Saturday 17 November 2007

If Thou Would'st Man Know, First, Know Thyself

Sometimes, what can't be cured, must be endured.
The Baker always reminds me that both of us make the mistake of thinking everyone else thinks the way we do.
They don't. We are very similar in so many ways, we think so similarly, behave so similarly in given situations, in spite of many character differences, that we both feel comfortable in eachothers company in a way beyond the way most married couples do, I think.

But everybody is different. It took me a while to realise that several other types of genes than the ones myself and The Baker possess are making their way through humanity. And those genes make their owners have completely diffeent life strategies.

For long, I never realised which group it was I belonged to. I guess your parents never realise that genes might activate themselves in you, that were never active in them. That somehow, you would inherit an unusual genetic combination, one that would put you in a very unusual group of males.

And it IS an unusual group. It is only when you finally realise that you belong to that group, when you SEE what is that distinguishes you from all the rest, that suddenly you understand.

Being a member of this group, is a curse as much as a blessing. Membership means that you will never really understand those outside, nor they you. Your life strategy, the one you cannot HELP BUT have, that is how you are built, is so opposite to theirs.

There are many types of intelligence. There is straight forward academic intelligence. This is what I was told I had as a child, just that I was bone idle.
Both those facts are patently false.

Fact is, try and give me three sheets of accounts to work out and I won't be able to do it. I'm not very good with things like that. Or those games where you have to look at a set of objects, then look at the same set of objects and say which have gone.

Yet, watch the General Election on TV, I can remember every seat that changed hands.
Watch a football tournament, I understand the relationships of all the teams and what each game means interms of the overall table better than the commentators, without even having to look at the tables.

The reason, is I dont store data (as I realised) the same way a lot of academically bright people do. I don't remember words, so much as images and their spatial relationship. I remember tables as coloured structures. Evey fact I pick up, gets assimilated into a huge mental mindmap of every fact I know. Hence I can always retrieve relevant facts at will. Facts have a FEEL, a COLOUR.

Not just facts one reads, but facts one gains in everyday life. Basically, I store data more efficiently and process it much faster than most other people. I'm not being vain. It's fact.

Crucially, this is the difference between the sort of intelligence I am talking about and standard academic intelligence. It's my mental system for storing and processing information that is efficient.

What that means is, I have fast reaction times. Very fast.

I'm able to pick things up about body language, the way people stand, the way the walk, their intonation, and assimilate that data, in a way a lot of people don't.

What does this MEAN?

Well, it explains a lot.

In appearance, I look like a little hobbit. I'm pretty tiny and have some quite girly mannerisms.
But I've not been in a physical fight since I was nineteen.
Now I'd like to say, that's because I'm such a calm, non-confrontational person. But that's not quite true. I have found myself in pretty confrontational situations. I have got out of them by using conciliatory language and gestures, but significantly (and I only recently conceded this), by looking the other person in the eye, with one hand held up, whilst the other arm was tensed.

So what am I doing here?
I actually only twigged this a couple of weeks ago. Your eyes are telling the other party 'You may be bigger than me, but I'm quicker than you. You may be able to knock the sh*t out of me. You won't get time. Move along, mate. It ain't worth it.'

And this explains everything. Because you walk into every room, subconsciously knowing that. Physically, you have no fear.

But it goes further. You know from experience, that no matter what is thrown at you, you will find a way.
Others may save for a rainy day. It scares them that one day the cash till will say 'No funds available to withdraw.'

It doesn't worry you. Should that day come, as it has many times, you know you can find a way before bedtime.

Others may seek to find a person to share their life with. It doesn't worry you. You can strike up a conversation with anyone, you have absolutely no fear of people. That initial uneasiness that other people have when they first meet, that shyness of strangers, you don't have that.

Invest is not a word you know.
Tomorrow is not a word you know.

There is no reason to live for any other day than today. That REALLY is YOUR best life strategy.
Because by not fearing, you get the prizes others dread to grab. And they hate you for it.
Because even when you lose, you win.
You get the beautiful satisfaction of putting yourself to the test and winning.

And that's what takes us through life. People see us for what we are, we love generously, because we can afford to give it, we put our friends first, because it's them we need, it's LIFE we need, and we never get enough of it.

Men instinctively like us, because we approach them and make them our friends, saving them the work. We like to be liked, we like to be needed. That, after all, is where we feel happiest. In the thick of life.

