Saturday, February 12, 2011

a shift

I have a mental defect. Yes, indeed. I want confluence and homogeneity. On my terms. I want to drench you with my soul until you are spluttering and the wetness of my mind is dripping through your hair. I want you to think and feel just like me.

Such drunken, naked, unashamed narcissism! Damn! Even my delusions are spectacular and should be interesting to you. Inspire you toward a wish to be similarly deluded about nearly everything. See, I have thought up stuff that is so...marvelous! It doesn't matter if it meets no criteria of correctness or rationality. Whatever I'm wrong about, I'm spectacularly and exotically wrong! People who are right about stuff make my spine itch and twitch. So...don't you wanna be like me? Please? I want to take over your soul and plant my flag on top of your skull!

Seriously though, I have always felt deeply that there is a Form to the world. It bothered me to think that form was shattered into six billion pieces of idiosyncracy. Naturally, I felt that my idiosyncracy must be a most poetic and exemplary one.

But last night, there was a kind of shift. Last night, my opinion changed. I read this from War & Peace:

This was the recognition of the freedom of every man to think, to feel, and to look at things in his own way; the recognition of the impossibility of altering a man's conviction by words. This legitimate individuality of every man's views, which had in old days troubled and irritated Pierre, now formed the basis of the sympathetic interest he felt in people.

Yes, convictions about things come through stretched-out time and the tumble of thought-marbles in our heads. I am now going to celebrate the different realities of others. Instead of fretting because they aren't jumping deliriously into my mind. Like Pierre, I'm gonna be open to contraries. Even allow pieces of my own soul to dissolve into others.

(By the way -- as much as I like the War stuff and the Peace stuff in War & Peace, I adore Tolstoy's counterintuitive analysis of historical contemporary commentators and later historians are mistaken in attributing much significance of effect to the decisions of "great men" inside the flow of events.)

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