The Measure of a Man

Iwan Pietrowicz Pawlow's bust in front of Mosc...

Image via Wikipedia

I am sitting in a class called behavioural assessment. The professor expounds. They want me to believe that I am the sum of the vectors around me. They want me to believe that I am the result of conditions, conditioning. They want me to be my behavior, and nothing more. This to me, is an unacceptable condition. We are not just Pavlovian dogs that drool at meat, we are more than just apes with a big craniums. I sense that at the root of it lies the struggle for culture, for something deeper.

We struggle to deal with the responsibility of developing our talents. Believing that we have it, because others won’t until you do. Getting past the point where you feel like it’s a car that sometimes won’t start. Trying to accept the fear that comes with setting goals. Trying to struggle to deal with limitations, to deal with the patience that it takes to sculpt the rawness of intent into form and substance. To wake up from your dreams and try to make them real, and not to feel them slip through your fingers. To give birth to your potential, to nurture it and feed it. To cut your fingernails and take out the trash in between it all. To get off the couch of your own mind and put paper to pen, either literally, metaphorically. To understand what the meta is for.

Accepting that you will cease to breathe. One day. Some day. Maybe any day, and that one day, that day will be today. Realizing that you don’t want to die, but you don’t want to live forever either. That your story must be like any other, with a beginning, a middle and an end. And every day you write it, whether you want to or not. Left brain or right, whatever you write, whatever brain you have left, you have to let go of the illusion that it is right, and just write and trust what feels right.

We struggle to accept the challenge of weaving the mundane with the profound. Like an artist that paints, stepping back and forth with my consciousness, bobbing and weaving between details and the destiny. Leaning in close and making it happen stroke by stroke, stepping away to look at the gestalt of it.

Fly on glass-bottom

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Those times that I feel waves of emotion so strong, I want to shake them from my heart, express them somehow, see them as waves of chaos that crystallize into the reality around me. We accept the times that we feel alone with ourselves, knowing that in the end we must walk alone, but we can choose to walk somewhere instead of nowhere. And it is this choice that is yours, it is something that comes from within, something that you cannot do without, cannot come from without. The man that does not dream, does not choose, does not manifest, is not a man at all, but just an ape.

It’s at these times I feel what a man named Wittgenstein meant about language, about how communicating such ideas is like a fly bumping up against the edge of a glass bottle that its trapped in. The emotions that we feel soften and melt the glass again and again, leaving the light of the external world warped by the reality of this filter, the very crystallization of our language.

Am I clear? Can I see things are they truly are? Can anyone?

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