And the Women? Oh, most of those who meet us can see what we are. We love them with all our hearts, each and everyone of them, but homemaker material, we ain't.

We are the type that women like for flings, not for marriage. Their genes want us to slip a little cuckoo into the marital bed, so their genes can also have the chance to try their luck with the compulsive risktaker genes.

We survive and are perpetuated, because our genes dictate it. That peculiar combination of high mental energy, conceptual intelligence and strong ability to communicate, are genes that are wanted. We will keep being born, because we carry those genes.

That doesn't mean they serve us very well.

One in every pack is fine, but we don't live like that any more.
And in normal every day life, it is the saver for the rainy day, the homemaker, the plodder, the person careful with their paperwork who gets rewarded.

Most of us, the compulsive risktakers, gamble the odds, and though we survive and live in our own way, we can't all win.

We make our own bargains with society. Some see a door of opportunity and sieze it, a REAL chance to play the game for the big spoils, and win. Most of us live a precarious existence, spending what we earn as soon as we have it.
We miss the cold breeze of the savannah, as we looked out and planned how to stampede the antelopes over the precipice.

We're no good at kowtowing, at fitting in, at knowing our place. We are tolerated, but 'not team players', because ultimately we don't like being told what to do and see every person who attempts to force their will on ours as an enemy. We co-operate with the system, because we are not stupid, but we are not easy cogs in it.

We search eternally, scanning those we meet, seeking those who see things as we do, kindred spirits in the world we can see.
The way we think makes us see it. Because we aren't planning for our tomorrow, we aren't lost in the details, we are looking at the world we see, a world that can never offer us enough.

There are many of us. Our eyes meet across bars and we graduate towards eachother. It's something you cannot understand, unless you are one of us. We'll probably hug eachother before we introduce ourselves. That's the people we are, and we recognised another immediately.
The conversation will then be a whirlwind conversation, no trivialities, straight to the deep stuff.

We are highly emotional, highly susceptible to eroticism, often have bisexual leanings and usually have sexual peccadilos slightly outside the norm. In my case, that's a fascination with the concept of being cuckolded.

We are Tyler Durden, we are Dorian Grey, we are Frodo Baggins, we are Ulysses.

From our character type came the Good and the Bad, the prophet and tyrant. Thus, no doubt, was Jesus. Thus too, Jim Morrison, The Buddha, Mohammed, Hitler.
Most of us, of course don't have their talents, either way. Just the same character type.

You cannot say to us 'Why can't you be happy? Why can't you just have a normal life?'

Our lives are not normal. We just aren't normal.
Unless you think like us, you can have no conception of it. Because we seek what everyone flees. And we flee everything you seek.

And the longer we live, the greater the divergence becomes. We are always at the centre of the crowd, always alone in it.
We love and are loved, but not the way others do. To love us, is to accept a distant kind of love. You'll never share our lives, just join us on the journey.

Chaos, disruption, suffering. Those seem to be inevitable for us. We sought them out, we found them, we endured them, we live yet.
But with the shadow on our brows.

But do not misrepresent us. We are not dark people, any more than you. We love as much as you, more, far more, we are genuinely emotional people.
But just don't expect it be exclusive.

And just because we're intelligent and good communicators and have the capabilities- should we choose to use them- to manipulate people, that doesn't mean that every interaction we have, is of that nature.
To manipulate, you have to stop and think- we do less of that than the rest of you. We ARE genuine far more often than the rest of you.

We're not devious, or heartless, or psychotic, or predatory or any one of those insults that vindictive types like to throw at people like us. These insults hurt, they hurt because they could only be made by those who don't get us. We do love, in a way most people don't get, because they don't love that way. We crave interaction, contact, both mental and physical. We love as much as we can, as many people as we can.

But you can hurt us, just as you can any other.

It took me many years to acknowledge this as my basic character type. And more, be comfortable with it. To know this as my lot, for good or ill. To look myself in the mirror and understand the man I was.

And LIKE it.

But recently, I have had another battle. A long tortuous persecution, the like of which you could never begin to comprehend. To be honest, it almost drove me to a nervous breakdown.
Is it over? God alone knows. To be honest, I don't really care. I'm just rising above it now. I can look myself in the mirror with a clear conscience.

