Friday 24 August 2007

We're Not All Meant to be Happy

At heart, I think there are only a few types of people.
We express ourselves differently, but there are a limited amount of possible yearnings, so the real question, is what your deepest yearning is.

Because that defines your life strategy, and ultimately who you are.
We are all out to get something, and we are attempting to pursue those objectives as our lifeplan.

For Gordon Brown, from age six, that lifeplan was to be Prime Minister.
For some, the yearning is be to powerful.
For many, maybe most, it is to find love.
To love and be loved.

But there are a few who have yearnings most people cannot comprehend. There are people who have no real desire to be happy.
People who get restless when their world is still.
For whom the yearnings of most other people are unsatisfying.

Who have no desire to grow old.
Who feel cheated if denied the chance to go young in a blaze of glory.

It's hard to understand for someone who doesn't feel this. In modern times, it is the James Dean phenomenon, Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a Good Looking Corpse, as indeed the lucky anti-hero did.
Most of you can't see how or why people like me genuinely envy him that. Jim Morrison and John Lennon mesmerise partly, because they were thus blessed.

Do you get it now?

It's the wish to go with a bang, rather than a whimper, for life to always lead uphill, right up to the climax, your finest hour, the moment of your own passing, a passing that will immortalise you, fresh faced and the image of virtue, an image to inspire others.

That's of course why early Christians were so hard to deal with. They got into the psychology of martyrdom. Not only are you prepared to die for your beliefs, it's actually your lifeplan.
Hard to fight that. Causes that can inspire this, are on to a winner.

I can tell you, it's nothing like morbidity. It's very much not a wish to die, quite the reverse in some ways. Your ending is valuable to you. You aren't going to waste it. The whole point of your LIFE, is an aspiration to find the most glorious ending you can. This is one of the reasons why people with this fixation almost never commit suicide. It's not how we want to go.
I can honestly say, I've never once felt suicidal in my life, and there were times when stronger men than me, would have done.

I first realised I had these yearnings many years ago. I had a dream where I was being led out to be publically hanged. The whole thing felt so real.
Thing was, I knew in the dream I was being hanged as a rebel.
I knew in my dream I was right, and I wanted the crowds to see me hanged.
I can still feel the tension in my bowels, the pounding in my chest, the certain knowledge these were my final moments.
And that as a result, I had to give the performance of my life.

To stare back at the jeering crowd and let my gaze reach the quiet faces, the faces that would question what they saw, the hearts that would take my place.

And I felt beautifully euphoric.

I know it was just a dream, but I'm telling you, it felt better than sex.

It's not a desire to die. The suicide cheapens his death as well as his life.
To me, my death is not something I want to waste.

To me, The Wind That Shakes The Barley is one of the most moving films in the world. I hope you don't mind me spilling the beans if you haven't seen it, but I love it for the same way other people like Love Stories.
The hero faces the firing squad.
He dies for Ireland.

His death acheives something bigger than his life can.
People sometimes think I'm joking when I say I'd die for Ireland.
Many people set a great precedent on that front.

I'd be HONOURED to join them.

But here's the worst.
There's a part of me ENVIES Jesus.

For two reasons.

Firstly, for being able to change the world in the most dramatic way any death could.

And secondly, for having the will to pull it off.
I know I couldn't go through what he did. He must have had utter faith in what he was doing.
I so wish I had that.

It means having absolute certainty of the level of success your death will acheive.
Where do you get faith like that?

I suppose this outlook is why my addictive personality drives me hedonistically through life.
I have this sense that if I live long enough to know my grandchildren, I will have failed.
Failed to leave that good looking corpse.

Sometimes I think I'm not far from the summit, if not there.

Nothing I can do about it, but hitting thirty will be hard.


Anonymous said...

The dream was amazing. Perhaps it was memories of a past life. Your thoughts run the gamut. You are definitely a profound individual -- or just crazy!

