We are the last of the discontented ... and hold this to be our highest virtue ... a discontentment which one cultivates. That other thing, that whisper, “Accept yourself for who you are,” what is that but the formaldehyde of the public clinic? ... where every germ has been sterilized ... even that germ of life, discontent, has been sponged away by the hairless hands of our public guardians.
Vanity is a means of progress; it is related to our future. It does not show me who I am, but inflates an image of myself, and reality floats it away from me. I feel the loss and would take it back. I follow.
How does one go about convincing the vain of their vanity? And then, if successful, how does one convince these newly defeated and humbled creatures that they need this vanity after all ... only to a greater degree?
Most humans cannot tease an argument out of a widely held
custom or resist a distinguishing taste
which “proves” their elite status.Most
cannot see the difference between an argument as a stimulus and the argument itself. We are even so vulnerable to
matching our affinities and aversions with our fellows that, when our logic
parts ways, we often must call up a Faith
in our most solid acts of deduction.It
is a silly moment, but then again, lapsing back into crowd-think does not feel silly at all – and that is a
My anxiety is made up of a left and a
right bracket, too often containing a blunder. On the left, stimuli is coming
in faster than my mind can process or on the right, slower than boredom can
endure. I often jump off a fast moving train, only because of the speed of information rushing past my window … and
then speed up to leap onto a train … any
train, just because it is moving and I was not ... now flashing, with
increasing speed, more and more facts past my window to the point of anxiety
again. If however I demanded that accuracy, and accuracy alone, determined my
speed, my starts and stops, I would also at times have to endure that anxiety of going against my “nature”
… or at other times, wondering whether or not I was merely seduced by a necessary
stage of compatibility. The priority of
my conclusion would exist at crucial
moments, with its deepbut quickly
forgotten roots, as a straw of memory bending in the wind. This fear of leaving a solid deduction behind is compounded by the long history of having
done so, again, and again.
Sanity is an
invulnerable reflex of social conformity because a sustained exposure as such
is unendurable. If an argument falls in the woods and there is no one there to
hear it, does our refutation alone cure us of our nerve-racking incompatibility?