What Would It be Like?

‘What would it be like,’ I wondered, ‘to be trapped helplessly and for the most part unknowingly in a congealed cluster of personality reflexes, twitching involuntarily with unwanted thoughts and behaviours, and heading slowly but surely the whole time to hell in a handbasket?’


Such questions as these don’t really need to be answered, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Would you really want a blow-by-blow account, documented down to the last tedious detail? The general outlines will suffice, in my opinion – the actual details are a pain. Often enough people will want to tell you about the actual details its true, but all that stuff’s a drag. It’s only of interest to the person themselves in my opinion, and perhaps not even them. Almost certainly not even them.


It can seem OK for a while. The process I mean. We all know that, I guess. It can seem OK for a while, perhaps even more than OK…  I find myself falling into a bit of a reverie at this point, recapitulating my youth. Isn’t that what we all do? There is usually a kind of honeymoon period, as we all know only too well. We’re all wise to that at this stage, I’d say. You bet we are. It’s easy to cast a nostalgic eye by over the old honeymoon period, when it really did seem that this conglomerate of personality reflexes constituted some kind of authentic identity. I’m sure you remember those days as well as I do – that’s how we generally like to think of ourselves, after all.


Those were heady days. Though I’m not 100% sure, on reflection, that I actually know what that word ‘heady’ means but still. I’ll stick with it, even though there’s part of me which is worried that I’m not using the word correctly. If I were to be totally honest I would have to admit that I can’t entirely remember what those days were like – all I know is that I have some sort of association going on there which makes me come out with such statements as ‘those were heady days’. Whatever in God’s name that might mean…


I suspect that it doesn’t actually mean anything at all. Not in my case, anyway. That’s rather pathetic, isn’t it? It’s pathetic that that’s all I can come up with – the nostalgia-tinged memory of some earlier (and probably unreliable) memory. Which in turn was itself based on some other memory. Or something someone once told me. Not exactly the most substantial basis for feeling good about one’s identity, is it?


And then the next thing you know (and you never really knew anything anyway when it comes down to it) the honeymoon phase is over and you’re left helplessly drifting downstream entombed (I was going to say ‘enmeshed’ but entombed is better) in a tawdry inauthentic personality construct heading straight to hell in a handbasket. What a bummer, huh?


I know I said ‘slowly but surely heading’ earlier but that’s a load of bollocks – I was just trying to trade on the alliteration, clichéd as it is. There’s nothing slow about it really – it’s about as slow as an arrow released from the bow heading straight for its target. It’s already there, to be honest. It’s an illusion that it isn’t there yet. It’s an illusion that it isn’t there yet, and we all live in that illusion.


If it’s actually true that we’re all embedded in a mechanical personality construct that we foolishly take to be ourselves, that is. Maybe it isn’t true. Maybe that’s all just a big bunch of bullshit. A lot of people will tell you that it is exactly that – bullshit. It’s only a conjecture, after all. Just a thought – I don’t really know if it’s true! I don’t actually know anything really – I’m just mouthing off to pass the time…


But then again – perhaps it is true? What I just said. Maybe it is all true that we’re all helplessly trapped (entombed, even) in a moribund personality husk, reflex thoughts and actions firing off constantly in a grotesque caricature of true autonomy. You’re mouthing off like a fool, saying a lot of dumb shit you don’t really mean, your head full of ridiculous dumb-ass thoughts that aren’t even your own…


I mean, you’ve got to ask yourself – haven’t you – just what the hell would that be like? Not great, I’d say…




Art: Taken from Madoka Magica in leviathyn.com





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