Remedy for YOU, Mo J., and Maybe for Others Who Believe (w/ Hope or Fear) that Their Identity Is “a Construct”
Mo J., I should start by saying — reminding you of how often — I listen LONG (and hard) to you. You know I do. And I believe I understand your thoughts and reasoning about the illusion/delusion of personal identity. I read [a good many of the words in] the books you recommended, the Goffman, Foucalt, etc. I Goff-awed at first, but then — truly — got kind of Fouc’ed up about the whole thing, which we discussed. In fact, as you’ll recall, I had what I think might have been my very first panic attack the last time I cracked one of those bad boys and so I took them ALL back to the library, kickin’ and screamin’, a day before they were due (even though I could renew them, “like, forever,” the summer intern told me). I have not looked back.
But I’ve been looking at you, still listening to you (for the most part), still loving you (for the most …) — AND hoping you can find your way back in from the cold (and then tell me how you did it — heh!).
THE THING IS, I admit I can’t mount a solid argument against either of their positions… or yours. And something in me does see, does say, well, OK, this could very well be exactly how it is: As a person, one has no definite essence, meaning there’s nothing that makes me uniquely me (or you uniquely you); “who one really is” is only as solid as the words she or he can put together to make the case (and only for a time), as well as restricted AND dictated by powers beyond all of our control. Yeah, I can see that, Mo J. (and maybe others).
And yet, and yet, and yet: NO! I don’t believe you believe it (exactly), just like I don’t (exactly), because something in me ________. So this poem-ish thing is for you (and sometimes also me). I’m hoping we can set it to music… 🙂
“Pour Yourself Out”
Go ahead and pour yourself out*
Everything, all that makes you you, till you’re sure there can be nothing left
Don’t bother with containers, mops and the like, etc.: any and all just-to-be-on-the-safe-side measures that may occur to you — because, you know, if what you believe is true, then well ….
Forget writing anything down first or putting anything away for safe keeping, not that you would (and again, you really can’t), and tell no one
Tell no one what to do or not do IN THE EVENT that your generic shell (husk?) turns up:
F’wumping about at gatherings, leaving odd messages, curling up in a pile of dead leaves, freshly raked (by someone else) for bagging
(Let that poor thing, that “drone-hive … of phantom purposes,” fend for itself.)
Nothing you do “just in case” will do you like you (don’t?) need to be done right now, anyhow.
I know, I know, but I know you too.
So just pour — start now — in dread or giddy anticipation of finding out/proving that nothing remains, if that suits, or with the intent of ridding yourself of yourself, if that’s where you are (as you sometimes are) these days, BUT GO!
Pour like you mean it, too; this is important:
Out the window of your fast-moving car (or mine — I’m ready!)
Into the ocean at the beginning of low tide or IN the middle of high (whichever is most effective), or
Onto what’s left of your garden so late in the fall … or better: that of a stranger or estranged friend, or best: that of an indiscriminate user (or gifted hobbyist/closet-creator) of pesticides, a deranged killer, a Pampered Chef party-thrower, whichever is most repugnant to “you”
Pour it over a cliff or into a pit or quarry, a trench or ditch (48-hours style), or a rank puddle of super-dubious origin deep inside a cave, where nothing but your light-snubbing brethren can breathe
And then: spit, stomp, say “HUH!,” bang a GONG — whatever feels right, rings true, to your construct
Then wait as the panic or thrill rises, peaks, begins to fall and then
…… And then plateaus as your body braces itself, knowing — as it does in every particle of its every cell — exactly what is coming AND THAT what is coming is, IN TRUTH, returning:
dirty, wet, BAD, sorry, angry, FILLED WITH MISGIVINGS, heartbroken, MISTAKEN, ashamed and shameful, WRONG, and maybe even worse;
but also better than that, DEFINITELY better: uniquely glorious, specifically worthy (to me and maybe others) in several, very singular respects, loved in particular and distinctly loving — and all of it You.
Go ahead. Pour.
* We can discuss the exact mechanics of the “Pouring-yourself-out” process, but I’m guessing it would start with getting rid of all your stuff — starting with your writings, photos, drawings, etc. No problems there, right? We’ll brainstorm over coffee (or wine). It’ll be fun. Call me, Mo J. (and maybe others).