November 21, 2010•615 words
I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life
– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
I live my life in 2 phases. One where I’m visible to the world as it is to me and one where I’m invisible. The invisible phase is much more intimate, separated from reality but bearing it’s inescapable traces. It is the phase of the philosophers, of thought experiments and elaborate role play. It lies entirely in thought.
I have a world of my mind. A world constructed to keep sanity in the face of overwhelming madness. The outside world is a complicated place, a place that will repeatedly question my worth, the purpose of my actions and ascribe to me intent that I do not have. It will force competition on me and hold me to certain standards. It will be unreasonable, unfair and mean to the last degree. Popular culture uses the word “inhuman” to describe this, the irony of this word is not lost on me. Being human is to act in unreasonable, unfair and mean ways. An animal is more instinctive, acting only to serve its basic functions and needs. For a human being instinctive means so much more.
In my world, I am the creator and I make the rules. I can create as many landscapes as I like, visit as many mountains, revel in the majesty of nature. I can draw on images and ideas, make things that don’t exist and be awed by them nonetheless. The goosebumps are very real. I build beautiful architecture, medieval castles and futuristic worlds, time and resources don’t mean a thing here. I can sit and construct to my heart’s content. I am judge and I am the audience.
I enjoy creating characters. It is impossible to create completely original ones but I can easily draw from real life, from history, from books and film. The combinations are interesting, the situations bizarre, sometimes completely nonsensical. The bizarre has an amazing property, it holds your attention, it appeals to your innate urge to explain and to make sense. In this case, to mould and twist things around till they make sense. Here I am always the winner, even when I loose it is by my own choosing and to serve some deeper satisfaction of my mind. People and situations mould themselves to my advantage. I am a narcissist, an egoist but these terms of judgement in the real world mean nothing here.
Then there is the act of creating ambitions and hopes. The easiest of all and truly orgasmic. The ambitions here are much better than real ones, much bigger and impossible. The problem with small ambition is that it is very much achievable and so the thorn of failure is much more sharp. If I want to get a certain job and I fail, the regret is immediate, the questions raised on my competence are serious, the drop in self esteem is obvious. If I want to be batman there is no consequence because it is utterly impossible. In the real world that is. In my world I can have any ambition and fulfil it with a struggle carefully designed to be self serving rather than self harming.
My world panders to the deepest instincts of my soul – ego, greed, lust, aggression, fear, self preservation, curiosity, hate. It keeps these hidden away from the real world, keeps them in check in some sense by serving them their due. The vivid turmoil of my world helps keep up the calm, the sensible and mature demeanor that people know and recognize.