Every day is a battle against myself.
Suffering. It’s a shadow in my mind, creeping at the edges of every thought, every waking moment. Not my suffering, although that’s the reason it got in me, this incessant idea, painful, isolating, separating me from everything and everyone.
I keep telling myself to ignore it. Ignore it. Ignore it. Thinking about it won’t do you any good. Dwelling on it will only increase your hatred. Don’t think about it. Keep yourself busy. Don’t think, don’t think, don’t think. But I overhear conversations outside, of people hurting other people. See it in the actions of others. See it in peoples’ eyes. Self centered, they are the protagonist of their own story, and everyone else is a minor character not even worth thinking about for a second.
And then when they get hurt, they cry about the Golden Rule, cry about ethics and morality, protest “injustice” and take it to the legal system.
When I help someone (rare but it happens), I can feel the truth. The same person I help will later spread suffering. Today they are the victim, tomorrow they are the abuser. And of course the same holds for me, though I try to be impartial in most cases.
Don’t focus on the bad. That’s what they tell me.
The voices tell me to open my eyes and look.
I have an acquaintance, and she is proud to tell me she’s an idealist. She makes it sound like such a grand thing. Have a goal. See humanity as magical, transcendental, numinous.
It’s great. Yes, it’s great. Great to warp your vision and squint hard, so things look pretty. Great to ignore the evil around you and focus on nice things, and happy thoughts, and live in a fantasy world. Great to have an unrealistic view of the world, a split between what exists, and what you allow into your inner landscape. Yeah, that’s great.
She tells me ideals aren’t necessarily how things are, but how she wants them to be. I obviously won’t tell her how I feel, so I say nothing. But I know, desire is what causes the most evil. Ideals that make people look away from mindless pain, fear, madness, despair, depravity…these ideals are what keep the world stuck in the pit of narcissism, keep people from coming together and helping one another. It is idealism that is the main enabler of evil. Things should be like this, things should be like that.
And when they are not? Do you look away, or will you break? You’ll look away, of course, because you’re not capable of observing impartially. And so the suffering will continue under your nose, but you won’t care. You’ll keep living in your ideal.
I have another acquaintance…this one’s almost a friend. She’s a Christian. She’s also very sweet, kind, cheerful, optimistic. The poor girl has no idea that the God she prays to is the same one that would wipe out humanity to end his own screwup. In that sense, Yahweh was right. Humanity is irredeemable, and the only thing you can do is confine them in a garden where there is no knowledge, and they’re just animals, or wipe them all out in a giant flood, or keep them in line through fear. There is no other way, and the Christian God knew that at least. I wonder if my friend realizes this when she prays.
But she probably prays to Christ. I’ll tear into that in another post.
But my point, my point is that even those dumb goat-herders that invented Early Judaism and Christianity knew about suffering, and had a decent understanding of how to keep people in check. They weren’t “humanists”, pretentious idiots that think people will actually care about other people on their own, to further society. That’s lunacy — no, that’s idealism. Or perhaps it’s the same thing.
What do I care? What do I care if people suffer, if the world burns, innocent creatures are hurt for the benefit of corrupt individuals? When I was young, I was hurt. Now I’m no longer hurt. Now no one can hurt me. Now I’m strong. Stronger then anyone I know. I saved myself. No one helped me, no one saved me. So I shouldn’t care.
My skin isn’t thick enough yet to say I don’t care. I want to help people, but helping someone is only enabling them to spread suffering later. Either destroy the world like Yahweh would want, or stay out of it and be your own hero and encourage others to be the same. Those seem to be the two choices. That’s a hard reality to deal with.