2015-10-15 04:37 pm
Entry tags:


…they blink and reality shivers. Nothing crueller than lov ing and being loved by a prophet …disciples who love their messiahs too much.

Because the prophet, the revolutionary, the messiah, the human embodiment of a cause is … godtouched; he or she sees and feels and moves through the world with divinity of some kind or another running through his veins. It doesn’t have to be literally divine – though it usually is in some way – but it is something that lifts them beyond, that makes them holy to other humans, and when that happens, when disciples gather, they love him or her for it, they become utterly devoted.

And even if the prophet loves back, even with all the love in the world; his highest realm of love is reserved for something mere mortals cannot touch; his eyes lift over and beyond the horizon of reality, they look towards something greater. for the disciple, the love is the greatest and smallest part of that glory they can ever hope to hold.

it’s hard enough if you just love the prophet wholly, for who they are, for the ideal they embody, for their divinity

but to be loved back, to have that, but to know that no matter what that their love for you can never measure up to the engulfing love you feel for them, because so much of the prophet is sacred space, reserved, devoted to something beyond human, to the transcendence, the divinity, the cause – not even consciously, it’s just their nature - 

that. that is cruel.

I found this almost a year ago. The full analysis has a link to my favorite poem, “Lessons on Loving a Prophet,” by Jeanann Verlee. It’s cited as an example of whatever this feeling is. There’s more to the poem than just what’s described here, but that’s a finicky point. I don’t disagree with this, but there’s something else.

People like this, godtouched individuals (gods in their own right), are something else. If you love them, you know this when you see them. Even if it takes time to work out the details, you know they’re special right away.

One way or another everyone sees it. For most people it never goes past the superficial level of acknowledging that this being in front of them is something else. Their feelings never go past that, and it becomes dehumanization via objectification, idolization. They know they’re in the presence of someone who’s great, who’s more, and they don’t know what to do with that. They hold them up on a pedestal so they don’t have to look them eye and acknowledge them for what they are, and they grovel at their feet as a sign of devotion. (As if debasing yourself makes you worthy.)

Then there are people who see what a person is, but who don’t accept it. They see this greatness and they want it for themselves. Maybe they have the wrong idea of what it’s means to be that way. There isn’t an experience in the world that feels like how it looks like it should feel, and power isn’t an exception. You navigate the world differently when everything you do has the weight of divinity behind it. Even if you can comprehend what that means, you’ll never understand what it’s like if you have it. And this group of people decide: if they can’t be like that, they want to own it. They want to take their god and make them a container for their power, something from which they can take and exploit.

For the first month of knowing him, there were three things that I let sink in:
  • that if I wanted to know him, I’d need to step up to the plate. He was something else and it would take work to stand with him. (and I did, and I’ve continued to do that for three years. I’ll do it until I die.)
  • that it wouldn’t end well. I’d either walk away devastated; or I wouldn’t walk away, because I’d be dead. I know what I’m doing here, and I’ve always known.
  • that he was something else, and whatever I was it would never be that.

I said that I was valid regardless, that what I was still counted for something, even if it wasn’t that. I said it like it was a point of grief (and it was, and for a long time I grieved for everything that I wasn’t and would never be), but I stayed.

It never occurred to me to try to take from him, to use him to make me better. It never occurred to me to debase to gain permission to stand next to him because I would never be worthy. Counter to both those options, I stepped up.

I stepped up as his friend, because I was awful, and I didn’t want to hurt the person who meant the most to me. There’s nothing I did that’s so horrible that it’s worth changing over, except for what I did to him.

I stepped up as a prophet to my god, because one way or another I was going to stand in his presence. I was going to keep company with him and his greatness (one and the same), and I refused to keep company with my grief.

I’m here in my own right and I always have been. I would be great in my own right, too. I wouldn’t turn away out of fear of my own inadequacy. I’d face him. I’d stand within the radius of his power with only my strength to protect me, and I wouldn’t flinch away. I wouldn’t reach for it like I needed it to live. There was something in me that drove me to pick it up, to stay still when I could have run in fear. It was enough to keep me standing when by all means I should have been floored. If I hadn't done it, I wouldn't have believed myself capable of it. If I didn't have a reason to test myself, I don't know that I would have stayed.

And I stayed because I loved him (as a friend, as a god) and I wanted to be with him.

And this is primarily where I disagree with the quoted analysis. Loving someone like this can’t be a point of grief, if you truly love them. It takes a special person to even recognize someone with divinity like this, and a lot of stubborn grit and will to love them. Even then, it takes a lot of strength to survive that love -- both feeling it and receiving it.

If you love them and you’re disappointed that they don’t love you so completely, I’d have to ask, who are you in love with, really? Because it’s not them. I’d sooner say you’re in love with yourself. You want all of their love to fall on you – how is that any different than wanting their power?

Even if your love is sincere, you come to terms with knowing that you’ll never have all of them. If they love you, you’ll be immortal. You’ll be graced with a piece of their power that’s every bit as sincere of what you feel for them. There will always be a part of them that you understand, but you’ll embrace it all the same – isn’t that who you fell in love with?

