I’m trying quite hard, at least in my imagination (:D) to not let this blog die, but possibly still its time has come. Paradoxically the reason is having a certain readership that reduces the sense of anonymity and thus the scope for indulging freely into self-therapy through rambling, in between writing more analytic pieces about specific topics.
I also feel like I’ve gone through another one of these pseudo indentity-transformations this summer, which leaves me not interested in topics I was interested in before, or changing my perspective on what what is important and my “intellectual tropism” (if my mind is an ameba or bacterium, the gradient it follows with what’s important to learn).
In such moments the easiest, or perhaps most obvious thing for me to do is to throw the towel on something (a project, a place, an approach, also a concept of self) and restart. I feel like I’ve been in the in-between place (zero point, I don’t remember, was described in some writings) for probably several months, and with regard to my writing, much longer.
I’m irritated that there doesn’t seem to be a form of creativity that is consistent with my frequent changes of outlook, motive, of what’s relevant; and I haven’t found a way to run several parallel projects because I can’t figure out how to subdivide things. How to divide the personal ramblings from theoretical/philosophical ideas, how to divide what’s meant for an anonymous public from what really isn’t, how to divide things that are more privately for me from those that are meant also as offerings to others; how to write in ways that don’t mix external facts and ideas with extremely personal and emotional experiences. The truth is probably that my mind just doesn’t divide these things or differentiate between them, but I somehow don’t feel that’s valid as a way of doing things (at least of doing small internet projects).
I guess I could stop here and think, why actually – who genuinely cares if my random internet blog is a random jumble of everything? I think the “issue” is that I’ve had varying intentions and ambitious with this blog, and some seem contradictory or mutually exclusive. I’ve started out wanting to provide some resources to folks while also secretly making progress on my own similar problems. Then there were always phases when I gave up on this and surrendered to self-therapeutic “journalling”, let’s call it that. Then the intermittent “attacks” of trying to make this an expert site about some discernible (though niche) topic, whether empaths or grounded spirituality or autism and ptsd; even the bouts of trying to emulate the business model of some folks who ripped me off online by having good content on a topic and offering consulting (or “coaching”) about it. In between the periods when I just felt like putting some of my art online, partly for the purpose of motivating myself to produce it consistently. An overarching need for self-reflection (I just can’t pay a shrink multiple times a week for listening, but sure I can write multiple days a week for the same purpose and frankly with almost the same effect).
So, in sum, let’s say this blog has reflected a need for self-healing, for pretending to offer others resources (kind of healing-resources in a way, resources where some people saw themselves mirrored – people like me who rarely get the opportunity), even for experimenting with starting a small expert site with ulterior motives related to developing a niche consulting business or online community. Ah, not to forget my need to just output some of what I input (digest all the stuff I read, reflect on all the stuff I take in from life).
What’s the problem?
I mean what’s the problem then with keeping this blog alive?
I think, looking back over these, it’s on the one hand some kind of tension between the personal (hyper-personal; self-therapy, self-reflection) and that which seems to require to be not-so-personal (appearing competent at something [though that’s not my personal judgment, I trust people who are hyper-personal more], anything to do with a small niche of expertness or consulting business that might require a dash of “objectivity” and also, frankly, which would make me feel too vulnerable if too much stuff about me were known). I think that’s the axis, on the one hand the intermittent drive to have a public face as knowing about X, on the other hand the fairly consistent drive to just be true to the fact that I’m a person undergoing for some reason constant transformation and so are my approaches to things, and yesterday’s truths are usually not today’s truths. Or if they are, I wouldn’t express or apply them in the same ways.
I don’t know how to deal with change, and I don’t know how to deal with multiplicity. [In the context of having an online presence, or a writing project, or a topic-project online.]
Frankly, I don’t know how to deal with it in the context of life – a professional or creative life I’ve been trying to have. And it’s maybe not about “change” (some random change), it’s about some kind of systematic cycle of turning everything upside down once in a while. Dropping things, doing a mental blank slate. Though from the outside it might not look like this, I wonder if from the ouside it all looks more consistent than it does from the inside.
Multiplicity is something I remember as a distinct motive since my early teens, I think. I had the feeling that really distinct people have an inner life in my apparently single body. I don’t think I have a multiple personality thing, but maybe something of a softer variety – maybe a tendency to either be taken over by “voices” (voices of the collective / various collectives, voices of individual “spirits” that I tune into for some reason, or who knock at my nearly-inexistent “veil” between worlds), or to split what is more or less “me” into various components that interact dynamically, or perhaps never having put together into one smoothly “dancing” whole all those pieces that would make a consistent “me”. It’s like there is always a pool of archetypal shadow figures dancing somewhere, and it’s really not clear who is “me” and who is “not”.
