Monday, July 24, 2017

Others

As I have said often, but will say in a slightly different way here, if we define intellectuals as people who made a life out of living in their heads, then we can assume without any further information that many or even all such people have large segments of darkness within them, of life which is invisible to them, of awful feelings which they have dedicated themselves to never unveiling fully, even if shadows and hints of them necessarily float throughout their work.

Sartre, to take my favorite example, wrote obsessively.  He drank wine, smoked relentlessly, and took amphetamines to fuel a daily habit of something like ten pages of prose.  He said "Hell is others".

He was not, as they say, a people person.  Would it be even remotely psychologically plausible to separate this in any way from his Stalinistic Communism?  Could his Communism have been anything but an attempt to atone at an intellectual level for his gut level hatred of humanity, and desire for general destruction?  Can one not posit "the world" consists for most people in gut energy emanating upwards and infecting their thoughts?  The world "is" what their gut tells them, and their gut is speaking about something else entirely, but they are too stupid to understand this.

I walked into a Home Depot yesterday, and there was a guy there with an artificial leg who likely lost it in combat somewhere.  He was very friendly and asked if I needed help finding anything.  I just kind of grunted and moved on.  I didn't want to "do" friendly.  I was in a foul mood.  I was, I suppose, having a "Pity Party"  as Zig Ziglar used to put it.

And I'm sure he wondered about this odd fellow.  Given how much he had likely been through, why is this guy being such a dick?  What does he have to feel bad about?

I, too, am not a people person.  I won't rationalize my behavior, other than to say that superficial friendliness is not something I do well when I am in a certain mood.  I've been in Sales in some form or other for many years, so I can do that sort of friendliness when I work myself up to it--and of course I am a friend to the world when I am drunk--but sometimes I don't want to pretend with the Home Depot fellow that we are friends.

But, again, this gets into somatic feelings about what "the world" is like.  For me, the world is a hostile place.  It always has been.  I don't trust people.  I entered the world not trusting people, and for god's sake they have rewarded my lack of trust many times over.  I will have to deal this week with a contractor who is trying to cheat me.

But of course, it is easy to focus on the bad things.  There are many of them.  But there have been many people I have met in the past week who were wrestling with their own demons and still put their best face on it.  I need to try and remember this.

I am speaking openly and randomly here.  I am not entirely sure what I am trying to find.  But there is something here, something useful, for me, and perhaps for you too.

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