Pessimistic

7 February 2011 § Leave a comment

The following is too pessimistic. Do not read it. Thank you.

I woke up defeated. Not anxious or nervous, just worn out and pessimistic…about everything.

I’ve been called pessimistic before, but it isn’t really true. In many ways, I’m an unbounded optimist. I don’t have faith in any religion or believe in a God, but if you look at that atheism and see that I still believe life is worth living, what else but optimism can you call it? I tend to side with those who say that even amongst the hardness, there is enough beauty in life to make it worth living on its own terms.

But my blinds were pulled tight this morning and I couldn’t see anything outside. On a personal and universal level, I and the rest of humanity seemed suddenly doomed to this darkness. I read a brilliant and compelling New Yorker story on Scientology, and it got me thinking about humanity’s endless need for social groups, acceptance, and communally constructed purpose. It will, it seems, never change. These psychological drives will continue to perpetuate false notions of reality. What’s much worse, though, is that humanity will continue to organize itself into groups that, fueled by their individuals’ private wants, will oppress and manipulate those on the outside.

Humanism rose on a winter day and is already setting. Humanity’s story will be told by the idiots.

Religions and nations, businesses and even the institutionalized arts (think, Hollywood), will fabricate and perpetuate their egos in the form of orienting stories. And the many will suck it up. Doesn’t matter how overt the oppression is. Who will be left to heed the radical truth of the poet William Blake’s revelation: “I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

It isn’t just the Scientology article. The protests in Egypt seem a sign of progress, but just as surely are going to lead into another dictatorship. And our democracy? Run by blue bloods and the elite 2%, people so out of touch with reality that they think the only way to improve education is to give teachers more paperwork. The proverbial American dream? A story told by those who may have worked hard, but also had a lot of luck on their side. A story told, as usual, to justify one’s own life over another’s. And then it’s these same self-righteous (and often idiotic, albeit hard working) bastards who run our world….

Yes, bitterness. Because I could be just like them, or similar, I think, if my life ran the right track. Bitter because there’s no point in writing these thoughts. Those who have experienced my side may empathize; those who haven’t will condemn. The words cannot change anybody’s mind, and that’s the most pessimistic thought I’ve had all day. I think I may have overstepped though. Carried away by my own pessimism, and perhaps my own poor writing, I have made a mistake in pointing out the impotence of words. Words, in the right hands, are powerful things. Perhaps my problem is that I wield them too bluntly.

In a few months I will have several graduate school rejection letters and will have to decide what to do next. Find a way to live in this world, even though, from the world’s perspective, my only purpose is to live so that the banks become richer.

But once I find my new life, which should arrive in the Spring, perhaps I will sing a new tune. That’s what we do, after all. Sing the song that’s playing around us. Put a story to it, and understand our lives through it. And even before then, the next time I am next to a friend, the next time I run, the next coffee I drink, this pessimism will fade and I’ll be wrapped up in that moment. Thank you for not reading this now, and forgive me the pessimism. But we are all entitled to it.

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