Sunday, May 16, 2010

On abandonment

I suppose there is a notion that one must resent the world because of this, or resent one's immediate surroundings, the people in one's environment...perhaps even the choices that led to the immediate present - the here and now - even though to do the last, really, is just to resent oneself, or at least a past self. One must also be careful to look at the idea that an abandonment might be a twofold rejection or leave-taking, reflecting two ways, or folded in upon itself. After this there is the realization that abandonment is a gift, and onwards with the dialectic...and if this might not be true (specifically in one's exact situation, or even generally) at least there is the illusion-addled consciousness that interprets it, momentarily as the truth (and so feels a solace, which is true enough), and rests in regret for moments or months or a lifetime before finally moving forward in horror from decay, in a convulsive gasp and outreaching towards life, out at the future, at new potentials. So, too, one tries to console oneself with the idea that abandonment, dissolution, and eventual disappointment are necessary, that entropy is the order of the universe, the unbreachable sequence of reality unfolding...or at least moving through time. No matter what one had accomplished or felt, then, the end result is the same, and from a mile above the Earth's surface, all surfaces are pale and gray, all lives meaningless. This is the penetration of the objective (and thus inhuman, belonging to no single human) into the subjective...and I suppose it is a small comfort (even for the pessimist, or cynic - who revenges himself on reality and life) in the direst extremes of experience. The suffering subject wants to hold onto its subjectivity - and its pain - until the last moment, as all instincts of life aim for the cohesion or union of the individual consciousness as a bulwark against the silence and cold of nonexistence. Life fears death, even though the living subject doesn't understand death or even his own fear of it. Does death fear life?

But abandonment...I suppose one has a choice how to interpret these acts, these experiences. As with so many things, the resulting inferences, observations, explanations, and "lessons" are actually a matter of perception and personal decision. Of course there are truths in reality, in history and in the specific sequence of events, that a perceptive individual who strives for accuracy can not escape, but even these are of course colored by biases in perception - the most basic errors in judgment being already in place after one second of memory is created, after one moment is tallied for recall. The pessimist colors events in one fashion, the cynic another, the optimist a third, etc. I suppose I should be liberal in allowing as many potential attitudes and interpretations as there are humans, or moments, each human taking on the perceptions and personally-interpreted history of each successive moment, always changing, always in a state of flux. Seen in this way perception and bias can be pointed to as infinite reserves...or at least reaching towards infinity, out of the past, out of collective history. No one single truth exists...but of course this is also the crux of rationalization in the face of disappointment. An opposite but no less powerful method (a mirror method, in fact) can be used to dissolve "positive" experiences.

I think I will choose, at this point, to interpret abandonment and my latest regrets as positive experiences, in that they have opened new paths for me in life. There is also something cavalier about this decision, and I undertake it in order not only to mock myself and my past but deliberately/ironically force myself along new lines in order to tease my own boredom. Of course I can not say what would have happened if events had taken other twists and turns, or if my happiness and satisfaction would have turned to disappointment eventually anyway. Is there such a thing as lasting happiness? Can all events, even the most negative, be eventually turned towards one's "advantage" through the methodology of selective memories, rationalization, blindness, and an optimism that constantly looks away - in short, through denial? Is denial necessary, eventually? It is impossible to trace the results of any action, or any thought, really...beyond the most immediate consequences and results there is a haze of indecipherable multiplicity, each sequence of dependent effects increasing exponentially. It may be true that the human animal, by design or by choice (and a choice of culture or civilization, a choice developed over years and years of human growth and expansion...perhaps through self-knowledge?), is simply unable to grasp the consequences of its thoughts, emotions, and reactions on the external side of an inadequate immediacy (in space as well as in time), and thus...stretched to its logical conclusion, unable to see the eventual consequences (removed from immediacy by only two or three degrees) of any action, any attitude, any desire. We, after all, are not omniscient. Another thought, though: if all consequences are indeterminate, and all consequences of the second or third degree are invisible and neither positive or negative (morally) - as one can not dictate reality or the eventual effects of negative or positive actions, actions rebounding after the second or third degree to their opposite, morally - then is there a "negative" or "positive" effect that is not subjective or a matter of bias? And is this logic completely divorced from irrationality, immediate judgments, desire, and the emotions? Can one desire the negative, or the harmful? Can desire wish for its own extinction?

And it's interesting, I suppose, how changes in perception, even in backwards-reckoning, ruminating or reflecting upon changes in one's interpretations of past events and the memories of those events (thoughts about memories become in themselves experiences, and then memories...and on and on), can be a conscious and willing decision to point out boundaries for suffering...or rather, as requests from fate, from experience, from life itself, for suffering to end. "Here," says the soul, "I will change everything I think and believe, just let me stop suffering, let life here cease."

U. Amtey
November 24, 2004
22:56 PM CST
NP: Skepticism - Farmakon