A Note of Spite

(note: I saw a crumpled paper at the library months ago, in it was written in pencil and some erasures. gave me that Dosteyevskian chill and disgust as well as pity –Telmah)

I’m into BLOOD recently. It’s so strange because I have this strange tingly feeling and I get goosebumps and shivers, then heat rising up my neck whenever I think about blood on someone getting tortured. In the past months or weeks I have been spontaneously imagining strangers, passers-by, friends (and rarely some family) to get punched in the face—hard—until their noses would ooze out blood, sometimes, I would smile with those scenes in my head. I’m not angry at them or anything. . . I just find it funny. Most recently, as I was fixated on the gridlock, I even wished that there’d be a collision action from somewhere, like those big cargo trucks and hot-headed drivers anxious to get somewhere. And I was just right there, almost in a trance (and almost drooling), with the spectacle in my head where the attention of all the hypocrites around me are in the big, invisible vehicular road collision in front of me and not happening anytime soon.

On my way home, I was in the bus. Again, in a gridlock. It was raining, the road was slippery. I had my earphones on blasting either “I Keep Mine Hidden” by The Smiths or “The Ghosts That We Knew” by Mumford and Sons, but I (along with the hypocrites) heard the screeching of tires as it bumped into a sidewalk. Everyone turned their heads as if they were concerned—stupid hypocrites, they should have their eyes poked out by their dinner forks right then and there—not me, I looked a little later because it seemed at that moment the most natural and social thing to do since they were all checking if somebody got hurt. Even our stupid, old driver was looking back in feigned concern; stupid enough to not notice that another car changed lane and took the space in front of us. So I looked briefly and saw that it was a motorcycle; the stupid motorcycle was clogging the traffic behind us as his wheels seemed to be stuck in the gutter. Ah. . . even writing it down here is such a waste of lead and time. Why are those people hypocrites? Because they were expecting blood , they were just as thirsty as for some road action as I was that morning, only they guised it with the mask of concern.

11/2016

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An Apology to My Angst

I like to ruminate in my mind more than write it here. But to set things straight, I was just ruminating on how much I hate people as much as I cling to the fleeting promise of their attention. My aversion and evasion of human contact, I think, has always been because of my fear of people and their scrutiny since I have no control over their thoughts compared to how much control and censorship I have over my dreams. Later on, I discovered that this particular fear, angst, nausea, or even despair are caused by an objective and external force contrary to what the definition of anxiety is in general that it is an ‘unfocused fear’, it has no object for it is espoused by ‘nothing’ (this nothing being the projected possibilities the time, situation, action may render). My anxiety is both, that is, the object of my dread are the people—I fear the activity of socializing or asserting myself to them and the possibility that they may or may not criticize me whatsoever. Of course, I understand that you can’t make everyone like you but a part of me says that, “of all the few people I urge myself to meet and interact with, shouldn’t I make the best impression of myself?” This made me bitter, much to my dismay of myself, as this edged me back to my hatred of the so-called “humanity”—or is it ‘human-kind’? But alas! Humans have lost what little kindness is left of them. . . of myself. I have lost compassion for myself because I have adapted the external voices of doubts and insults and made it an internal monologue within myself. It became a routine whenever a challenging situation presents itself I would let myself down before anybody actually would, so the pain won’t be too public. I hope not to be scolded that I didn’t even try or tried harder at relinquishing my fear and loathing of people, I’ve tried to embrace and understand people; I joined university organizations, the student council, I did volunteer works, I went to protests and marches, I joined and was indoctrinated by different church groups, I was even a Marxist and called myself a communist while working in a government office!

But anywhere I looked, people were unkind, they weren’t genuine to one another. Worst there was politics everywhere, a ‘power-struggle’ amongst groups of people—between two people. Society, religion, and politics are supposed band people together but we all end up getting divided by these, I do not call for an abolition of these structures, my only point is that the telos (purpose) of things in our world are not actually performed. Maybe we should call for the Confucian political theory of rectification of names and the ethical maxim of  not doing to others what you do not want others to do unto you so that there will no longer be a disorder in our world, and perhaps the Christian dictum of doing to other what you want others do unto you just to balance things out. People shouldn’t take what is not in their scope and limitations just to ideally fulfill their ambitions and satiate their desires, because the number one fact about desire is that it will never be satisfied. Once you’ve acquired or satisfied your thirst, you will quench and hunger for more. In this sense we can never be truly happy because our desires or concupiscentia lead us to guilt, to more desires, and to existential agonies and ultimately to the suffering of despair. Perhaps it is true that of the oriental belief and possibly Schopenhauer’s claim that 1) life is full of suffering, and 2) our suffering is caused by our desire. Even when you are happy and things may be going well, you will feel uneasy thinking ‘this happiness is just a fleeting moment I need to find something to cover this with another pleasurable experience’. We are continually searching for ourselves but the fact remains that that is just not possible, in a Lacanian sense “the Real” is just impossible to find—we look for it in other people to satisfy our incompleteness thinking that they may be ‘the one’ or my ‘soul mate’, that love is real which would bind two people together, to look for the other half as what Plato’s Symposium told us. Then tell me why there are countless marriages ending up in divorce, annulment, separation and one of their reasons for this is “irreconcilable differences” or when couples break up or get together, more and more are opting for an open-relationship? Because in our commodity fetishistic culture, Tiqqun would tell you, “love is just a word in the dictionary”. We are all Young-girls trying to find ourselves whether in people or things, so long us it seduces us of a promise that we will be completed an finally become happy.

