Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Identity Suicide

When I am furious with myself for some something I want to gather every material possession that I own, open the window and then toss them all out. This way, I imagine that I can start all over and be a completely new person, tricking myself into believing that as the "things" fly out the window, so will all my current distress. Although I have yet to actually carry through with this extreme solution to self hate, it's comforting to a have a contingency plan, should I ever feel I am bad enough to warrant such identity suicide.

I imagine that once I do this house cleaning, I can finally relax. Finally there will be nothing to fill my hours with distraction and sate my urge to keep busy. It's as if things had some magical power over me, leaving me a human doing as opposed to a human being. They do.

This urge to bathe myself in stuff has manifested itself over the years in countless artifacts and books, collected and forgotten, tossed into the corners of unused spaces in my home and head and left there, obsolete, no longer of any interest for me. I'm not sure that I'm unique in this. The things that I collect are symbolic to me as "me", each a tiny component of myself made real and tangible. My guess is that we all need this reassuring confirmation of our reality until we reach such enlightenment wherein we fully accept that reality itself, in particular our own, is an illusion While I can clearly grasp the notion that everything outside of me is, in fact, an illusion, I have yet to understand how it is possible for one illusion, me, to observe another illusion, you.

Actually, I can't get myself to toss or give my stuff away. I can't even come to putting my stuff where the rest of the world does theirs- in the front yard, in spring, next to a tag sale sign.

Here's what stops me from opening the window when I unhappy with some part of me. I am certain that if I toss my "stuff" out the window, then the "I " I wish to go with it WON"T go with it. I'll be treating the symptoms and will accomplish nothing other than creating a empty spaces in my house and mind where new echoes beg for new things to absorb them.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rob M. said...

The thought that comes to me on reading Identity Suicide is "how terrified we are to face our alone-ness". If we get rid of all those things that prevent us from feeling our aloneness and lack of identity, then what's left is the feeling of aloneness; and the feelings of being helpless & hopeless because we don't know who the hell we are.
Some people seek enlightenment to avoid their feelings. They don't have to see or feel the horror of an abused childhood as long as they're a butterfly flittering from flower to flower. The truth is there's a big difference between real enlightenment and pseudo-enlightenment. With real enlightenment, we have to experience our pain and process it. With pseudo-enlightenment, all we need to do is deny and escape it.
At the very least, to surrender our pain, anger, shame & so forth to a higher spirit; we need to connect & process those feeling. And process is more than just catharsis, it's being and getting to know your feelings.
I, like many others in this world, am pretty fragile. In my whole life, I may only exerience a sip of the love & serenity that's inside; and nothing more. But- hey-I might as well put my energy into a higher priority or die trying. The alternative is living a superficial meaningless life.RobM

2:29 PM  
Blogger Pebble said...

In my dad's house are my prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses and a wallet with pictures from high school.
In my basement are gray tubs with things I don't need, or use.

I put an end table out by the road last fall and an ugly old lamp with a free sign. Someone took them! Energy flows as things move out.Things going back in the river.

A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift." The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, " I wish I could give him this beautiful moon." This story is from the site below:
http://www.rider.edu/~suler/zenstory/moon.html

1:33 PM  
Blogger Pebble said...

oh, I want to add, on one of my walks, I found the greatest medicine cabinet for the bathroom in someone's trash, and a pine table for the basement in another pile of trash.

Letting go of things keeps energy moving. Keeps things in the river.

1:38 PM  

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