Friday, April 02, 2010

This Is It

The human condition: one of profound loneliness.

Everywhere I went today, people were trying to connect with one another, terrified that they might, as in doing so, we disappear slightly.

All you have to do to make a fortune is figure out how to help people belong to something. We are desperate for community, but simultaneously—at least in my case—resistant to the idea we might be part of one.

Philosophers come together, each and every one imagining he or she is unique, kicking and screaming at the same time that nobody has the same interests. How do we get to be the special member of a community where everyone is special?

Every time I almost merge into the oneness of everything, I notice myself disappearing and get scared, which pulls me back immediately into noticing the differences; then I feel alone again. And this repeats itself over and over again for me and everybody, I’m sure, even though I’m the only one experiencing it the way I do, of course.

I sure did ignore lot of human beings today. There were my friends and child at breakfast time; then, those two homeless people on the way to the train; I think I managed to retreat all the way into myself until I talked to the philosopher in line at the conference; then, even though I made it to Hunan for lunch, I never really conversed with anyone until I was making plans for the future with my colleague; on the bus, I did manage to give up my seat to a child’s mother, and when I arrived at the talk which brought me down here, I exchanged a few ideas with the speaker; afterwards, it was mostly walking and imagining what might be.

If it weren’t for the people who already know me, no one would even be aware I really exist. If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure I’d know I do either.


Blogger btm said...

I was writing about this a couple days after you did, in a much less articulated fashion. I tend to write when I'm looking for an emotional outlet more often than anything else anymore. I'd written about this path of thought previously, every time builds on the last in an interesting way.

Thanks for being you.

4:19 PM  

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