December 6, 2009

song of myself

Some days I think I want to abolish self-reference.
It's like I don't want to write my memories from the last round robin because it just means thinking about myself, or going back to something I've already thought about, already shared as much as I needed to. The last two days were full, and wonderful, and I feel like today is such a vastly different day, and I see the world so differently, even though I doubt that one good night's rest can really change much.

What am I saying? Only that repeating what I felt over the past two days seems unnecessary, this is today, and I want a break from the selfless selfishness that I seemed to wander through. I wonder why this happens, why I seem to zoom out of myself for a moment, but then later find that I still haven't seen people as they are? And so many times I don't even succeed in getting my mind off myself, my very words and actions all go to reinforce my belief that my mind and opinion is vastly interesting. Or maybe its just that I want attention for myself. (This question I may have discussed with a few of you already.)

Even as I think that don't want to think about whether or not I'm cynical, because it starts me thinking that more is right with me than truly is, I am writing it on this blog and again drawing attention to it.

This is why I think that I should stop blogging, or stop speaking about my thoughts. Except I don't really think that, because I want to share my thoughts so strongly. Now I think about a thought I had that seemed to resolve this. We are one body, one mind. I don't need to talk about myself. And yet I still am talking about myself.

Some days I think I want to be with people always so I can not have only myself to compare things to.

It's so hard to stop myself talking about my own perspective. Then I think about what is true reality, the verse that I'm trying to hold to, and that seems contrary to my current train of thought. Philippians 3:8: I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. . .

It doesn't seem to make sense to me. How do I count something as loss? I think I should stop thinking about it, not put too much value into it, at least in comparison to the worth of the knowledge of God. If knowledge of God is being known by God, then it should be right if I tell God everything about myself. And yet that seems backwards, just going back to self-reference.

I'm afraid I don't know what I'm saying anymore. How can I know one day, and the next be knowledgeless? And how can I ever claim to care about people?

Do I feel guilty for being so happy over the past few days? Do I regret that all that happiness was because people, and words, and God were making me happy? I don't know what I want, or if I should desire to forget myself. I guess I should be glad that every day isn't a tournament day, so real life can remind me that I'm not as important as people treat me.

And yet that isn't it either, is it?


Michael said...

1. Everyone's frame of reference is themselves (or themself?). Thinking of things in terms of yourself is not selfishness, it is being. I was reading in GEB today about the inability to step out of the "system." He was making an analogy between computers and people, that computers can change themselves . . . but in order to "change" they must be preprogramed to "change", so it is still in itself. He wrote "No matter how a program twists and turns to get out of itself, it is still following the rules inherent in itself." To get out of yourself is impossible.

(Hofstadter, Douglas R. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1979. Print.) (Just for the heck of it, what has your mum done to me?)

He also said that it seems like a lot of people want to get out of themselves, and I think they do. . . Perhaps the reason we want to get out of ourself is because we know (though don't know we know) that there is something more important than the self. But . . . I think there is a distinct difference between thinking of things in terms of your own perspective and thinking of things about yourself.
Freud said that he could not understand people whom he could not understand in terms of himself, and I think that's . . . just saying again what I've already said.
2. Perspective does not mean focus. We see through our eyes, but most of the time we don't see our own eyes :P (or the reflection of them.) Our eyes are how we see, but they aren't the focus of what we are seeing. "Me" is from where I see the world, and something is "far" or "close" in relation to "me" but that doesn't mean the focus is on "me" it's on the thing that is far or near. (maybe this is missing the point.)
3. "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. . ." "Everything I have I count as lost." (reason 452 why Switchfoot is wonderful.) . . . YOU count everything as lost, you don't include yourself in what is lost. Because I wouldn't say that the self is meant to be lost. God created the self, and wants the self to be redeemed and perfected, and be the unique, beautiful thing that it partly is, and will be. Through these various beautifully unique selves we get diversity, and a palate of colors, people are meant to be themselves.
4. "Do I feel guilty for being so happy over the past few days?" . . . I wonder. . . do you feel guilty, or do you feel that you are obligated to feel guilty? Are you seeing guilt then wondering why, or wondering why and creating guilt?

This is a really long comment.

Echoes in Ink said...

Michael, you are very wise.

Remember how I value unity? I value unity so much that I think self reference is a necessary part of unity. One of man's primary desires is to find meaning, and to find meaning in the context of the world they're in. How can one do that if they do not connect themselves to that world? And how can one do that without first finding what part of oneself to connect? Self-reference is a necessary part of understanding and loving people. It seems counterintuitive, but it's not.


Micah E. said...

"Do I feel guilty for being so happy over the past few days? Do I regret that all that happiness was because people, and words, and God were making me happy?"

Why would you feel guilty? People and words and God are supposed to make us happy. I hope you don't feel guilty because of me, (and I hesitate to voice so selfish a suggestion), because that's just bogus too. The happiness of others shouldn't be the dictator of our own happiness.

Art said...

Hmm. All of your thoughts are very interesting.

Michael, I think you've kind of hit the nail on the head that focus is not the same as perspective, and self-reference is not necessarily selfishness. Oh, by the way, I like long comments.

Catey, I like that connection. =)

And Micah, I don't think the guilt (and I don't even know if that's what it was) was because of the cause of my happiness, but rather because I felt like I was oblivious to other people. [I'm trying to say, without somehow blaming you or making you feel bad, that part of it was because of you, though there are other people whose perspectives I felt like I didn't think about either.]

I think that other people's happiness should have some impact on our happiness... Empathy. But I wonder if empathy's any good if it comes too late. This is confusing.