Of course I am kidding -- I don't think you're crazy, but a very deep thinker which is quite admirable.
Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

You want to be remembered. Thats normal. At least, I think it is. But you can be memorable, without having to go out with a bang. Live and love every day with a bang. Carry yourself with the right combination of dignity and attitude. Be selfless but expect karmic return for it. Be someone that you would remember.

Anonymous said...

You've gussied this up with rhetoric and very fine rhetoric it is too, but this post puts me in mind of an adolescent girl who commits suicide or romanticizes suicide because she is mad at people, with their treatment of her and demanding attention. "So now you'll be sorry. See you caused me to do this." But death is so final, you can't change anything once you are dead.
I'm not saying this is your thinking but it made me think of it.
Near the end of my life, I have this great regret that I never became an expert on anything. The one the TV people wanted to comment on this or that, or the government had to consult for my expertise. But I have lived a very satisfactory life without this.
You couldn't go wrong following phishez rule's advice. She has said it very well.
Think of the stories you'll have to tell those grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

It seems the extended middle finger has departed the scene.
Mr Crushed,
Gordon Brown is a freak of nature. I'm not sure his existence exemplifies anything. Except the nature of genetic flaws.
You certainly (and I struggle to avoid psycho-babble at this point) have a marked obsession with morbidity. Or perhaps it's just the typical Irish passion for romantic futility and love of the grand gesture(I share it: we seem to have similar origins if I uınderstand your previous posts correct). BTW, hitting 30 is neither here or there.In a general sense, we must create our own meaning for our lives regardless of whether or not our lives serve some higher purpose.

Anonymous said...

Stan - yeah, I think my ex has well and truly gotten the message by now. Plus I got bored with it.

Anonymous said...

Powerful, CBI :-D I'm almost breathing heavily. This used to be my dream too; at that point, I was intent on pursuing medicine to be a missionary doctor. Then I met bf, and it seemed I had to choose; to live a life of greatness, or to be a part of his ordinary happily-ever-after; that's when I got into all the stuff that made me forget the dream. But being at CF camp this weekend, and now your post; they all remind me. Gotta get back to chasing that dream; it's just a question of when.

You CAN be remembered; but as you say, it takes focus and commitment. Choose a cause you'd be willing to die for, and you'll have found your life's purpose...:-)

Anonymous said...

How do you get pictures scattered throughout your post? When I upload them they go to the top and I have to chop about with the HTML which is too much like hard work for me.

Do you have to be famous to have made a useful contribution? I don't think so. Every good parent makes a contribution to society. Every good friend does so too. As Mr Tesco reminds us: every little helps.

Anonymous said...

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."
~ Richard Bach

I can say with some authority on the matter that I lived wildly in my life and I now live pretty peacefully - for me, peace is much more preferable.

Peace, love and understanding.

Anonymous said...

vivid dream. i'm not sure if it's wanting to be remembered, or more being scared of being forgotten. i agree with phishez, it's more a self thing and being happy with who you are.

Anonymous said...

Alexys- I sometimes think that some of my dreams are so vivid they are parallel lives.

I think we are ALL profound, but most people don't take the trouble to realise it.

Phish- Not so much remebered as utilised to the full. Fruit is meant to be eaten, not to rot.
I try to live up tp MY image of what I should be.
But not everyone likes that image.

I do believe in karma, I see it working everyday.

jmb- I see your point, but to me, it's about not selling yourself cheap, it's about selling yourself for the highest price possible.
I am a bit of an adrenalin junkie, I just don't want to be old.

The idea of losing my hair is the worst fear.

Stan- It possibly does have cultural roots. I have a fascination with Michael Collins, the men shot in 1916 and others.
I do feel sometimes that only those who give their lives (as opposed to take them) are truly admirable.
I can't escape this.

I'm getting bags under my eyes and losing my boyish looks, to me that is here or there.

Phish- Good reasons, both.
It's a nice picture.

Eve- Easier said than done, if the cause is pointless, it's a waste.
the sacrifice has to be worth it.
I keep looking.

Ed- I find the pictures first on the net, then write the post, then upload them.
I then put them where I want them, via cut and paste.

