Self Fear


WHO are you BEFORE you are black, white, brown, man, woman, gay, straight, Jedi, et cetera?

Don’t bother answering. Nobody knows that shit.

Maybe that’s why we ‘cling’ to our identities, at least they are some THING; some tangible and easily relatable thing to be exact. Just look around. There are millions upon millions of people who LOOK just like YOU! People you can IDENTIFY with. You now have somewhere to place your SELF. Doesn’t matter if it’s a shaky, superficial foundation…just pile some ‘culture’ on top to weigh it down.

For those of you who read that and are thinking this…

    I HAVE to be [BLANK] because that’s what everybody keeps telling me I am.

Who the hell is everybody?! Aren’t they just other ‘lost ones’ clinging to tenuous-ass identities? Why listen to them? Besides, all they’re REALLY doing is telling you WHAT you are. Nobody can tell you WHO you are because, as I stated above, nobody REALLY knows; hence the constant confusion, the constant fighting, the constant FEAR!!!!

Relative distinctions are heavily reliant on the existence of other relative distinctions; so all of you out there talking about how proud you are to be this or that go find someone who isn’t this or that and thank them for YOUR identity because without them you wouldn’t BE anything……well, maybe you’d just be you, but once a-goddamn-gain we don’t have any idea who we REALLY are so…

Maybe there’s a way to find out. Maybe we can navigate the murky, gray unknown that is the self (a frontier more confusing to us than the far reaches of space) to get closer to—but still remain far away from—an understanding of who we truly are.

Nah. That’s too scary…and pointless. Why dig if all we’re going to discover is just more dirt?

Maybe that’s why we go an’ pull a The Village and demonize the inner-self as a place we should never venture; but we’re very curious beings and curiosity has a way of subverting all of our superficial bullshit—our curious minds contradict our appearance, our gender, our sexuality, our culture, our religion, our actions; just everything that we THINK we are. But we REALLY want to be ‘somebody.’ Not just some wispy, barely-there, unidentified ‘force’ inside a rapidly decaying fleshy shell. We wanna be like the pridefeul ones; they seem so confident. Just listen to ’em. Shouting full-throat about WHO they are, joyfully asserting their [BLANK]ness. Maybe we can get lost in the noise; learn a few party lines to recite whenever we feel our makeup fading.

For those of you who read that and are thinking this…

    Pride is the result of marginalization. My pride is a defiant stand against my oppressors.

Hmmmmmm… Self-discovery via marginalization, eh? I’ve always found that a bit peculiar; especially when you consider that prior to being made aware of the fact that we are different/inferior we were closer to our true selves. Pride might just be the evolution of oppression; a reinterpretation of it. Just blustery over-compensation for our exploited innocence…

Remember back when you were a kid and you had no bloody clue who you were SUPPOSED to be? Remember foolishly thinking you could be whatever the hell you wanted to be? And then adults (former children) came in and ruined you. Turned you into another SELF-OPPRESSION machine. Another not-too-convinced-that-any-of-this-shit-is-really-working-but-you-can’t-help-but-go-along-with-it-’cause-who-are-you-to-rock-the-boat peddler of “If you’re ‘this’ you need to do ‘that,’ if you’re ‘that’ you need to do ‘this.'” Now you have kids of your own and when they challenge these rules via machine-gun questioning (The Why Expansion1) you just shoot back bullshit-laden “Because that’s the way IT absolutely IS” answers at ’em. They fight your nonsense for a spell, but eventually concede and groove into a life that’s little more than a constant effort to suppress their inquisitive natures.

Are we so afraid of death that we kill curiosity as curiosity can (possibly) lead to death? Not just physical death, but the death of our self-oppression. We might just dig our rigidly defined roles. They’re like comfy blankets that muffle the screams of our imprisoned self; that nameless, faceless, formless, insatiably curious being we want nothing to do with2. Maybe the essence of our selves is PURE curiosity. Pure in that it doesn’t know the absolute nature of itself—it is unaware of what it SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be curious about; it’s JUST insatiable curiosity as in it IS insatiable curiosity; infinite indifferent peculiarity. Some of us look at this indifference and see infinite something, others see infinite nothing. Both assertions are ABSOLUTELY right because it has ABSOLUTELY no desire to correct us. It’s JUST curious.

1. Many different desires dance within us, which we can choose to actualize or not. That is it. That is the height of our power—regulating what desires manifest themselves as action. We don’t have any control over the nature of our desires though. Oxymoronically, they are ours and not ours at the same time. Certainly, things like our environment, experiences and genetics have something to do with their nature, but what do WE have to do with them? When we talk about the things we like and do not like we think we are sharing the details of our unique identities, but do we really know why we like or dislike anything? And if we doubt our reasons how can we be certain that our emotions truly belong to us?

You may dislike a movie because you thought the ending was disappointing. But why was it disappointing? Oh, because they didn’t let you know what happened to that one guy. Well, why did you want to know what happened to that one guy? Oh, you liked him. Why did you like him? Oh, because he had dark hair and was funny. Well, what about dark-haired funny guys do you like? Oh, your favorite uncle had dark hair and was funny. What about him was funny?

Okay, I think it’s safe to assume that you know where I’m going with this. I call it the Why Expansion. With my questioning I’m trying to find the ‘core’ reason why you disliked the ending. All the reasons mentioned are superficial, they are simply layers obscuring the core reason. Now get this…it is impossible to determine what lies at the core of our feelings about anything. The more superficial layers we peel away the closer we may ‘feel’ we are getting to the core, but this is merely a relative closeness based on how far we get away from the initial reason, but since there is no absolute core we will always be infinitely far away. This applies to everything. From cells to stars to rocks to the impetus behind the creation of the hated movie. Seems we will never know the ultimate why. But it’s kinda fun chasing it. Maybe the chase is the ultimate why. But why do we have to chase? Why can’t The Absolute Truth just present itself to us? Are we born with it? Maybe the chase is what creates friction, or the energy that powers existence. Constant movement creates constant existence. Or maybe—damn, here we go again. Just an expanding, branching mess. We think we’re moving, making progress, but we always end up back here.

2. Some of us revere the self. Well, only after we split it up into a few different pieces and give each one a unique name and nature.

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