Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Existential rambling

Is it good to write when you are really at odds with the world as you are experiencing it presently? I guess that depends on whether you have something specific to write about, which I don't at present. Oh, there are plenty of items that concern me about which I could compose a coherent post, but all that seems to fade into the background when I feel combative. I suppose it helps to be patient and to deal with and even manage change better, especially when changes are happening that are for the better. Nonetheless, I also have my disappointments.

According to Giussani's method, I have to try to see things as clearly as I am able, which means recognizing and setting aside any preconceptions I may have. Are preconceptions and expectations the same thing? Is the only way to judge expectations a posteriori? When I am disappointed is it just as simple as seeing that my expectations were unrealistic? If this is true, how do you not become a cynic? By being a cynic I mean having the lowest expectations possible, like believing everything will suck and people will act like asses until they prove otherwise. Stated simply, are low expectations the only expectations that are not preconceptions? As George Carlin once confessed, "Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist'"

I would be less than human if I did anything without expectations. It is a fair enough thing to determine, either before or after, whether your expectations were realistic. Experience teaches me how to manage expectations to a large extent, but what about when I am disappointed? Is it all on me? It is ever objectively okay to just say "Now, that sucked" and be correct? It seems to me that it has to be. Otherwise, I am just an adherent of the power of positive thinking, to the idiotic dictum that perception is reality, as if I am the grossest kind of solipsist. If this is the case, in the words of REM- "to offer me solutions is to offer me alternatives... and I decline." In the end, we have be able to make judgments.

I usually try to put the best face on things, projecting what I would like it to be, only to find I am unable to sustain this in the face of reality, in light of my own experience, at which point I become enraged and won't stop being critical until I have reduced everything to ashes. Then again, some things need to be burned to the ground, especially the idols we build. No less than Picasso once observed that "every act of creation first involves an act of destruction. ..."

1 comment:

  1. I've followed the same train of thought a time or two. I've discovered the way to keep from going crazier than I alreadier are is to keep perspective in mind. I may not succeed but there are few things that are worth the emotional energy I invest in them. Or, perhaps more accurately, I have only so much to offer and need to remember what aspects of life are worth my attention. I can't attend to it all.

    Have a great Labor Day Weekend!


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