I see something clearly. I think. That’s the way my thoughts have run recently. I wouldn’t call it self-doubt. Not at this point. The reason being is that I know I’m moving forward. I know certain things about where I’m going. I’m definitely seeing and seeking some more of it, but what I’ve learned is that I’m avoiding absolutes. That is exactly why my thoughts have been clear and muddled all at the same time.
I have always felt separate. As I look back upon the constant restlessness that has been in my life, there was an ever present intuition. I knew that I was uncomfortable in almost any setting, but I didn’t know why. Simple insecurity was an inadequate explanation. It went deeper. Only recently have things STARTED to make sense. I was looking for individuality and voice.
More than ever, I don’t and have never wanted to be ordinary. I have always searched for something DIFFERENT. I thought it would be in radio. The problem WAS radio. It has a role in societal conditioning. My vision hadn’t extended BEYOND. So, I fell into playing the role because it superficially stroked the ego. Nightlife was a big part of Las Vegas radio. Is there a greater example of nihilistic actions from those seeking escape? I thought I was unique by having access to this culture of excess. The desire to be unique was ultimately illusion. In a world where you aren’t noticed unless you’re “creative” or “privileged”, I fell into the very trap I was trying to avoid. I didn’t realize that I wanted acceptance by society. But I was never comfortable playing that role; it was all a lie.
Through my journey, it has come to me that I am now rejecting society. From the structures imposed upon us – schools, churches, working environments, politics, consumerism – to the way we are expected to respond in a culture imposed at birth, it’s all control, absurdity, conformity to those in power. So I reject organized religion, political affiliations and materialism. It has been said that most of our decisions are based on a form of fear. Perhaps even this decision is a fear of being “normal”.
Ideological arguments become tools in the hands of power. We are told that it is in these structures we will find meaning, satisfaction. We point out control and tyranny in those who oppose us. Yet, when we gain control, we discover that at the root we were only seeking power. Then we become what we were trying to avoid. Tyrants realize this. The tyrant is not on the OUTSIDE. The tyrant is INSIDE the structures/ideologies that one subscribes to. In fact, tyranny is common in every individual. We are all fearful of what we don’t know or understand, so our initial reaction is not love, but control. Control both of our own lives and imposing what we feel is right upon others.
In a very real way, I am confronting questions with viewpoints that have always been there. We ARE a product of conditioning, DNA, past environments and cultures. Each one experiences life different than the next, but is any way of looking at the world truly original? Isn’t everything we see or think a conglomeration built upon the teachings of the past but with new arrangements? So, I’m aware that my search is much like anyone else’s. How we interpret it all is a part of our individuality.
That also explains why so much in life is subjective, such as cultural tastes. My most recent readings have been Richard Wright and Toni Morrison, both of whom I’ve read obsessively over the past week. Three works from Wright and two from Morrison.
Both of these writers appeal to me because of the themes I recognize in my own life. Toni incorporates many references to avoiding something so much that you become it. That has had a great influence on my personal and political views. Wright has a way of making you FEEL. Never have I been taken into the mind of a character and had such an intense experience. Wright’s book The Outsider pulled together much of this for me, because I FEEL outside of things.
Much like Wright’s character Cross Damon, I recognize that there are certain levels of understanding that people reach. I became a Socialist because I believe in love and equality, and through living in a Capitalistic society, I could see that there were no answers there. The drive to power is so blatant in Capitalism that it’s encouraged in everyone. However, Socialism is also a power grab, but it preaches equality and “deals in human hearts” as Wright says. That’s why it can be deceiving. Yet, someone must lead in Socialism just as in Capitalism. Therein lies the problem and the open door for tyranny. I still subscribe to many Socialistic ideas in the abstract (because they are based on people not people as commodities), but minds become suspicious and paranoid in an ideology where one class controls another. The same is true in Capitalism.
So, I face myself with the question. What does it all mean? I wish I could tell you. I know that looking out for others is the only thing that makes sense. Love really is all there is. However, even love has its pitfalls. Justice is a form of love. How do we determine unjust situations? Will solving those situations turn the oppressed into the oppressor? That may happen, but do we stop trying? Do we adopt a nihilistic attitude or do we love? I’m disillusioned with society, but I’m not disillusioned with love. It’s the only thing I can find that makes any sense whatsoever.
(This blog to be continued for a lifetime)