Empty Days

Friday, May 27, 2005



To my critics.

Or should I say - my readers. It's amazing that I have any but apparently I do. In fact I am so nonplussed at this profusion of readership that I am almost inclined to see it as one person mimicking a crowd of many (not at all rare in the virtual realms, as a matter of fact). On the other hand, I lay my guts so very open for everyone to see that anyone would be naturally inclined to valuate, pass judgment, and give advice - at the sight of this endlessly sinking boat which is my life as I paint it.

So what do they say in such cases... "Oh gentle reader" etc. "do not begrudge" and some such other. In fact, I am not very good at taking advice even when it is plain and obvious to everyone but me that I should finally try something else than my own paltry wits and use other people's experience and expertise by proxy - just to see what happens, at the very least. But my attempts at this have shown conclusively and many times over that following advice ends badly for me - and I think I even know why. It's simple: my actions and non-actions, my line of thought, the whole sum of my behavior - no matter how counter-productive - constitute an intricate whole based on my past history and my current values which I hold sacred quite despite myself. Whenever I try to follow another's man advice, I fall out of this fullsome circle of causes and effects, and act blindly without understanding where it comes from and what sum of experience it is based on. As a rule, even when such advice appears at fist as very sensible, I end up screwing it up big time - and only redress the situation by reversing to my previous ways and means, which usually contributes to completely annihilate all the possible beneficial effects of the said sensible-advice. I guess people who are very good and skillful at following advice are those who are able to "act externally to themselves" - or act according to their reason alone, without all the muddled rest of the human organization. This is something I can't do at all - I can't just trust my reason as if it were a perfect calculating machine and all I had to do was to first devise and then apply to a T a certain complicated mathematical formula of behavior. I've seen people do it but I am always amazed at their trustfulness: how can they surrender to perfectly exterior rules with such abandon? Yet they usually succeed and I usually fail - so I guess in a certain sense their approach is more effective and generally more sensible than mine. On the other hand, I can never help wondering if this success is not simply due to most other people being that way and thus most of the human world being rigged towards such behavior - so that it naturally finds favor and resonance with the human universe and turns things their way. There may be something to that: it is also true that people who are able to make small talk fare better in the social world than those who can't.

So in the end I certainly I do listen to advice but I never follow it anymore. Or rather - I wait and see how it might apply in some future circumstances, when it would naturally evolve from the course of my own life - and then I sometimes recognize in these new actions of mine an advice I've been given a long time ago by somebody who had already lived through similar combinations and trials and was able to understand something I had yet to arrive at on my own.

The moral of all of which would probably sum up as something like: let the boat sink til it hits firm ground.

(P.S. I've been reading some De Quincey at the clinic - which explains the funny style - and where else and why else would I practice! :)





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