August 19th, 2007



I'd like to write down everything about myself. Everything that consitutes my personality. My identity. Sometimes I'm gentle. Sometimes I'm angry. Sometimes I'm cynical; others, naïve. Not those things. Those things change. I'm looking for invariants. Like, given two choices, I go for the more environmentally friendly. So I'm a friend and a fan of nature. I read too many comic books, but that's judgemental. So nothing judgemental, just: I like to read comic books. Or even: I am an avid reader. I am a pessimist. I am lazy. I want to write down every true sentence beginning with I am.

Then I will take each one of those sentences, and I will reverse it. I will rescind everything that makes me who I am. And what I want to know is: Will that destroy my identity? Because we think so many things about so many people. "He's so nice." To you, yes. Behind the wheel, he's a prick. That man you think is a weak-willed coward? Was confident and well-liked before his parents moved when he was seven to a place where he was unknown, different, and therefore ridiculed. Things about us change over time. We are never ourselves, or who we think we are. I am not who you think I am. I don't even exist. "I" doesn't exist. I am a collection of loosely connected actions, and reactions to those around me. "I", my identity, is not a consistent, well-defined, self-sufficient object. "No man is an island" should be "No man is." We are not atoms colliding in a vacuum. We are a a continuous, unstable waveform, evolving and existing in a void. "I" is just a fraction of that wave observed through a band-pass filter. I have no essence of my own, no being unto myself. I am defined, created, and continuously changed by you. I have no identity, no self, and therefore no responsibility for my actions. And it's time for all that to change. It's time to take some blame, and to break the wave with some destructive interference. Through my own actions, I will craft myself. I will create myself in defiance of this fiction you call me.


I had no idea where this was all going when I sat down to write it, but my twelve-year-old self wanted it to end with the dude strapping on two bandoliers of TNT and grabbing some huge-ass guns. But yeah, regardless: I'm pretty sure identity does not exist. Your ego is but a phantasm of a phantasm crafted to keep your brain from jumping out of its skull. You don't exist. So stop huffing yourself up with all kinds of importance. Your fears, your worries, your anxieties are demons conjured by your imaginary self to give it challenges. They are illusory foes designed to keep your mind too busy to realize the truth about itself. You are free. You have always been free. There were never any bars on the window but those you fabricated for fear you'd fall out and never be able to come back. Anxiety is another word for exhilaration. You have dressed your allies as enemies, as monsters, so that you could playact pantomime struggles to occupy yourself. To stop you from seeing the larger world. Because the world is built upon paradox. Which is so impossibly wonderful, it's terrifying. Another paradox. I do so love a good paradox.
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