That’s probably why what has helped me not go overly nuts was some version of Buddhist thought along with somatics – on the one hand dropping the attempt to intellectually isolate something that is an essential “me” (what I took from some Buddhist readings) and living with [as] the transforming and transformative river of inner and outer experiences. Not particularly panicking about it (as a friend succinctly summarised it, that requires basically an acceptance and a certain befriending of death / mortality). I mean to not panic in the face of regular senses of “groundlessness” of self, identity, continuity. Then, in order to somehow live in this world, tuning into the body (felt sense of the living body) as an anchor point or an orientation point – or a grounding point, as it is a focal point of the flow of experiences. Or at least it has to be while alive / incarnated. And I don’t want to mess with this.
But overall, multiplicity and transformation in a dose hard to keep up with. Hard to built anything practical on.
Maybe an idea would be in fact trying to live as several people, occurs to me now. Having clear-cut (or at least somewhat clearer) transition points when some of these people get to rest from being themselves. When they get to rest from having certain genders, ages, backgrounds, preoccupations, aspirations, visions. When they get to rest from their persecutory fantasies or their interpretations of the world. Resting the artistic side. Then resting the logical side. Then resting the mystical side. Then resting the one who is a simple person from a small town. Maybe “switching” is easier than trying to “unify” or make consistent or harmonise and coordinate (impossible).
This was somewhat more grave when I was younger, when I’d sometimes really be overcome by the feeling that in a split second I’d somehow become someone else. (I really didn’t know what to make of this – past lives? other people’s things intruding on me? split personality? the heck). This happens less since I insist on rooting to the felt sense of this particular biological body.
I’m getting older and the perspective seems daunting and perhaps depressing that I’ve spent probably about half of my life, and could perhaps spend the rest, too, just coming to terms with existing – with my inner experience, with the clash it produces with what’s regarded as the external world, with the inconsistencies in absolutely everything.
A beneficial shift that has happened, maybe a few decades too late, is that “adults” have lost much of their authority. Seeing (through study of history and history of sciences in part) how often humans have been (and are) completely wrong about things that they are completely sure of (that are the foundation of collective reality) makes me feel freer to just live the way I want to at least in my inner life. There’s no obligation at least to try to enslave my inner experience and thinking, my honest experience and interpretation of the world to the mainstream reality of the time. That feels good. I don’t have to life to myself or retouch what I see to fit what the collective currently believes. Still, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to talk about that in most situations. I might start doing that more when I’m even older and losses seem less stressful.
What was the point of this? Right, the complaint that it seems barely possible to maintain even a little online project consistently when one’s psychic life consists in pretty much ceaseless shifts and contradictions. Don’t ask about other life projects, like a “meaningful” profession that I’m slowly giving up on (prompting perhaps a new depression cycle). Don’t ask about doing anything at all consistently. There are too many voices calling, too ceaselessly, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid the “blank slate” moments, when whatever I’ve been working on previously seems meaningless and out of context, and frankly I barely “remember” it and why this body cared to be engaged in it.
Tired of “fighting it”, trying to see it for what it is and ask what it “wants”. Does it want me to see something? To be someone? To just be witness to something?
Recent readings in apparently fairly reliable sources on certain indigenous traditions confirm my ancient suspicion that in some cultural contexts this would be the natural constitution of a person who will devote their life to talking to the otherworld (“shamanism”), but in an alienated Western context I seriously don’t know what to do with this (“gift”). It’s certainly on the edge of madness (or within, depends who you ask), but that framework of pathology and normalising hasn’t helped me develop self-respect or put the magic part of the madness to use. So screw that (and not even “sorry”). Thank the Fates for still having landed close enough to the “normal” end to be able to live independently enough to screw that.
I’m in the process of finally reading Steve Silberman’s “Neurotribes” (pretty hard for me to read as it’s an endless onslaught of particular names, places and biographical details, the type of detail that makes my brain go spaghetti – can’t seem to follow plots with more than 1-2 protagonists unless the protagonists are bacteria or variables). But seems worth the brain sacrifice as I wonder if this will be “my” final word on autism: a historically negotiated name for a broadly observable pool (well, aquarium? terrarium?) of human types that are here for the more unusual “special missions”. A cultural and social narrative as much as it’s a medical narrative.
My inspiration and attention span has just evaporated, but the original intention was to go into that book in the context of the lifeworlds of “the rest of us” and in the context of always seeing things (and the mainstream world) in so many different ways. So might pick up on that when / if the spark resurfaces.