It's not fame I want.
On a deeper level, it's not the approval one wants, it is the knowledge one has made a difference.
I guess that's what I really want. I want to feel my life HAS changed the world in a definite way.
Whetrher that's Love or Narcissism, I'm not sure. A bit of both, maybe.

I suspect you are right, in that having good friends and seeing my input in their lives probably does temper these yearnings of mine.

Rubyshooz- It's good you found some way of being at peace. For me, peace is in the eye of the storm, I never feel calmer than when the adrenalin is pumping and I can feel the blood rushing through my veins.

Raffi- It's HOW we are remembered.
I never want people to remember me as a dieing old man.
I am happy with who I am. I don't want to waste it on the decay process.
I'm already older than I ever wanted to be.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for the terribly long comment...

Anonymous said...

Crushed, I understand where you're coming from, and forgive me if I sound condescending, but it is the luxury of youth to think that time not recorded has been wasted. But it is also this drive of Western Society, the "look at me, look what I can do" drive. How much greater the inspirer than the inspiration manifest?

Dillard posed this reflection on an individual's role in the "grand scheme" of things:

"The beginning is swaddled in mists, blasted by random blinding flashes. Lava pours and cools; seas boil and flood. Clouds materialize adn sift; now you cna see the earth's face through only random patches of clarity. The land shudders and splits, like pack ice rent by a widening lead. Mountains burst up, jutting, and dull and soften before your eyes, clothed in forests like felt. The ice rolls up, grinding green land under water forever; the ice rolls back. Forests erupt and disappear like fairy rings. The ice rolls up--mountains are mowed into lakes, land rises wet from the sea like a surfacing whale--the ice rolls back.

A blue-green streaks the highest ridges, a yellow-green spreads from the south like a wave up a strand. A red dye seems to leak from teh north down teh ridges and into the valleys, seeping south; a white follows the red, then yellow-green washes north, then red spreads again, then white, over and over making patterns of color too swift and intricate to follow. Slow the film. You see dust storms, locusts, floods, in dizzying flash-frames.

Zero in on a well-watered shore and see smoke from fires drifting. Stone cities rise, spread, and crumble, like patches of alpine blossoms that flourish for a day an inch above the permafrost, that iced earth no root can suck, and wither in an hour. New cities appear, adn rivers sift silt onto their rooftops; more cities emerge and spread in lobes like lichen on rock. The great human figures of history, those intricate, spirited tissues that roamed the earth's surface, are a wavering blur whose split second in the light was too brief an exposure to yield any image but the hunched, shadowless figures of ghosts. The great herds of caribou pour into the valleys like slag, and trickle back, and pour, a brown fluid.

Slow it down more, come closer still. A dot appears, a flesh-flake. It swells like a balloon; it moves, circles, slows, and vanishes. This is your life."

If you want to go down in flames living for your cause, if that is your passion, then figure out how to do it, but do so cognizant that ultimately it is the id that is leading your life...

Anonymous said...

I can't say I've never wanted to commit suicide before. But when I did, reality would always settle in and prevent me from doing the unthinkable.

Mainly because I realized fully what an unlucky motherfucker I can be at times. I mean, I could shoot myself in the head. However, with my luck I'd probably end up living through it and have my soul stuck in my body for another 90 years or something.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, the colours of autumn are also beautiful...

Anonymous said...

Ag duine féin is fearr fhios cá luigheann a bhróg air.
The wearer knows best where the shoe pinches him.

Anonymous said...

Helen- Don't apologise, comments of that depth of thought are a real pleasure, subsequent readers get almost a guest post!

I haven't really found a cause. That's why I'm a rebel without one.
That's the whole reason James Dean is such a legend.

Shelly- It's not like suicidal urges, almost the opposite.
It is a wish to carry on fighting to the bitter end, a desire for the conflict to come your way, so you can take it on.
A wish to be measured against the ultimate sacrifice.

Suicide can never be the answer.
There is always hope.
There is, trust me.

