Friday, July 29, 2011

"Negative" Thoughts

Looking inward is terrifying. My own potential. My potential to destroy as well as create. My power.

We throw that word around meaninglessly. Kierkegaard had it right. The true sadness is that we are unaware of ourselves. Not in the “I like bacon”; “I don’t like liver” sort of way. In the way I know that I can take a life because I have faced that. I can take a life. I could end the sum total of another’s experiences.

Whether I put these sentences together coherently with a set of pre-determined rules is what brings order to my life. Duh. It is order that brings order. It is structure that lets us become docile and complacent in our humanity. In our honesty. I cannot be honest as a painter because I am too wrapped up in the order that I have. Values first. It must read small. Remember to make it colorful. Squint. The same order that makes math fun. PEMDAS. It is a way of sheltering ourselves. It is a way of helping our “sanity” at the loss of our self understanding. Laws and restrictions keep us from knowing who we truly are. How would I communicate without this structure—this language? I will likely never know. And that may be my loss.

My generation faces an existential crisis because we have followed all the rules. We have not had to question the constraints we, and our society put on us. We fill ourselves with the menial—the trivial—so that we can be at peace with our absolute lack of self awareness. Our cubical jobs, our mortgage, or boss, our teacher, our paycheck, the kids, the news, these are the signs of our constraint. Our constraint is our belief that these things matter.

We face the only time we get to experience this adventure into the human condition and we fill ourselves with the trivial, first impression, skin deep observation of what true power and exquisite potential we possess. To fully understand these things may be our undoing. The people who have faced themselves often don’t come back. They become locked in the reality of their true and absolute existence. They are forced to relive the consequences of having looked into the mirror and having seen themselves. No longer potential but actualized. And I can say I never want to see more than my potential. I don’t want to see those “Dark” aspects manifest. I don’t want to see my true potential power. My true “Evil.” I am too comfortable with my estranged relation to myself. But without my “Negative Self” actualized, I will always live with a stranger in my head. That is my existential despair. The trick is that I must never forget my potential. I must never forget my other self.

He may be the greatest enemy to my happiness, but the greatest enemy to my humanity is the voice that disregards him as “Evil.”

(This is an unedited journal entry.)


  1. Dude. Holy shit.

    I like this.

    I'm thinking maybe it's possible that as we grow and mature and progress as a person, our "potential" (that "other me") changes as well, or at least our ability to create an imagination of that person changes. I think that whether we have a fixed potential or not doesn't matter so long as we are aware that we can actually unearth that person through self-discovery and exploration and creatively imagine and act on who we imagine that person to be. I feel like self-improvement and maturity largely comes from the process of imagining and re-imagining that person--hopefully so that that person becomes closer and closer to who we would ideally be--and then making a habit of actually being that person. Maybe who we are is not so dependent on what our potential is, but on how much progress we make in unearthing and shaping that potential, and acting on that process.

    Then again, I don't know anything, really.

    Just trying to put a little positive spin out there, perhaps.

  2. Oh, and the painting is awesome, too. But that's a given.