Wednesday, December 12, 2018
4:55 a.m. I have been avoiding, using Netflix and reading and Minesweeper and sleep. I suppose it is time to face the music.
What makes you feel like you are to face music? Do you know?
I don’t, really. Avoiding sitting down to write the book you want me to write, I suppose.
Hardly confined to that.
Remorse over such a wasted opportunity as this life.
That. The things you listed on Monday. The things that probably underlie them.
7:15 a.m. You guys care to continue [on Sunday’s theme]?
We may. What of you?
It would be easier if my [physical] systems cooperated. Always an interruption.
It isn’t only that. You are churned up emotionally, and it reduces your ability to come to this calmly.
It’s true. I can’t even sort it all out – though I suppose you could help me do that, come to think of it.
Very funny and I saw it coming.
Don’t think we don’t sympathize, or rather, empathize. Who understands you and your life better than we, who are both within it and without?
A little more clarity would be appreciated.
You don’t want to do the work of digesting and expressing the system [given by the guys over the past 18 years], yet you feel vaguely guilty that you don’t.
Your life looks largely wasted because of what you now see you might have done, or been, but this is merely applying hindsight to one theoretical idea of your life. Every path comes with obstacles.
You still want fame and success, only you have buried the wanting so deeply, feeling them impossible to attain, that you hardly even recognize them.
You are lonely. Your whole life has been lived alone, and you only now see how alone. It makes a difference.
You are both isolated and not isolated. Oddly, your inner life at one level is more evident to some others than your outer. But only to a certain depth, no more.
All true, all obvious.
Shall we go deeper?
Another time, maybe.
[TGU, today:] Bear in mind, everything has opposing sides. Defects have their advantages. Assets have their corresponding defects. It’s more in how you look at things, than the things per se.
So not wanting to work; a wasted life; stuffed desires; aloneness; isolation that is also not isolation –
“Do you have any idea how strong you are?” [Said in the 1980s by a counsellor about my ability to go my own way, regardless.] At the time, and until you were told and finally understood what you have been told, you didn’t. Nonetheless, you were strong; you didn’t recognize that you were strong. So, now. What has changed is your degree of introspection. You are starting to see your life from beyond the bubble.
Meaning that your life has had its compensations. Your life has caused a wake of turbulence, but that doesn’t invalidate it. Whose does not [cause turbulence]? Your current awareness is a good thing, not a bad thing, only it is even less accustomed, for you, than for most thoughtful people in their old age, because you have been in a very tight bubble all your life.
I must forgive myself for being myself, I suppose.
More like, you must accept that every good quality comes at a price, every good intention may come with accompanying drawbacks for any and all concerned; any kind of life is going to be a truck at high speed, buffeting other cars and usually not knowing.
Your way of living is your way of living. How could it be different and you be the same? It is an easy trap that people fall into for others – don’t fall into it yourself about yourself – to say, “They’d be perfect if they would just be or not be X, if they would just acquire or lose this habit, if they would just stay what they are, only change.”
All right, I see that. As you say so often, we never have the data, for ourselves or for anybody else.
No harm in summing up, or weighing, just don’t confuse a provisional judgment with certainty or accuracy. Time enough for certainty and accuracy after you are no longer entangled in 3D perspective.
So as a practical guide, look on the bright side.
You are being sardonic, but what possible harm can it do, in any ambiguous situation, to look on the bright side? It won’t lead to bitterness or despair or anywhere negative. And the bright side is always there. So is the dark side. It is just a matter of where you determine to spend your time.
Re-reading, with Monday’s, I see I could almost put this out to my friends. Could, with necessary deletions.
But don’t need to. Only, you see? Something given for your benefit is not satisfying to you unless you can share it at least with one person, preferably with more. That isn’t everybody’s response to such things. It is one of the ways you are different. Should you not recognize that such differences seen separately may look like eccentricities or defects, but tighter make up a functioning whole? And of course it is true for everyone, whether they spill it in public or not.
I see that. I have become increasingly aware, over the years, that biographers say as much about themselves (usually unconsciously) as they do about their subjects. I have become impatient at biographers who are too critical, who essentially say their subject should have been more this, should have been less that, and miss the fact that, had he been more this or less that, it would be a different life in all respects, not just in the limited surgical-strike way the biographer imagines. That’s a long-winded way of saying I recognize the critical carping in myself when I see it in biographers.
What would Napoleon without ambition be?
Emerson said, Thoreau.
And missed the point of Thoreau’s life (in that mood) by wishing his life had had qualities that would have pushed out the reason he had come to become. You understand our rhetorical question: How could anyone be what they came to be, if they didn’t contain the qualities they were created with? What they do with those qualities is of course a matter of their living them, and to a certain degree, constructive criticism is appropriate. But such choices flow from their beginnings, and you can’t know if they are doing “well” or “badly” from the outside, and they can’t know from the inside. Looking at one’s missed opportunities is fine. Looking at one’s life as if it were nothing but missed opportunities is not good judgment. If you are going to obsess on missed opportunities (many of which are anyway only theoretical), obsess equally on taken opportunities. If on defects, then equally on qualities. If on sins, then on meritorious counter tendencies and actions.
Don’t tilt the scales.
Don’t load the scales, either by assuming you are better than you are (weighing intentions and not execution) or worse (weighing consequence and not circumstances).
As I look over what we have written, I see that I am inclined to publish it mostly because when I have published similar glimpses, others have seen an image of their own perplexities and have had the courage to say so. I won’t name them, but there are some who leave comments [on my blog].
And they, encouraged by you, are by commenting encouraging you back. And others, of course. That’s how people can help each other, by giving them glimpses behind the mask.
I guess I’ll go start typing. Thanks for all this.
Start with Monday’s, as you have been thinking. Only, feel free to edit, lest later you regret too much candor, and hesitate to match it.
I’ll type it all out first, and then we’ll see. Thanks for your able assistance, as always.