Saturday, 10 January 2009
I remember what seemed to cause the most resistance when all this started for "me". It's what I've been touching on in some of these blogs, the really scary stuff: if nothing matters, if this is all just a story, then what keeps me from being a raving sociopath? The only thing that dies is the seeker. The thing that is gone is the one who looks for wholeness. Seeing that this is just a story doesn't change anything, except that none of it is happening to "me" or is caused by "me". Paradoxically, the character that is me grows stronger, more herself. All the conditioning in the story is still there, and this character's conditioning has a strong moral code and intense remorse when it's violated. None of that changes. In fact, it intensifies. So, the story unfolding seems to include less selfishness, more helping, more time for apparent others. However, this is not the goal: it is simply what is happening. I remember seeing the semi-penultimate episode of The Sopranos. Tony's therapist becomes convinced that talking therapy only stengthens the criminal's toolbox of rationalisation, and gives him better information about the parameters of society he must seem to be conforming to in order to get away with murder, literally in Tony's case. She throws him out of her office. I remember being appalled that my sympathies had been firmly with the sociopath, when such anti-social behaviour was in fact to be reviled. Now I see that there are Tony Sopranos in this world for balance. My character feels glad that I'm not one of them, but they are no more nor no less important, no better or no worse, than anything else that seems to come up in this passionate play of life. The sociopath commits crimes. He feels little remorse. He is the extreme of selfishness, and has no empathy. Certain individuals in society see the need for punishing, or trying to cure, this behaviour, and become police or lawyers or psychotherapists. They have little or no success, and it often seems that incarceration is the only, regrettable, answer. What is called the "best" in human nature rejoices when these people seem to be cured, and have regrets, and develop empathy, and learn to love. It is all as it must be, and however our characters respond to such a story, or participate in it, it is still just a story, an explosion of passionate aliveness, a parable for another possibility, one that is boundless and accepts and loves all of these stories - because it is all of these stories, and cannot reject itself. I find my character in my story is having fun. There are worries and concerns that are part of the story, but it seems more and more that what unfolds is utterly, mesmerically fascinating, enchanting, and breathtaking. Who is it can resist what is, although resistance seems to arise? I am Tony Soprano, and his shrink, and the wall that seems to be in front of me, I am it all, and more. And so is "everybody".