I came to a critical realization that not only our withering world is on the brink of collapse, Marxism is also faulty—faulty in a sense that I cannot live up to its ideals because I am not courageous or strong enough, for I have rooted myself deeply in my solitude, pessimism, and loneliness. Despite this, I would still stand that Marxism is relevant today, perhaps it can still change the world. I would still assert that we are oppressed altogether, but we suffer alone.

My childish attitude has been my coping and defence mechanism against the dizziness that envelopes my whole being around others. I have been fronting this appearance for as long as I can remember that it seems I never grew out of it nor could I longer distinguish my real self. I hope I am yet to be discovered by myself. There were two things I used to mutter to myself: “I hate people. I hate people.” and “I hate school I never liked school.” But a voice within me is arguing that I am bitter because  I cannot maintain a ‘good’ relationship with anyone. It’s mostly I who cannot foster a relationship’ I constantly withdraw back from certain people once we are at the peak of excitement, curiosity, and enthusiasm. All of this in the fear of getting left up there and more nauseous than ever. That is why in the beginning of every new friendship, I immediately probe as to how it will dissipate with me vanishing first. I have not been always successful with this, of course. And it hurts me every time I torment myself whenever I’m left up there in the mountain with the question founded in dread and perfectionism: “where have I gone wrong?” Because you see, I am also looking for what could complete me whether it’s a person, things, hobbies, films, books, work and whatnot. And like anyone else, I will not be able to find that singular thing to identify or complete myself with except this angst, that is me.

Love letter not to be sent

I would look at this with sad delight that every time I see journal notebooks I would think of you. Your kind and witty correspondence with me, how you got me all confused with my own feelings, I suppose emotions have a way of disrupting an individual’s rationality. It’s quite heartbreaking and relieving to know that my limerent feeling is rendered unrequited. It paved way for clarification whether what I feel for you is really love, and I conclude that it isn’t―it’s just limerence. What got me all so confused is that this is the first time I experienced this feeling, that is, of incredible attachment. The fact that I disclosed so much to you about myself more than the people closest to me and you tolerating and responding with sincerity got me so wrapped up with the idea that you like me too. Before this clearer conclusion I even wrote you a “love letter” or a pseudo love letter, and of course I would never really send it to you out of this social phobia. So here it is:

My love for you began as a dispassionate curiosity, I subconsciously warned myself of detrimental consequences it would do me but somehow I thought you wouldn’t be as fascinating as you are to me now. There are so many things I want to write you that I’m afraid that if I hastily start with anything, it might become a hodge podge of irrelevant thoughts. The problem with me is that I’m always interested in almost anyone but nothing holds my attention for a very long time. But when both my interest and attention is held captive, I know I’ll always end up heartbroken. For this reason, I have always tried to only admire historical or fictional characters.

To love someone from afar has always been the best love I can give. It is both selfish and selfless―you see, to give love is to lose love. I believe to not have what you love makes you seek for it harder, therefore it is tragic yet romantic. I’m always weary that once I seize my dreams, I’d jolt out of that beautiful nightmare. I’m afraid you might just be another illusion realized. I fear I would fall out of that enchantment and be disillusioned. Perhaps, I like to torment myself with this deprivation. I’m not being completely honest with this confessional letter, maybe I’m protecting my and your identity. I keep mixing up ideas, that you, as the subject, are being fictionalized. It is possibly a symptom of limerence to piece out ideas of perfection, that I only ever liked the idea of you and not really you. Or is it me feeling the need to conjure up different personalities as the writer of this letter. But NO, everything I have written are all true based on how I feel. Is this a love-letter or a letter of friendship? Do I love you romantically or do I want us to be the best of friends? Why am I even drawn into you, you’re an impossible dream in an impossible reality.

