Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New You

To continue in yesterday's vein: I was reminded of a time a few years ago when a (drunk) friend of mine said to me, "You just want someone to mold you."

This bold statement came on the heels of a spirited political discussion among a group of inebriated fellows where this particular friend's viewpoint differed from the opinion of the majority. He was obviously feeling defensive, and so was a little belligerent. Yet, it really bothered me that he said that, and at the time I thought he was an asshole and totally mistaken. But, looking back on it, I think the reason it bothered me so much was because, on a deeper-than-politics level, what he said was true!

I think it would feel very nice, very COMFORTABLE, to be squashed into a particular shape and never have to question my beliefs about myself and the universe or anything. It would feel great to believe I had all the answers! Imagine it, switching off the frontal lobe and just setting the cruise control... No more doubt, no more questioning, no more searching-- to be safely ensconced within a fortress of certainty. That's crap, though. As comfy-womfy as it would feel, it would always be totally hollow. And, in addition to being hollow, it's also dangerous!

Take a good look at the world: Lotsa folks with incompatible beliefs out there. Mostly they just hate each other, or at best they pity each other. But, get a gang of true believers together who feel that their fortress is under attack, and you'll have to get out your galoshes lest the flowing blood stain your socks!

Forget it. Part of me may secretly long to be molded, but all those who would seek to mold me will have to look elsewhere for recruits.


Anonymous said...

Ok--so let me guess: The opinion of the majority present at the time was center liberal.

Am I correct?

Kenny P. said...

Oh, "Anonymous," how I've missed you!

How I've missed your pithy comments!

How I've missed your astute analysis!

How you've missed the point completely!


Anyway, to tell you the truth, "the opinion of the majority" that night has, since that time, actually become quite popular with even the most hardened of conservatives! Namely, that invading Iraq was unnecessary and ill-conceived.

Anonymous said...

Dear seeker - Have you considered not believing anything? The less you believe the more you are.
Stop thinking.

Kenny P. said...

You sound like a different "Anonymous."

Sure, I've considered it. (Read anything by Robert Anton Wilson, and the reality of that option will strike your poor little noggin like a bolt of lightning from a crystal clear sky!) In fact, I'd even venture to say that it's the obvious endpoint of my search. I often see that clearly, but sometimes I look away and go in search of pat answers. I think it's possible to become addicted to the Search, and to forget about Finding...

Maybe one day I'll get to the point where I can stop thinking, but for now I'm enjoying the flexibility and freedom to try on different hats and to discard them if necessary, and to keep what is useful.

van der anarchy said...

Hey KP your a little old to be worrying about the search, You have opened and closed many DOORS.
The real test began with the birth of your son and the sponge brain that HE is.
You have to be vary careful and deliberate.
He is a product of all your words, actions, affection, T.V.( SpongeBob), Sketches/Blog, Mac & Cheese, & Corporate America.
You are a good person but there is always need for improvement with Strength, Direction and Purpose.
Always Be the Best Human you can Be!!!!!!
(Now I got to get back to my 40oz. put on a new porn and finish cleaning my gun.)

Anonymous said...

It was merely a question, and you seem to have answered it in the affirmative.

Kenny P. said...

Van Der Anarchy: Hey, I can be a good dad without giving up on the search. I aint dead yet! Now hand me that 40!!!

Anonymous: Good. I answered it. Bye.

becky said...

Cool, man, strange how we're thinkin' along similar lines and the like. Coolio, man. I've been thinkin' 'bout those people who tear down old, historical houses to build their nightmarish, yuppie monuments to greed, and how empty the whole thing is. not that that necessarily applies all the way to your discussion, but it does to some extent. There seems to be this pervasive emptiness that's hovering over the land like a big ole fog, man. People get stuck inside their little molds and don't look outside 'em and question stuff and the like. Shit, I'm blathering.

htw said...

gosh, I'm hesitant to dip my toe into these politically infested people continue on without me, I'll try not to catch up.

rbuchanan said...

It is completely possible that in order to be a good dad, you have to continue the search. If you don't, if you believe that you have all the answers, then what kind of example are setting for your son? The example of not thinking? We have enough people in this world who do not think. Besides, when is anyone ever too old to continue searching for who they are and the answer to life? Only when you're dead, and that's debatable.

Becky, I first thought you wrote "...pervasive emptiness that's hovering over the land like a big ole frog...." Darn that frog!

Sid said...

WEEEEEE Off to Starbucks!!!

Johnnybaffo said...

I'm not sure that it's ever a good thing to be certain in your beliefs. It's corny to say it but life really is a journey, so pick up info on the way and alter your beliefs as you go. I'm just as put out by a devoutly religious person as I am by those who are certain that there is no god. How can either person be so god dam certain. I enjoy the search for answers to life and from time to time I fall into line with different schools of thought, such as my recent love affair with exsistentialism. (BTW: nice Camus refrence KP) And of course my old standby Joseph Campbell (If you hav'nt read his stuff it's really cool) Anyway the point I think I'm trying to make is... Why limit yourself to a stedfast belief? The only thing that I'm certain of is that no living human or animal really knows what the hell life is all about and anyone that says they do is just pullin the wool over thier own eyes.
Yabba Dabba Doo Mutha scratchers.

becky said...

Yeah, I'm on board with Rebecca and JonnyBaffo; I think when people get stuck inside nice li'l belief systems and think they got it all figured out, well, 1. they're foolin' themselves, and 2. it gives 'em a sense of safety. That sorta speaks to the whole existentialism thing (or at least existential psychology; Yalom is a good guy to read if ya wanna find out about that stuff). It's like, we're born with this pervasive fear of annihalation, and we all know it's a-comin', and rather than live in fear all our lives, why not retreat into the comfort and security of a nice li'l belief system, sorta like the all-protective parent or something like that. Cool, man, cool.