Vanity arises when you believe beauty is a moral or social virtue. True virtue needs no classification.
Perhaps another approach… Universally, we all display neurotic behaviour. Neurosis is defined as the display and perseverance in any non adaptive behaviour, something you do that serves no definable purpose, moves you no closer to any goal. Why is this? Why do we so often explain our reason for behaviour as “just because”? “Just because I feel like it” is a very common reason isn’t it?
Because we feel shame to say other wise? To say we don’t know how to do anything else.
I offer that rather than shame, we experience fear, and we behave in those neurotic ways as a way of easing that fear, easing transition. We often claim that our little quirky behaviours are just our personality. We say things like, “It’s just who I am.” Why do we believe this?
So we don’t have to stop doing them? So we don’t have to start doing something else. We know that inside of ourselves is a force that pushes us onward and it feels like death to us. Freud even spoke of it loosely as being a death wish. We experience a strange gratification from being on the edge even while we fear approaching it at every turn.
Habits? It’s easier to stay in your habits than break them? Actually, it’s easier to keep doing something than to recover our sense of touch, of being in touch, our orientation. People even commonly complain that engaging in the activities that promote sensation, engagement, and feeling, it just hurts them too much. They try to convince themselves and others that they just aren’t worth the risk, the time and effort. It’s even become a syndrome in Japan, and this was before the Fukushima incident. Young people were avoiding seeking relationships, or forming things even remotely like family groups because they believe it’s just too hard, too complicated.
Louis CK even does stand-up comedy on that. Yes. Another comedian even remarked that every joke is about status change. Though we don’t commonly connect those two ideas, all comedy is indeed about pain and fear. Fear being the core of pain. Pain as an objective phenomenon is actually too varied. It’s hard to ascribe a single set of features to, but fear is universal.
We like them because they get us laughing at things that would otherwise make us cry.
Our core consciousness is our feeling of touch, our feeling of our body, non-rational, vibrant and alive, and despite all our best efforts it’s the defining context for everything we think and learn and imagine. You literally can not imagine anything without feeling. Can you recall any experience without also bringing up how you felt about it?
No, and I’ve noticed when I’ve stopped feeling about something, I’ve forgotten it.
I can in a sense read someone’s mind from this simple rule. People also speak in the same way that they imagine things. It’s impossible not to and their imagination always follows a theme. It has a general colour or emotional tone to it so I can apply that to anything new the person and I may experience and rather easily deduce what their conclusions are about whatever just happened. Sound like nonsense?
I do this by my sense of touch which is at the core of my synesthesia. Everything for me is not an abstract thing. It’s all a status, all a feeling, all of my personal metaphors revolve around that. I experience everything I see as a manifestation of feeling state. This is why I do so well with animals and young children. It puts me largely on the same page as them. All adults look to me as if they are wounded, hurt or sick if you will, to various degrees of course, some more seriously hurt than others.
It was always a mystery to me why no one tended to their hurts. My parents being my first example. I now know that these hurts go unmended because to heal them would invalidate their sense of comprehension. They fear being lost and at a loss more than they fear continuing to experience the same old hurts. They cling to their status like a life raft.
So, what to do with all this? Is it time for that?
I’m ready for what to do with it.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.