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Seeing It for What It Is, March 28, 1999 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: March 28, 1999
"Seeing It for What It Is" [permalink]
    keywords: personal
    soapbox #: 180
    written: March 28, 1999
    words: 965

"Seeing It for What It Is", an Essay

It is all gone. All the apprehension, all the doubt, all the worry, all the problems...everything.

I have broken through the rough, outer layer of a basic understanding of this world now. I have decades upon decades to go, fathoms upon fathoms of information to gather and process, but I am no longer bothered by things in my life now.

Yes, I am victim to a slight cold right now (of which I hardly ever have any), and I'm not getting much sleep right now because I have to study and work, and I have virtually no actual free time for myself (although I tend to make some anyway). My love life is the pits and I'm reaching crunchtime on a site project. I have no friends, and communicate with no one around me, save for my roommate (proximity makes for feasibility). My semester's almost over, and I need to fill out my schedule for my senior year, my last year at the university. I need to decide whether to take summer school or not. I have finances to keep track of now. I have no one to look forward to. I am spoiled and inexperienced in the ways of life.

And yet, none of this bothers me. I feel nothing. I am not numb; just unaffected. I don't know if I've ever felt so calm. People do not bother me right now. Arguments no longer are thorns in my side. I feel no compulsion to respond to insults or challenges or unanswered questions. The humor in humankind is that he can be expected to react in a hostile fashion.

For a long time, I felt, to some degree, enslaved by my passions towards debate or information processing, or by work, or by how other people treated me. We like to say we are free, but so rarely is that the truth -- we think of it as willingly continuing the charade, as if we had a choice. The reality is that we are not strong enough to resist -- the reality is that we must truly face our flaws in order to defeat them.

But now it is easy for me to see through, to avoid, to take advantage of. Events are dictated on my own terms now. The world has lost its turn -- it's my move.

This comes at a time when the goading and condescension and bitterness and indifference from others towards me is near an all-time high. None of it matters to me anymore. People scrambling to do their worst with the minimal veneer of power and reputation they've attained through all their clawing and scratching... I have played the games so many times now that the result is predictable, the rewards minimal. I love to observe the debate now, but I feel less obligated to participate in them. The ties and bonds are gone. I know the points of disagreement, the eventuality of its development, and the pitfalls and bounces.

The lower I sink, the deeper into the earth I set my foundations. Break me down, harm me, destroy me. It doesn't affect me anymore. I have nothing, yet I have everything. Or, at least, I know how to get what I want. Very few things seem inaccessible to me now. I have my fingers and eyes on everything now, touching and stroking and eyeing the thin fibers holding everything together.

I attribute this to a healthy semester of learning and studying. The philosophy, even at a level of basic surveying and understanding, has imposed some order to the thoughts I've had for the longest time now, and I have studied those things which I have doubted or feared or laughed at triumphantly in the past. I allowed myself to be more honest with myself about what I thought about other people, instead of allowing them benefit of the doubt in my mind. I interpret peoples' actions more clearly now. I've been opened up to the vast open system, the stock market. I'd wanted to for the longest time, and it was just what I needed at just the right time. I became more aware of my flaws, dropping much of the pretension and naivete I am bombarded with through accusation by even my most intimate of relations. I see the patterns, the reasons, the changes before they occur.

I'm more sure than ever that this site is being done for the right reasons, and I'm proud of all that is here. You see what I do, and you have many different openings to touch upon to learn more about me. I am here for you to see. I don't hide. I freely admit to my flaws, in order that I might gain strength through it.

I realize that this site attracts what I want towards me. A web site acts like a software agent. I pour out my interests, ideas, opinions, talents, failings, insufferabilities, et al into this site, and it in turn brings in outsiders, brings me work, brings me information, brings me access. In a way, it is sentient -- it does my work for me now.

Everything makes sense now. What I used to think was unfair, or cruel, or nonsensical, or unpredictable, is now much different. It's to be expected. Everything has an inherent nature. Whether or not I realize what everything's true nature is is not important right now -- thinking of things in those terms is the first step.

What's left for me, I suppose, is reorganizing it all. I'm ready to begin.


 
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