possibly know?  It would be really nice to have someone just tell me....from the outside...and for me to hear it without having a massive ego embolism.  It's not like I haven't tried, sneaking into my flatmate's bedroom to read her diary - only to find vacuous ramblings about boys and her "awesome" new jeans, how frustrating that was.  Part of the problem is that we think we want to know the truth, but can we actually handle the truth?  In most cases probably not, but when the burning desire to know something outweighs the other possible outcomes, what then?  We sneak into our flatmate's bedroom and read her diary.

It is a total fact that we are all curious about ourselves, there are whole industries borne out of our desire to know ourselves better, to be sure of who we are.  Astrology, psychotherapy, personality testing, even those stupid multi-choice quizzes in women's magazines.  The one constant in all off this is; "Who am I and where am I going?".  Are we all making the dire mistake of seeking out when we should be seeking in?  We are so busy asking the world what they think - we forget to ask ourselves.  Maybe we don't trust ourselves to know, or to be honest enough.  

"Know thyself, that the unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

Empathy: is the capacity to recognise and, to some extent share, feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another sentient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion.

Apathy:  lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.

Love: a strong positive emotion of regard and affection.

Hate: dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards.

Insane: craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including becoming a danger to themselves and others, though not all such acts are considered insanity.

Happiness: a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Cruelty: a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering.

Delusion:  an act or instance of deluding, the state of being deluded, a false belief or opinion, a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.

Sociopath: a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Is it possible that we are all living fictional stories?  Our interaction with others mere interludes, and yet opportunities to break through the falsehood.  Who are we?  Unless we are reflected through the eyes of our neighbours, what value do we have as unique individuals?  I am what I say I am....  Who has the balls to tell me any different?


  1. you put love into the ingredients for happiness, but if that love is for someone completely fucked up (e.g. alcoholic, BPD), and for many other reasons, love can be very painful and not a happy experience.

  2. there is always the "or"

    Happiness: a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, "or" joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

    there are many sources for may want to replace that statement with "relationships suck" and then i would agree with you.

    i have three children, and there is nothing soul destroying or awful about that love.

    but i totally understand what you are getting at XOX

  3. Happiness is picking up that sweet new pair of jeans, imo. Clothes typically elate me more than people.

    I don't know who I am, and sometimes, I don't know who I'm not. I just know what I haven't done yet, and work on that, both to avoid, and to seek out. It's a work in progress.

  4. my favorite quote on happiness is from a contemporary philosopher called Alain de Bouton.

    'Happiness is no pain.'

  5. I stopped believing that love was an emotion a while ago. It's accompanied by a variety of emotions, often conflicting ones, yes. But in and of itself it is not an emotion.

    Love is an act of creation.