I must be very miserable. . . . to be fixated on the idea, that you might secretly like me. Now I see the complexity brought by not asking. I hope this feelings I have for you is just an idea I can surpass eventually. So when that happens, I become happy again. I wish to never speak with you again. It’s good enough to know I left a good memory to you, I can’t say the same thing about you.

A Panic in My Heart

I woke up with a panic in my heart. It’s the second time it happened. I have been meaning to write of my sorrows and worries somewhere I’m anonymous as I have nobody to talk to anymore, to disclose the dread of my soul. It’s because of me and my anxiety. I gradually withdrew from my friends and acquaintances—I could no longer deal with their happiness and optimism. Their dreams and ambitions make me feel even more helpless and scared, these in turn provoked the closeted secret that I am in fact ‘unfit for this world’ as Pessoa would say; Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ has no ring for me, anybody I see who are happier and eager to own the world than my pathetic self would need no permission to overtake me. Indeed, this is a race to the end and I don’t intend to win it. The natural and biological part of my being laments over the weakness of my spirit, it knows that I am good and I could but also that I would never claim for greatness simply because . . . I am me. I am exhausted of “life” before it even begun. I literally have the scars of the battles I have avoided. I scramble to conceal my struggles because really, what are my problems compared to the problems of other people? This is so when my innermost problem is nowhere to be found; it is anywhere and anything and anyone. I am a petty excuse for a human being that has to think, feel, will, and love. The breaths I emit are no longer the breath of life but the sighs of resignation I often heard from the wretched people I wished not to become.

These sighs of resignation are not all I have given. I lived, for a while, to resist the spectre of my own anguish. I had a great ambition not only for myself but for the people—the marginalized and the oppressed—to be free. I thought, for a time, I was part of something meaningful that fought for the collective ambition of changing the system, freedom from alienation, a compassionate advocacy for the lowly, and an intellectual lifestyle. Together we answered the question for whom and this served as a force for us to continue the struggle. The fiery passion ebbed. Hate and alienation ensued with the critical antithesis, but who is the mass; then resigned to estrangement and sadness all over again. Once, I was called a comrade and whenever I saw a comrade we’d exchange a nod of encouragement—now became estrangement and indifference. My skin which acquired colour through marching and protests against the bureaucratic capitalism—the bourgeoisie—now paled and grayed once again. The mass of people whom I learned to love  and fought from my social phobia are once again the main trigger of my dread. It has evolved into a corporate dread as I am streaming towards the corporate environment.

Preliminaries

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Edvard Munch's "The Scream" classically depicts the internal anguish of an anxious individual.

According to Søren Kierkegaard’s pseudonym, Vigilius Haufniensis, “anxiety is freedom’s actuality as the possibility of possibility”. Now, I must give a preliminary definition of these terms as Haufniensis, in The Concept of Anxiety published in 1844, made his exposition on the phenomenon of anxiety a very complicated one in terms of the ambiguity and circularity of his usage of the concepts such as freedom, possibility, the nothing, actuality, and in the totality of it all, anxiety. So, freedom, he says, is sleeping; he means to say that it is not actualised, that it  is a projection or spirit which is not fleshed or materialised, but since it is in a state of slumber it has the possibility of being awaken and becoming. Since it is a projection, it is also nothing since it has not happened yet, but nothing is not entirely nothing as it is a possibility for something, and in this case freedom is both nothing and a possibility. This is where anxiety makes its appearance, that whenever the face of freedom surfaces anxiety works itself and entangles freedom in itself.

Anxiety appears out of nothing, and nothing is possibility. Anxiety is equivalent to possibility as possibility refers to freedom. Whenever there is possibility (i.e. the possibility of having different options to become whatever one might be) there is anxiety. However, this poses another difficulty for the are infinitesimal choices or decisions to be made but we are in the realm of finitude, this means that among the many choices we may have there is little time and only a few to be actualised which makes each of our decisions even more significant because it is always directed in the future and it would tell us what we would be as if it is already an immediate past. Take for example Hamlet’s to be or not to be enquiry, it is a classic either/or situation and poses an existential dilemma which naturally involves a choice.

Essentially anxiety, angst, dread, anguish or the agony of choice is experienced when there is just too much of possibilities and so little time. With our situation today, it is impossible to deny that anxiety is the primary mood of each of us, since wherever we turn our heads to we see different yet similar choices. This ranges from the brands of clothing, foods, housing to career goals to the brands of smartphones and internet providers to choose from and even to the simple event of watching which film or  which book to read. All of this makes anxiety a debilitating experience because at the end of the day we have a deadline and we internally scream our heads off because of the pressure.