And this is why it’s devotion: To stop your love from going sour when it’s not returned in its entirety. You chose to be there; why act like it’s a curse? How can you be surprised by the very nature of what you fell in love with?
2015-09-30 01:48 am

(no subject)

Is it horribly misleading to make out like I am one way when I can't 100% corroborate that?

I'm going to try to word this as simply as I can: ruminations can go in my personal journal, but I want this to be as straightforward as possible.

I use different names to identify different mindsets. They're obviously all coming from me. The best way to describe this would be to say that each one is a different configuration of my core personality, stylized and utilized for different purposes. Each one is still me, but adapted for what I need it to do. It's a useful way to re-conceptualize who I am so I can step outside of myself and take a different approach to dealing with real life.

"Replacing your entire self concept" falls in with this, if that's helpful to think about, but it goes a step beyond that. These configurations can be based on someone else's self-concept, but are often adapted to take on a life of their own, so to speak, usually coming to be while I live it or apply it to my own life.

All this is well and good. My current self-concept is an amazingly fun state of mind to be in, but is so drastically different to every other configuration that I can't help but feel like a fake, a fraud. This isn't unusual; a lot of the other names/identities feel false while I'm trying them out, like I'm trying to live up to an imagined role that I am not, or like because this identity is created by me (whether consciously or unconsciously), it doesn't count as a genuine state of being.

Obviously that's bullshit; this is how I've always worked, and I've only recently become comfortable with the idea that this is a useful way to function (now that I've assigned a name to it, at least).

With this in mind I ask the question: How genuine can any of me be if I can change my identity so freely?

This is an initial attempt at writing this out, I just wanted to get it all down, I'll edit for clarity later.

Edit: This was originally a second entry made the following day, but it feels redundant to have it that way given the subject matter.

While I'm on the subject of pointless matters of identity, I'd like for two more things to be known:
1) Names are annoying and only partially factor into my identity. How can I be expected to see my name as being so uniquely specific, that to take it away from me would deprive me of all sense of self, while at the same time comfortably knowing that it isn't something unique to me? A name is a label, and I haven't found one that isn't inadequate. 
My legal name isn't unfortunate as far as navigating through the bureaucratic world goes, and I don't mind using it for that, but to think of myself having any strong attachment to it other than because I'm using it is alien. I like my name. It's part of the reason why I so rarely use it: I don't want to wear it out. As soon as I find myself truly identifying with a name, I feel the compulsive urge to discard it in favor of another one. 
It's easier to think of the names I use as being the names of my configurations, or part of the package: items that I can take up and discard as I want with no personal all-encompassing identity attached to any of them. Even when I use a name, I don't see myself as having it: I see myself as wearing it. I'd be happy to go nameless.
2) I'm warming up to the idea of appropriating words for my own use. I'm not the first to do this, and to an extent I've been doing it for a while. Lately it's gotten ridiculous. I want to be as succinct and readable as possible, but there are a lot of things in my life that don't have a name. I'd rather label them something based around an extended metaphor than try to shoehorn them into an extension of another concept that's being used for something adjacent, but not exact. I'd rather use terms that are parallel to what I'm talking about.
2015-09-28 09:56 pm

(no subject)

There are enough Mountain Goats songs that remind me of my ex.

Some in a solidarity plea: This Year, for example. We were both fucked up kids with horrible home lives who didn't understand the magnitude of what we were going home to, trying to make life bearable for ourselves. In some ways, I think we both knew that our being there with the other helped, even if we couldn't fix it or be there for each other.

Other songs remind me of the sort of things he'd say to me: You Were Cool, The Last Man On Earth. He was tender, sympathetic -- hyperbolic, too. He'd make promises that sounded grand, but were realistic. He'd do anything for me, if it would make me happy, and mostly that just meant holding me. They were the sort of poignant statements that were poetic in how simple they were. We were young, teenagers (who were too old to really be teenagers, or kids, if we ever were), and I think it showed. There was still something simple in how how we loved each other: He wanted good things for me, and I was playing with what it meant to be a good thing for someone else, who only wanted to have me in his life.

I had a nightmare a few months ago where he begged me for help. I couldn't speak. I turned, and I ran.

A few nights later I had a dream where he and I ran into each other. My friend told me to keep walking, and his friend did the same. We kept our eyes on each other until I turned the corner, and hyperventilated. Later he found me, and we talked: It was courteous, and polite, but very clipped, very harsh. He told me what he'd been doing, where he was now. All I could do was nod, and listen like I hadn't been able to before.

Sometimes I want to explain, or apologize for running. It would be an awful idea; I don't know if he hates me or not (and I sort of hope he does, but I know how love like that works). I don't know if he'd even want to hear what I have to say. This is most of why I have my policy in place, "Let dead things die," because there's nothing I could say now that wouldn't just be chasing up loose ends that are three-years-too-late, or reopening old wounds that wouldn't heal like that.