Saturday, April 18, 2015

Let go of the residue...

I guess it was Alexander Pope who wrote " The proper study of Mankind is man". Nothing can be truer than this...
During the course of a conversation with a gentleman today, he tells me that he has been spending three hours in the Sauna each day to get over his depression. And when I politely enquired about its cause , He very seriously tells me "I was dating this middle aged lady for the past two years, and now she has ditched me; and my new Brazilian girlfriend doesn't want to marry me..". I couldn't help burst out laughing, and I did so. I don't think he was very happy with my reaction to his "agony", but, seriously - there was no other way I could have sincerely reacted. I know this gentleman for a while now. He is around his fifties, and a successful realtor in Georgia.
He continued :" Somehow, this heat cools me down, and I feel very good. Last week, I nearly spent a whole day in an other fitness center... it helps me to get over this pain of separation and rejection...
"Gosh!! John (name changed) what are you making yourself into. Don't your realize that you will always be pushed against the wall if you continue to retreat into such acts of escapism. It like an alcoholic who wishes to numb himself against reality, and pretend that things are getting better with himself..."
"Yeah, Yeah - I understand what you are saying, but you see, there is wide chasm between intellectual acceptance and actual experience of it.."
I couldn't agree with him more. The biggest existential problem Man faces is his surrender to symbols and living in them- when it is plain and evident that symbols are mere pointers to reality and nothing else. Over the millennia, we have gotten habituated to cultivating a persona completely divorced from the actual fact of "being", that we find it very odd to think of any other way of living. Looking though a prism of Husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, foe - all these different masks gives us a false sense of continuity and identity; and all our relationship with the outside gets refracted through its colored edges. And when something threatens that personality, we run helter skelter trying our best to keep that fictitious center alive... When the easiest way out would be to drop the burden which we so wearily carry on our shoulders. Now, many would call such an attitude as irresponsible or weak. You have to live up to a "role" - is what they would exhort and advice. But such an effort is only worth it if one realizes that it only a role and not ones real self.
I said " John, move on, let go of the residue.. ""
He looked at me with wry smile " Its easy for you to say that Man..."
God, we are back to square one. It is difficult to come out of self-pity.. I understand...
God bless...

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