Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I sometimes ponder the nature of the "masks" we're said to wear. Each one of us would probably describe it differently. You? You say you "lie" to yourself until you believe it. I find that funny. I'd take the opposite track--that I'm able to get my way best when I find some essential emotional truth hidden deep in my core that matches the situation, and let it burst forth and control me for a period of time. In that moment, there is no lie, there is no truth, there is only me as you see me. Every facet is a truth when expressed, and a lie when not on display. In other words, I don't think we're all that different from empaths. I think, as in all things, it's the story that we tell ourselves. There is no, "How could I do that? I'm not THAT kind of person!" Only an understanding that, without some sort of code or restrictions in place, we know we're really capable of anything.
So then where does that leave us? I find I can assert and actually express an emotional "truth" or a persona for as long as I wish to maintain it, even when doing so becomes taxing and I really just don't want to. It's even easier to do this when I pick a handful of roles or things to do--ways of taking up my time, and religiously apply myself to them. In other words, I create an identity complete with hobbies, interests, and close friendships. At first everything matters to me just because of its utility, but as time goes on, I find that distinction blurring, and I find myself almost able to actually care for them before I move on. The end result is kind of a constant high, that only occasionally gets pierced by annoyance and anger. Is this what it feels like to be an empath? Am I tricking myself into believing I'm of the herd? Or is the constant assertion a legitimate transformation in the works? I've never stuck with an identity long enough to know. But I'm about to find out as I commit myself to a certain identity for an indefinite period of time.
We know that sociopathy can be learned. But can empathy? Or will I just be in "sleeper mode" for however long the upcoming period of my life lasts? We shall see.
Do you think you're just becoming attached to the thing? Like when I buy something, let's say a particular pair of shoes that I like, I think of everyday that I wear them in terms of what I thought the initial bargain was going to be. If, when I bought them, I thought that I would get 100 days of wear out of them, then once I get to that 101st day, everything is surplus, and I'm extra pleased with the shoes because they have exceeded my initial expectations of their value. Is that what you feel? Or something different?
I suppose it may be attachment, but it's still an attachment based upon the brain's basic potential to emote--to trigger the mechanisms that cause whatever combination of stimulation and narrative we call emotion. And those attachments or emotions allow me to forget for awhile, that ultimately these people, experiences, and things in my life could be discarded without care and I could find others to replace them. It allows me to indulge in the illusion that they matter to me in a way that I imagine non-socios enjoy and connect with their surroundings. But if it comes down to it, they can be discarded all the same. Hell, this life I'm assuming is one I've already discarded. Was this life objectively "better" or "more fulfilling" than any of the other lives I've lived so far or any of the lives I lived since I abandoned it the first time? No, just different. Our society prioritizes and rewards a certain level of consistency, and I found that the combination of stimulation and boundaries that came with this life allowed me to craft a believable narrative weaving together all of the lives I've lived so far, and even more importantly kept me from falling into the cliche bad habits of aggression, parasitism, and manipulation.
I honestly don't understand what the reader means. Anybody?