I am so 19th C Existentialist
by Andrea Elizabeth
in that Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky are so self-conscious! I am 6 chapters into Notes from the Underground, and he’s describing how I can talk myself out of everything. Except for not voting for Hillary. He’s blaming it on consciousness. I saw a meme on Facebook that said that combo 1/2 empty / 1/2 full people are relativists, and that realists are “it’s just a glass of water”. No, that is not mathematically correct as I explained last month.
It’s interesting, as he says it is to his supposed gentlemen audience, that it’s about feeling ashamed. Could it be that two of our most respected thinkers were so because they had a pathologically guilty conscience? They claim to be realists. The Notes narrator cannot fully feel anything, so he used to put on an act of imitating acting on feelings that he doesn’t have. His are negative actions, like pretending to be frustrated with others, that he performs out of spite. What if one does loving acts out of spite as well? To heap coals of fire on an enemies head, and it just so happens that everyone is his, the most loving acting person’s, enemy. Are people who see their own feelings and actions thusly, realists, relativists, or deviants? This is not to say that such a person believes everyone’s actions and feelings are tainted in this way, but he believes the pure actors are not as conscious. Consciousness destroys love. Or the illusion of love?
I’ll not totally criticize love beyond saying that much of it is nostalgic (not in the Russian ‘homesickness’ sense), sentimental, and self-indulgent.
I do not trust love, but this does not make me innactive, as it does the man in Notes. I believe there is real, self-sacrificial, and true love, even if I don’t have it and even if my motives also are tainted with spite. It is better to pretend and heap coals than to be innactive, imnsho.