Missing Things

02 June 2011

Moment of clarity, possibly?

I just finished 'I Don't Want To Kill You', by Dan Wells. Brilliant, but mostly unrelated. Now I'm thinking about why I find mentally-ill people so sympathetic; it's apparently a bit unusual. Mom, at least, has never hesitated to give voice to the fact that she finds it disturbing and wishes I wouldn't; I don't find it disturbing at all, and unlike some of the other things I enjoy or at least don't mind, I'm not even entirely sure why it might be seen as disturbing. Sociopaths, schizophrenics, malignant narcissists, what-have-you are all in basically the same position as the rest of fallen man but even worse off, because their suffering is, I don't know, an intrinsic part of who they are? (This is kind of a part I can't express well, but it gets down to the idea that personality disorders are harder to treat than broken bones.) It frustrates me to have Mom worry that this kind of concern is itself psychologically unhealthy. (Of course this may all just be justificationary reaction on my part, but I'm increasingly unconfident in that and will continue so until I know otherwise.)

This leads me back around to "I Don't Want To Kill You", because of why I love John Cleaver so much as a protagonist. Not only is he suffering from sociopathy, but he is consciously aware of, and fighting, it. Self-awareness is key. It's a meta-recursive strange-loop thingy, which as I concluded from Godel, Escher, Bach is both an intrinsic component of the human intellect and even more intrinsically a divine attribute, and therefore a part of how man is made in God's image. It is, consequently, absolutely and totally mind-boggling to me in a violently facepalming why would you do that screaming kind of way why anyone would consciously do that, yet circumstantial, testimonial, and, yes, internal evidence suggests that it happens all the time. Forgetfulness and apathy, mostly. But even that aside, it often seems people don't even try. Or think that they're already doing it - I know I'm not the only one who's noticed this. This empathy business doesn't seem to be all it's cracked up to be, frankly. Can't people honestly examine and question themselves? Why is 'DOUBT' such a scary word?

This is where my chain of reasoning breaks down, because the moment of clarity has passed, I am falling asleep, and my attention and thoughts have been drifting into other places even since I started writing this. But, it seems to me, I can try to bring this to peoples' attention. Help to complete that particular strange loop, raise self-awareness, whatever. I'm sure conscious rejection is possible, if inexplicable, but I can help prove the choice to more fully resemble the image of God. I need to write about it, because that's what I can do and what I seem to be decent at. And that comes back to casting traditional 'them's in a different light, playing Devil's Advocate in person, writing stories that enable readers to question whether that are themselves mad, or villainous, or absolutely in the right. Pride is pervasive and in need of deflating.

This moment of clarity, of course, is foremost just a restatement of what I already believe, albeit one that has seen multiple pieces of that net suddenly 'click' together, as well as one that demands rather more action from me than I usually give it. (Sloth is definitely my worst vice.) It's not really all that clear, even, considering how often I point out I'm unsure of some bit, which rather lends support to the idea that this is just a rationalization of my own preexisting behavior. That said, I can not think of a single thing that would contradict this and show why it might be wrong, but, of course, "the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it", &c. (Side-question: does the darkness understand the darkness? The light presumably understands both...) ...and there I go fixating on meta-recursion again. Plus I've implied a distinction between those who are self-aware and those who are not, which given my loathing for "Us-vs-Them" categories makes me quite a hypocrite. And that sentence establishes me as a self-aware hypocrite trying not to be, which I happen to think is the best kind of hypocrite to be, placing me back in the "good-guy" slot in my own mind... though the fact that I feel wrong considering myself a "good-guy" could just be showcasing a symptom of depression that I should be trying to avoid... but that statement is itself just a rejection of responsibility on my part...

Given that entire last paragraph, I'm really praying that this note at least started out on the right track.

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