What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

And now I see how lucky I am. I've lived through Hell and come through.
Unless we are talking about the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition, I can't see what worse life could throw my way than it already did. And I went through all that for no good reason.

Am I prepared to accept every day for the rest of my life, as a day of suffering, of sweat, of anguish?
Am I prepared to spend every day of the rest of my life ALMOST at breaking point, mentally and physically?
To serve a higher purpose?

Yes, I think I am.

To the person who put me through this Hell over the past two months.

I'm going to do something useful with my life. In spite of you.


Anonymous said...

Well I like you even though you are as daft as a brush..

Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely sure I understand much of this post...But it's good to know that you've come through your hardships stronger.

Anonymous said...

We sure get to ride the roller coaster with your posts.

I had rather thought you had a photographic memory but this is a much more interesting explanation.

I'm sure we'd all be happy to meet you in RL but we probably wouldn't be very interesting to you, so luckily we get to read this instead.

Thankfully you seem to have survived your trials so far, but no doubt there will be more, for that is life.

Anonymous said...

I think this sounds like a bit of a middle-finger expletitive as well, but I like it. I like how you have spent a lot of time getting to know yourself and you are proud of your attributes.

Good for you. It's your life and it's there to be lived.

Anonymous said...

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - Nietzsche, yes?
Fascinating glimpse into what you see as your personality type, Crushed, especially for me, as the daughter of a compulsive gambler. You're right - it's the plodders and savers who get rewarded. But the risktakers - boring we ain't!
Glad you feel you have come through your recent trials.

Anonymous said...

Mutley- Well, 'extreme' is how I'm often described. My work colleagues think I'm completely nuts, they think I have a monkey obssession.

Oestrebunny- Sometimes I think I have been a little too hardened by them. My flatmate keeps going on about my barriers, but she's right in a way. Still, It always maks my smile when I meet people I haven't seen for yours and they say 'You ain't a changed a bit. Seriously. NOT a bit.'

Because in a sense, they're right.

jmb- It's kind of photographic, but not the way people think. For example, as I start watch an election come in, I have in my hand a map of the UK, each constituency coloured in. As seats change, the picture in my head changes.

I think the whole thing works pretty much the same as Windows, but with hyperlinks from one field to another.

Actually, I tend to find something interesting in most people. I'm sure you and I could talk for hours on art movements, for example. Everybody has thoughts in their head worth pillaging :)

Oh, there will be more, of that I have no doubt.

Betty- I think we all have some responsibility to work out what it is makes us tick.

I think for me, it was the realisation that my destructive qualities were the other side of the coin to everything it was about me, that made me me.

And yes, you only get one shot, so you HAVE to live it as YOU, not what someone else thinks you should be.

Welshcakes- Exactly. But do they get rewarded? Really? What do they look back on at seventy five?

The misery and the suffering, the hardship, the planning how to solve the crises you lurch through, that sense of being ALIVE, of STRUGGLE, that exhileration when you come through and go 'YES! You'll never beat me down!'
Isn't that what life's all about?

I feel I've had far more value out of life so far than the ploddwers and the savers. I may not live as long, but I think I'll have had more life out of it.

Anonymous said...

Tell us more about the Baker.

Anonymous said...

Cooooollllllll.... :-)(I'm feeling adrenalized, reading all that)

>Or those games where you have to look at a set of objects, then look at the same set of objects and say which have gone.
Haha, my parents used to do that to me... those games scare me ;-) (But they ARE good for training, I admit, and I'd play them with my kids to train them :-))

>You can strike up a conversation with anyone, you have absolutely no fear of people.
Impressive... :-) It's a gift... use it well... you could change lives like that...

> We are the type that women like for flings, not for marriage. Their genes want us to slip a little cuckoo into the marital bed, so their genes can also have the chance to try their luck with the compulsive risktaker genes.
*Breaks into laugh* Well-written....LOL

> Am I prepared to spend every day of the rest of my life ALMOST at breaking point, mentally and physically? To serve a higher purpose? Yes, I think I am.
It's good to serve a higher purpose, to live for someone other than ourselves :-) (and it helps if that 'someone' is worthy, like God; if not it may be wasted). Way to go with making it through everything... :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow man you are deep have you went thru a recnt break up? Men ARE sensitive creatures more than they let on!~
hugs for you ((((crushed)))))