April 30, 2003

Why have I drifted so far from the various existing on-line communities, at which I have been a guest, and a member, and once a founder?

Yet I do not feel it has been me who has drifted at all: rather, that the focus upon self-entertainment determined to remain escapism and upon abstract world discussion determined to remain abstract continues to draw each individual community away from me. I will always care and care deeply for each and every person I have ever "met", but so many seem so determined to bind based primarily on all those things which I increasingly see as drowning out all the rest of life. I love that they do bind along something at least, but not the corresponding isolation which comes with it. To be isolated within a group: is this indeed so very different than for an individual to be isolated from the rest of humanity?

To belong to a group is not only to define what one is, but even more what one is not: and so I have never truly belonged to any group of which I yet know. I know that what I am not is workday rants and quests for distraction and clockwatching and determined abstraction: and yet I can appreciate those too, but as a part of the whole only, not as that small segment of the whole made entire. I watch commercials for their art and their psychology and often find them more interesting than their show-vehicle. I appreciate those few television shows which show us true reflections of ourselves, painful maturing, self-satire and all: but I see all around me a determination to avoid pain, even to avoid feeling, at all costs -- why are we so afraid of feeling? -- and so we take on a televised consumerised saccharine hollow garment so we need not sense the air upon our own skins ... and then we are surprised that we know not how to deal with the air outside our conditioned environments. Two primary directions of reactions: one "Zenning" leading easily toward complete and utter apathy and appropriately named "zoning"; one reactionary and determined to exert control (and perhaps unable not to attempt control) lest someone else do it to oneself first. Both shut away or blot out all that is seen as undesirable, unwelcome, painful.

We are so terrified of pain, even of feeling, that we dare not risk to grow.

I seek the life in art, and the life in science, and the life in culture popular and otherwise. I seek to understand how lack of boundaries between Self and Other translates to distinctions between wu-wei and self-volition and authoritative influence. I seek to know how within love to respect another’s determined choice to kill themself, when the source of that decision is firmly rooted not in feelings of self-inadequacy but in very nearly its opposite: the world being forever inadequate to the self-imaged ideal. (For take away love and the answer becomes easy indeed: if an action does not affect me me me, who cares?)

I have no use for abstract ideals. Always, I seek the real.

Sometimes people are able to argue and even disagree without fighting, over principles, over theories, over politics: but argument without resentment, without hatred, seems only possible when the subject is depersonalised to the point that it is not real to them. How can it be real? It is a debate. It is abstract. It is over there somewhere.

The recent War On Iraq / Operation Iraqi Freedom hammers the nail home. The continued reality of possible death without apparent reason; the continued reality of an abstract ideal. How “real” is war, these days? Most who post on-line live in a place which in generations has not had war upon its own soil. There are times I just want to grab this person or that by the collar and shake them -- but how can anything I could possibly say grant that understanding to someone who has not known it of themselves? How can I possibly blame someone for having grown up within a safety and a security I could wish for every last person upon this earth? Cry freedom! cry liberation! Who understands the cost of abstracts, drawn in their own civilian non-combatant blood? The one time this generation, on N. American soil, felt it: the overwhelming reaction was to hurt back. We idealise the concept of emotional control, and have so succeeded in blocking anything real from our awareness that we think we are reasoned, reasonable beings. What do we know of tempering? when all we seek is an absolute comfort? What have we of resilience? We seek no longer to be human but to be mere shells of humankind, alive only insofar as we move and talk and function through the everyday, always in a vague dissatisfaction that expresses itself in a thousand individual and unique and identical rants. Go to a place beyond logic, beyond emotion, beyond spirit! They are all three one and the same!

And so I keep my mouth shut nearly all the time of late: for on some things there can be no common understanding without experience -- and how could I wish such experience on anyone? Fortunes are lost by children of millionaires growing up in ignorance of poverty. Cycle, cycle, cycle.

Comments:
Tenebris,

Hey, thank you for your post (one of three...but it is a start!). I like your blog as well. I have often felt the same way about "group" dynamics, and feeling apart from those in a group. I remember once meeting an older lady wearing brightly colored clothes who exclaimed, "I don't belong to ANY group. You see, I'm a gleaner!" She went on to tell me how she just took little parts from each groups, things that resonated with her.
At the young age of 20, I remember looking at her and thinking: Is that what I will be like at 60?! The thought horrified me mostly because I have always tried to "Be" something specific, and it has never worked. But this has led me to existential questions throughout my life regarding my purpose here, and my motality...this is when I start feeling gloomy. But the good thing is that we do have this time here to find things of interest, and join with people that really DO want to communicate with their actual selves...and THIS is exciting. Something has to click in order for this to work...oftentimes creative people feel as if something doesn't "click" rather it has broken or it remains dysfunctional. This is normal, I think.

Are there any other posts here besides this one? You should more. It is good stuff!

mslaoshi (Shannon)
 
Starts are good things; and I write perhaps too much about group dynamics ;) For me at least, I have found that trying to Be something specific has never worked -- perhaps a major reason why, every few years, I have found myself swept anew toward and into the deep end of completely new endeavours. I think, now, I may perhaps have found an outline of what drives me at least: or, to be exact, it has found me.

But this is an old-fashioned blog, with an actual archive page in the sidebar; and I gave you a link very near its beginning. If you want to venture to the front page, just click on the "Front Page" link in the sidebar or on the blog title. I am, as so very often, behind in the actual typing and computer access: but the handwritten back-entries exist and will be posted as time permits.

Also, you might like the discussion in the linked board (also linked in the sidebar). It is much quieter now than it once was: but there are still a few active flurries of activity.

See you around the Web! :)
 
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