“There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.”
And with that our minds are open to a plethora of oddities that don’t necessarily make sense. Take the context of what our good friend the Nietzch was trying to convey with the entire text of “Human, all too human”, what are we but living beings? We contemplate how life could be different, how life coud be better, life could be, well….to be honest, somebody elses. How many times to we sit in envy of somebody elses live, family, love, job, car, security, blah blah, you get what i’m saying. Although envy is one of those cardinal type sins, we can’t help but feel inferior at times in the face of superiority. This is what the world is about, the divining rod between water and drought, rich and poor, hopeful and helpless.
This omnipotent presence that we all attain through our years of living tends to start dying down once we realize that the race was run a long time ago and there isn’t any way to re-run that race. Take for instance middle school, we were all uncomfortable, we were all awkward, we were all lost. We lack all the things that make life whole. To look back at the Nietche and his concept of imaginary beings, did we not all fight those imaginary beings in middle school. Did we not all suffer at the end of the day because we felt like there was somebody better, smarter, faster, prettier…you get the idea.
But the problem with the middle school mentality, that the Nietch understood, was that those demons we were fighting were all imaginary. The person that claimed to be “smarter”, well, taking it out of context isn’t there something you might know more about? The prettier girl/more handsome guy, yeah, he’s there, he intimidates the crap out of you, but then it ends up they’re knocked up and the rest of their life is ruined. You look at your perceived “ugliness” and embrace it, you’re actually doing pretty well, you advanced beyond the teenage mentality, you. can. move. forward. The scary thing is that many people still face those imaginary spooks well into their high school, college, careers, you name it. There is this scary being that chases them throughout adulthood. There is a haunting spirit, a paranoia have you, that will always be a stigma on some peoples conscience. Take for instance the girl that was picked on cause she had a skin condition or the boy that got picked on that had facial hair in fourth grade, that imaginary pain follows them throughout their life and the shame, although it was decades before, still follows them into adulthood. This pain, is in fact imaginary. Our perception is our reality, and in these cases the reality of current events are solely based on events that happened years before.
The paradox in the whole Human, All too Human text was that the people that suffered were those that didn’t realize the love that resounded around them and the goodness that total strangers might have. With pain and angst being your shield, there is no way for you to allow a true love to penetrate that blockade that you’ve put around yourself.
“Love, that’s what’s make life worth….” (Earl, on My Name Is Earl)
Although they are two very different philosophical parallels, the fact is that Earl, although he was a fictitious character in a sitcom had a point, ” Love, that’s what makes life worth…” everything really. What is life when you’re walking around with a shield keeping people from getting close to you because you’re fighting these long gone imaginary wars that perhaps never existed in the first place. We can totally flip this love thing around and take the Trojan Horse for example, it was an offering of a peace, but, the peace was imaginary. Nothing good came from that in genuine emotion. Nothing good came from a false offering. Again, this is where Human, All to Human gets a little blurry. We’re supposed to acknowledge the goodness and love in people, but when do we know when it’s a pure love? When do we know that it’s true and not a trojan horse coming to destroy us?
“If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.”
This is where the story of love and imaginary fears turns into reality. The problem with our pasts is that we allow it to consume us and take hold of what we allow ourselves to be. Take for instance that terrible first marriage that you had that scarred you for life and made you feel like everyone in the world was evil and that there isn’t anyone in the world that will look you in the face and say they love you (and really mean it). The point is that if you allow all of those previous experiences form who you are now, you deserve what you get.
The precipice of Kant’s worm example was that you can be a terrible person, an you know you’re a terrible person, but if you pretend that you’re a saint you’ll probably be worshiped like a saint. Without plausable reason to doubt your sainthood, why should anyone call you out? In all aspects of the word, you might as well be in holy scripture somewhere, but deep down inside you know you’re terrible, you know you steal from the Salvation Army at Christmas and you know you’re mean to the Jehovahs Witnesses when they come by. You’re a terrible person, you cut in line, you lie on your taxes, you skip out of work early and still get paid, but you’re still a saint in the eyes of the world, as long as you’re not called out on it.
The worm man, however, is honest with his wrongdoings. The worm man knows that, well, the decisions that he made were probably not the best, BUT, at the same time, he deserves to be trodden upon. those that have an actual conscience will accept the fact that being a worm is one of the lowest forms of life there are. You emerge to the surface when it rains to keep from drowning, but stay buried in the soil to keep from letting the world see you for the slime you are. You still have purpose in life, you feed birds, you enrich the soil, you even help old guys catch big fish on the lakes. You’re a worm, but who decided that you have to be a worm.
It circles around to the Nietch talking about that imaginary being that resides in all of us. The being that decides whether we’re a saint or a worm. Are we going to allow our imaginary battles struggle us down to make us worms or are we going to ignore those things that don’t exist and become the superheroes that we should be.
With love, even if it’s just self love, life goes on. Embrace the fact that you’ve been loved….by someone….someone good.