There is an idea that has, for some weeks now, been stuck in my head, and the idea is that everything I do, the writing, the traveling, the drinking, the endless desperate torrents of thoughts and the general restlessness of mind and body and spirit, that all of these things must have a common denominator, one underlying propellant that fuels the things that have more or less absorbed my life.
At first I saw it as discontent, a discontent with a society that I was fed-up with, for reasons that I didn’t yet understand, and that this discontent had led me to seek out other means of existence through writing, traveling and thinking. I thought this could be the basis of my restlessness. But I went deeper with it, and I’ve begun to think that all of the things I do are caused by a feeling of helplessness, of feeling as if I am not in control of my life, not free and only ever capable of being a cog in the machinations of a faceless soul-eater (whatever that may entail).
If my common denominator is indeed a will-negating feeling of helplessness, of not being free and in charge of my own destiny, then here is how the effects of this feeling stack up:
Traveling: When you hitchhike (or travel in general) you have to be completely open with everyone you meet, and you must meet as many people as you can. You have to live by coincidence and toss yourself without reason into the flow. You must submerge yourself into the uncertainty and from there create your own certainty (this is free will): other than this there exists no greater analogy for life.
Writing: Writing allows one to create an entire Universe on a sheet of paper. There is no greater freedom than this.
Drinking: Drinking, and intoxication in general, as all forms of intoxication serve to inhibit reason, mitigates the uneasiness and the melancholy that develops from feeling helpless and un-free. Drinking reduces the Individual Will and allows a person to be more accepting of outside flows, even if those flows are guided by other, more cynical and faceless persons.
Thinking: My head won’t stop churning and it at times bothers me but I find solace in this, that I am in control of own thoughts: whatever happens within my head I can control, what happens outside of it, that’s where I have less control. And to bring in something we’ve all seen pasted on posters in kindergarten and grade-school: Knowledge is Power. That, to me, is ultimate truth. The ignorant have much less control over their lives than do the knowledgeable, and so, perhaps, these relentless thought processes are some subconscious way of feeling ‘in control’ of my life.
All of these ideas are likely to morph, but I think I’ve hinged onto something, that the major preoccupations of my self are indeed caused by a single denominator. I don’t think the denominator will change much, only if to go even deeper, and I fully believe the ‘deeper’ will take me face to face with Oedipus. But for now this idea is ample and will suffice, and I will continue to keep all of this in the back of my mind where the sub-conscious can work on it — with my half-knowing 😉