Monday, July 28, 2008

excerpt from 'a fraction of the whole' by steve toltz'

Am i changing? Is a mans character changeable? imagine an immortal. revolting to think he might be making the same boo boos over the centuries. to think of the immortal on his 7000552nd birthday still touching the plate even when someone has told him its hot - surely we have deep capacity for change but our 80 years doesn't give us ample opportunity. You have to be a fast learner. You have to cram infinity into a handful of lousy decades.
This morning i passed a horribly deformed beggar who was for all practical purposes merely a torso rattling a cup. Was it really me who gave him 100 francs and said take the day off? It wasn't me, not exactly. It was one of my selves, one of the multitudes. Some of them laugh at me. Others bite their nails in suspense. One snorts with derision. That's how they are, one of the multitudes. Some of the selves are children and some are parents.That's why every man is his own father and his own son. With the years if you learn enough you can learn how to shed yourselves like dead skin cells. Sometimes they come out of you and walk around.
Yes i am changing. Change is when new selves come into the foreground while others recede into forgotten landscapes. Maybe the definition of living a full life is when every citizen in the hall of selves gets to take you for a spin, the commander the lover the coward the misanthrope the the fighter the priest the moral guardian the immoral guardian the lover of life the hater of life the fool the judge the jury the executioner, when every last soul is satisfied at the moment of death. If only one of the selves had been a spectator or a tourist then the life is incomplete.
My commander, that highest voice in the hierarchy of my head, is back - tyrannical bastard. e orders me to stay with astrid and ride it out. No wonder i am in confusion. Am oppressed by totalitarian police state in which i live. There must be a revolution one of these days. A revolt of all my selves - but i am not sure i have the one needed to lead them: a liberator.

Here in a few pages the writer has summed up the conceptual landscape f the ego and personality. it's amazing how he end his statement, the need for the liberator. This persona is the only element that can free an individual from their own entrapment and not every one has it. in fact the ego in a desperate survival strategy will trick the subject into thinking it has been liberated. i see this often in magicians, they are trapped in this maya of thinking they are liberated whereas they are enslaved. mystics, new agers, all those who seek liberation suffer this unless you have been destroyed, trauma helps, near death experience and plant medicines may assist but ultimately humility comes in recognizing the void and leaping in until you realize that the void is in yourself and reflected back as reality. where does the body stop, where does the boundary end. does anyone hear that tree in the forest when it is chopped down, does anyone hear the cells that are shed from the skin of the body. only the liberator knows what this is means, the selves are illusions and constructs, they are entrapment's and necessary tools to navigate through human civilization. but they are build n weak foundations and they can deconstruct at any given time.

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