Death is no violation of life. We experience little deaths all through life. Death feeds life, and life death, because they aren’t really separate.
Why do people “self” so much? I can’t think of another word for it. They choose words and actions that support one abstract goal, a hollow goal from what I can tell. It leaves them feeling empty and alone, this self image. “Who do I think I am?” Everyone seems to have an answer for that. Hell, I’m trying to find an answer for that, because as much as I have found a bedrock to my own being, I now have reason to want to grow, to become more the man I was naturally meant to be. I guess emotionally supportive and nurturing relationships do that to you.
Is the ‘self image’ a collection of – or the sum of – those echoes that come back to us from our relationships, and from our circumstances? The self image appears to be memes, units of cultural ideation. I witnessed my peers trying on various concepts in high school and even in their early twenties. By their thirties they haven’t found anything new to do. They have just given up trying anything new and just cling to the few memes that managed to stick as patchwork and are as drab as the resulting self image.
In clinical paranoia, which differs from a normal well adjusted person only by a matter of degree, the person suffers from delusions of self reference. In order to compensate for their feelings, no matter how they came about them, they adapt memes that offer them a sense of either self worth, that seem to fix what they believe is wrong with them, or they adopt beliefs about why they feel so uneasy, so uncomfortable in the world. A mysterious pain that they will over time ascribe to just about everything under the sun both in their environment and in their imagination.
As I said, everyone is paranoid, or at least every “normal” person is paranoid. Everyone displays delusions of self reference, and imagined rationals of causality that explain why they are who they believe they are. Some things always supposedly lead people to become the way they are. None of this is actually true. No amount of causality forces you to be anything, and no idea beyond your simple experience of self has any real substance. It’s like mistaking a suit of clothing for a person, or seriously trying to have a conversation with someone on a bus stop billboard and getting angry when they don’t respond like a real person. Your imagined self doesn’t and can never respond like a real person.
How often do you find yourself saying things or doing things that just feel really fake? They just aren’t you and have no home in anything you feel or experience to be your genuine self?
More so in public than in private.
A famous author, whose name I forget actually, defined the genuine self in that way. You are who you are in the dark, where no one can see you. They have even tested that in labs, even under FMRI. Nature “gifted” me with a form of darkness I am formed to carry around with me in my own brain, so I don’t have that internal conflict.
Do “myths” also have that function? Telling us where we are in the “normal” sense of things. Actually, myths have the opposite function, they are non normative. This is why they so often seem strange, even psychotic. Ever read any of the original mythological stories or even fairy tales?
Our ancestors were considerably less inhibited than we are today. They spent much less time pretending at social roles. If you hunted, you were a hunter. If you had a strong hand at swinging an axe and gathering wood, you were a woodsman. Things weren’t much more complicated than that. The myths are distorted truths, but closer to the truth than what we now have.
So, workers, fighters, and those who prayed? The medieval caste system? Actually, think further back, tribal system.
I’m reading Gnostic gospels right now, highly mythological. “The female must become male to enter the kingdom of heaven…” and all that. It’s got to be myth! There is a reference to a female absolute being. It’s a rather esoteric reference. She was the embodiment of divine compassion where the male being was the embodiment of divine law, and the early prophecies make mention of the messiah who did not dwell in his fathers house in the heavens to start with, but his mothers, the shekina.
Sophia? Her original name is forgotten though some have tried to make educated guesses. Shekina was a metaphor, a title of sorts. This is part of what gave rise to the mother cults in fringe Catholicism.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.