Friday, July 05, 2013

I Will ...

I will be able to observe, accept, and ultimately love imperfections and inconsistencies, things that I perceive as bad, in myself and in others. Then, I will know my self as who I truly am, not based on some preconceptions.
I am familiar with this process through art. The most influential artistic works are not perfect and symmetric. They are full of imperfections, and they stir up contradictions inside the audience. So I want to see my own life (and others') as an artwork, beautiful because of everything it is ...

The lack of such acceptance, on the other hand, results in excluding parts of our self as undesirable and bad. When excluded consciously, we feel them as dark areas in our soul. When rejected and suppressed unconsciously, we feel them as void and emptiness inside.
... Ayumi had a great emptiness inside her, like a desert at the edge of the earth. You could try watering it all you wanted, but everything would be sucked down to the bottom of the world, leaving no trace of moisture. No life could take root there. Not even birds would fly over it. What had created such a wasteland inside Ayumi, only herself knew. No, maybe not even Ayumi knew the true cause. ---pp.368-9, 1Q84
This void inside, the emptiness that I have written here about and from it over and over, instigates an insatiable urge in us to "do something", something that we cannot identify, and because we cannot identify the source and the cause, some of us try everything to numb and distract: drugs, sex, porn, internet, gambling, computer games, and the list goes on and on! And sometimes the intensity of the urge to fill the void leads to self harming activities:
Ayumi must have feared that such a thing might happen. She needed intense sexual activity at regular intervals. Her flesh needed it---and so, perhaps, did her mind. ... She preferred wilder, riskier sex, and perhaps unconsciously, she wanted to be hurt. ---p. 367, 1Q84
In response to the uncontrollable urge to risky and addictive behaviors and activities, people with more discipline and will power develop and impose very rigid structure on their life. These constraints and rules assure them against the surge of emotions that originate from the void or the dark place within their soul:
I have to keep my emotions in check, ... It's time for me to stop crying. I'll have to change my attitude again. I'll have to put the rules ahead of my self, ... ----p. 369, 1Q84
And this is the tragedy of our time. We wonder what is the roots of extremism and the revival of fundamentalist readings of religions. There you go. When I have a void inside, a defense mechanism to deal with the resulting uncontrollable urges is "to put the rules ahead of my self.''

This final observation brings me back to the beginning of a journey that I embarked on, a series of posts on ``Conflicts and Mental Constraints, in April (link) and May (link).

Internal Conflicts and Mental Constraints: Part 1
Apparently there is no part 4 :)

Finally, another description and interpretation of the void inside:

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