Ian- You are right, of course.
Sometimes however, I am reminded of Rowan Atkinson's words in Blackadder the Third;
'I want to be youndg and free,
then I want to become Middle aged and cynical,
and then I want to be old and annoy people, by pretending to be deaf.'

Ah well, what will be, will be.

Sean- This is true. I know myself now, but I didn't always.
I used to kid myself I'd settle down one day.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post and beautiful comments to follow.

I feel that many of us grow up with a sense of destiny - the disappointment we feel is huge when it is unfulfilled, hence the term that is called 'mid-life crisis'.

For goodness sake, Ingsoc, make sure you get shot before you turn 42 ! (my age)

Anonymous said...

interesting reading. Not sure I agree with you on some things but I don't think blogs are meant for agreeing - it was definately interesting though.

Anonymous said...

Do you think you would have been happier in a more romantic time ?

England still needs its heroes, there're opportunities yet - more so now than for a long time.

Anonymous said...

"England still needs its heroes"

A truly urgent need.
And that thought puts me in mind of Gordon Brown and his own (ghost-written?) book on heroism.A book in which Brown signally failed to address the issue of whether courage is admirable in those who fight for causes that are less uncontroversially noble than opposing Nazism or apartheid. Hmmmm...
The worst of it is that Brown, has signed a second book deal to write about the nation's unsung heroes, i.e., ordinary folk whose dedication to a cause has inspired Brown.
God help us...

Anonymous said...

E-K- It isn't a desire to die, it's a desire to die well. Death is inevitable.
42. The answer to the universe, eh?
This explains the interest in how it all works...
Maybe I shall reach enlightenment then...
Seems I am only two thirds there...

Fourteen more years then!
I can have a lot of fun in fourteen years, I'm sure :)

Betty Boob- I think the blogs which appeal most are those where we sometimes agree with the writer, sometimes don't, an sometimes just go off the thinking.
The first bit shows a mind the working of which we can relate to, as a rsult of which we at least understand how the author formed the opinions we don't agree with.

I don't agree with a fair bit that is written by many people on my blogroll, but with all of them, I can find common ground somewhere.

In fact, some of the first blogs I check daily are those of bloggers who courteously but firmly oppose almost view I hold.

E-K- The powers have become more skilled. they know now how not to let heroes or martys be created.
the Press is a mightier weapon than the Stake.
Heroes are besmirched before they can become legends.
Burn them, they live forever.
Expose them, they sink into the mud.

Of course, heroes are a product of circumstances.
No Easter Rising, and Michael Collins would have died in the 1960's as a retired London Postal Clerk.
Churchill too, no Second World War, and he goes down in history as a politician who changed parties twice, carried the can for Gallipoli, a repressive Home Secretary, a poor Chancellor Chancellor, who would possibly have ben deselcted by his Epping constituency had Chamberlain's hopes been proved true.

Stan- History is of course, written by the winnes, but with a possibility of respect for a gallant loser.
That's healthy I think, because the implied assumption we all follow unconsciously that the Right side always won, needs questioning some times.
The Second World War does irritate me a little in the way we look at it, because we are very disingenuous about it.
The Second World war has become the Orgin Myth of the modern world, presented as the ultimate struggle between Good and Evil. That's ridiculously simplistic, but our world view has come to depend on that outlook.
The atrocity of the conflict is truly shocking, so we comfort ourselves that it really was a battle of duality.
But look at the Grey on the sidelines.

I wonder if the sinister Harold Laski is in Brown's book?

Anonymous said...

Good point, CBI. A worthy cause. Something that's last for eternity. Hah, there's only one thing then... saving souls, investing in lives...;-)

Anonymous said...

The dream seems very disturbing to me. But you're too young to be thinking like this, Crushed. I think we can change the world whilst alive - and you have plenty of time to do it! We can change another person's world just by saying something kind, you know.... So think of all the little ways you could change things for the people you meet and they will add up to a big thing.

Anonymous said...

Most of my life I have been pretty morose with some good experiences and worthwhile ventures. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple and focus on the now. The future will be there some day.