Tuesday, 1 December 2009


"Unhappy men are all alike. Some wound they suffered long ago, some wish denied, some blow to pride, some kindling spark of love put out by scorn - or worse, indifference - cleaves to them, or they to it, and so they live each day within a shroud of yesterdays. The happy man does not look back. He doesn't look ahead. He lives in the present.
But there's the rub. The present can never deliver one thing: meaning. The ways of happiness and meaning are not the same. To find happiness, a man need only live in the moment; he need only live for the moment. But if he wants meaning - the meaning of his dreams, his secrets, his life - a man must reinhabit his past, however dark, and live for the future, however uncertain. Thus nature dangles happiness and meaning before us all, insisting only that we choose between them."

This passage is not what you'd expect from a book's first page, and yet there it was. In Jed Rubenfeld's "The Interpretation of Murder", one of the many books I hibernate on my shelves for months and years, until I feel a... a pang, an inkling. Once again the gamble of opportunism and latent control brought me the right words at the right time.
The truth of the matter is, I have been loosely pondering, for a few days now, on the dichotomy of life. The binary nature of love for one. Peter Hoeg in "The Silent Girl" talks of the urge of humans to merge with another, always desperate, always faced with a barrier. The thinnest of bubbles that wraps around each and every one of us so that we can never truly reach another. We can never merge and so escape our loneliness.
And the realisation of that is painfull, and the drive to pursue loosing ourselves in the other is an instinct difficult to surpress. We only really try after we fail at love, after we pay the price for flying too close to the sun.
This is a well discussed phenomenon no doubt. The promise of an ideal happiness, of loosing oneself in another person has a very spiritual aspect. Through great love and lust one might hope to reach a state where our ego dissolves and we are just feeling. Open to the universe and one with it.
That is something we yearn for. But how can we ever pursue it wholeheartedly when our identity is all we really have? Our egos definately resist the idea of complete surrender and seem to survive magnificently any trial or adversity. Rising with an extra head each time, like the Hydra. Why? Because we are ruled by fear. The greatest, deepest fear of being lost, of loosing, of being used and discarded. The fear of failure, of a broken heart.

An surprisingly adequate depictation of my ego.

Being pulled in two directions at the same time. Happiness or meaning. Present versus the past. Reaching for another while guarding your "self". The eternal dance of push and pull. Sometimes it feels good to pin down a few of these fleeting thoughts...

1 comment:

  1. a little bit ad hoc, but in my opinion your ego is way too rich to just loose it..
    wchich doesn't mean i'm not treating the problem You write about seriously :)