Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lookout for Hope

I wanted to write a post about having hope.  About how it takes courage to have an informed hope.  Then I felt a bit like a politician. Eventually, to justify hope, and movement forward, either there's a bit of faith that rests on some premise or principle, or, simply, individual short term choices keep us from losing our lives (there would be more pain and effort associated with giving up than with going forward)--or, it is just too ambiguous to decide, and there are enough unknowns that we cannot forecast possible future pleasure as compared to possible future pain.

 Anyway, there's a lot of redeeming things about not drinking. I don't think that's in question. While I recognize that many sober people can stay blinded by their own beliefs (and seek only information that they are comfortable with), I do think that drinking--for someone naturally predisposed to abuse/lack of control--aids in one's ability to deny reality.  Which is to say that we can all deny reality all we want, if we're really stubborn about it, but drinking makes that denial much, much, easier.  And when it is easier to deny negative reality, we can become emotionally involved with that process, mostly before we are even aware that it has a hold on us. Anyway, I'm always struggling with altering states of awareness about the self: like do you "really" know what you're doing when you justify an act that will hurt someone (or yourself)--to wit, I've played coy in the past because I only wanted the benefits of my risks.  We all do this, all the time, to get what we want.  Basic question: why do we want what it is we want when frame reality in a way the excises certain previously known aspects?

Why not make fully informed decisions?

The answer is somewhere between: We can't help ourselves.  We do self-destructive stuff, AND, we're really smart about telling stories that flatter our own previous actions.

The problem is, when you get fucking sober, and you've been sober for over 11 months, you can see that most of these stories are false and that the self-destructive impulses will bring almost immediately unwanted consequences.  A further problem is that sober alcoholics are still self-aggrandizing bastards, who will seek out ways to distinguish themselves--which is probably why most of them know exactly how long they've been sober.  The justification is that, if they didn't keep track of it everyday, then they would fall back into the abyss of drinking.  The less flattering reality is that it provides an ego boost, too.  It is something to hold on to.  We want some slivers, some tendrils, of hope, no matter what we say otherwise, and we're always on the lookout for a box to stand on.  

The middle ground is this: there's nothing special or new going on.  What is going on has been going on.  We must accept life as paradoxically boring and vapid and inspiring and full of rich textured meaning.  It is a basic fact that we must make mistakes.  And they'll still hurt, even knowing that.  And when there is no more pain, there is nothing else, ether--we are tethered to our bodies--and we are tethered to more than that.  We are tethered to our minds, and they purposefully lie to us, for our own sake.  We can't escape, though.   There's no escape.  That fact is what makes life, in some core way, what it is.  Our only escape is to deny some parts of reality most of the time we experience that reality, and accept that we always live in a partial world, cleaved and fragmented, and that we do it on-purpose, because we have to keep living in that world.

1 comment:

Zentient said...

Your post reminded me of Sheldon Kopp:

The middle ground is groundlessness.