There is no sense in life to be had. You cannot have sense in your life because you are the sense in your life. You are a sense-maker. What does a sense-maker do in the Void? They make sense! That make sense? But it has to be made.
Later, because solipsism is actually impossible, you meet other sense-makers that have been making their own way in the Void too, and so you join them, and, synergistically, you build a sense between you greater than each standing alone. The Void starts filling; but then, as you look in detail at the Void you realise it responds and perhaps isn’t as empty as it looks. You realise that the Void is filled with all types of sense-makers, each making sense of their own existence and building a sense between themselves greater than its parts. The ecosphere is not empty, and has a deep-running sense that runs deep in us. It’s not that we’re born into a Void, but that we have lost contact with the ecological sense that surrounds us and our part in it. The other part is, of course, to make sense for ourselves, because the universe doesn’t give us all the sense we need; half of the work we have to do ourselves. And that is why we are sense-makers, in relation with a world full of living sense.
Seed thoughts, by definition, are incomplete; they are packages of potential that have a lot of growing to do. They are not there to make others understand; they are there to make others think, and think for themselves. Some of my blog posts are like that: incomplete, lots of room to grow, for interpretation and not fully explained. The understanding of others is not in my power, because I don’t have control or responsibility over the minds of others, but what I can do is introduce other thoughts and other ways of thinking. And perhaps, even better, spark interesting dialogue. Perhaps I should do more than hint, and maybe I should explain myself in clearer terms, but then, would you be thinking for yourself or ingesting pre-digested intellect stuff? There are interesting vistas beyond my words, and perhaps it is for that that I leave so many holes in them, to see what lies on the other side…
One thing I didn’t like about the “masculine world” was the competitiveness of it, the striving to compare yourself to others and be better than them. But in comparison I wasn’t the best so I was rarely in the upper rungs of competitive success. At an early age I was disillusioned with whole “being better” than anyone else: I was terrible at sport (I hated it) and in academia I was a bit of an underachiever, doing the bare minimum of what was asked of me, especially if I wasn’t interested in the subject.
But this “under-achievement” was a place of safety; the bottom rungs, a place that most people ignored (successful, “better” people draw too much attention to themselves, and thus more judgement), so I had the freedom to do what I wanted without the pressure to be and do “better”. Whatever I did I did to make myself happy more than others.
Achievement has too much stress associated with it, something I didn’t want; I wanted to be happy, not run around like a headless chicken. But it has a flip side: not striving to be better at such a young age can become a habit; doing nothing can be the norm, so nothing happens. I did come to a crunch moment in my life when I couldn’t just opt for second best ALL the time; I had to find a way to achieve things in my life, or else nothing would happen, but I didn’t want to do it as a Man to outdo other Men; it’s just wasn’t worth it.
I found a manner to step aside from the ladder everyone else seemed to be on. It was difficult to avoid conventionality when I didn’t see what alternatives there were, but in the end I succeeded on my own terms and began looking at my life, not as part of the system but something of value in its own right. The world still works on this competitive system, and though I don’t have to be caught up in it I still have to negotiate with it a bit (less and less as I find alternatives). Eventually the under-achiever became the self-achiever, and I haven’t looked back.
I can be defined by certain characteristics, but are they characteristics that define who I am or what group I belong to? I am white, male, long-haired, left-handed, green eyed, Southener/English/British/European/Human, an anglophone and (partially) hispanophone, 5′ 8″, a druid, an artist, a conlanger, an environmentalist, etc.. Do these characteristics belong to me, or do they denote what group I belong to?
If what we identify with controls us, and that identity connects us with a group, then any common characteristic can become apertures through we we can be controlled by that group. It’s said that humans on their own are more intelligent than humans in groups. And no surprise, if one individual has to drag about the weight of a group identity with them! And yet groups and relationships also provide ways to hide the blind spots we have of ourselves, so as long as we remain in self-ignorance they will persist in this manner.
But perhaps what we really need is acceptance, and belonging to a group often facilitates this: some groups will overlook our shortcomings as long as we are “one of them”. I’d be uncomfortable being accepted like this in a group (hey, that sound familiar: Groucho Marx maybe? lol). So perhaps, on the whole, it is better to be accepted as an individual with a constellation of characteristics (some shared, some not) I call “me” than to be accepted just because I am in “the club”.