Α27. The old manuscripts of pain.
Some representative excerpts from old manuscripts will follow below, written two years ago, during the first methodical attempt of the mind to admit all the pain of his life with boldness and sincerity, to confess it, accept it and learn to live with it in peace, in order to quiet down in forbearance.
“I have suffered a lot in my life and this pain has been accumulated. Today I have ‘forgotten’ what has hurt me, or at least I do not remember it in my everyday life. However, whatever has once hurt me still exists in me and without my will determines my attitude towards life. It is like all failures of the past anxiously long to achieve redemption by the admiration of women or the financial prosperity or the gratitude of people whom I help or a statuesque body or complex intellectual performances within the material field or who knows by which other achievement. There is too much anxiety in this path, not to mention that it is unable to liberate me at the end of the day.
“The only solution to all this is to dedicate as much time as needed to myself, in order to write down everything that has pained me during my life, to empathize deeply with my hurt ego with infinite patience, acceptance and love, to become fully cognizant of this small boy who, suppressed by his environment, pained and therefore afterwards kept on suppressing himself, in order not to pain again. Before all this self-suppression is expressed in writing on the paper, before it comes in the light and becomes simplified for me, let me not stop working on it.
“The quick-fix proved to be a totally inefficient method. Alone the consideration that everything is good, that God hugs me and other such oversimplified concepts can help me only for a few hours or days in the best cases, and only under the condition that God keeps providing my commercial company with enough sales to amortize my fear of the future. No sooner does God deprive me of this worldly good than the fear and the pain pop up again, unredeemed like before.
“I slept sweetly, very sweetly. The feeling left by the old re-emerging pain when it consciously comes into the light to be redeemed is sweet. I slept like a bird, as a matter of fact. This is good, I will keep it in mind, in order to recall it whenever I am bored to sit and write about the pain which I have gone through during the various events of my forty-year life.
“When I was twenty years old, I often woke up scared in the middle of the night, as I saw that I was not able to make any progress in the studies I had chosen. I was scared, because I was obsessed by a great fear for my future. ‘Where shall I end up?’ I thought. The life seemed very difficult to me. ‘How shall I survive? I have no skills. How shall I make enough money to enjoy a good life? How shall I obtain a family?’ Panic! I was in great despair. I can remember, one of these times in our summer house I woke up in the night and felt very distressed and in deep despair.
“I started crying. I howled loudly with sobbing for one hour. Tremendous pain, despair, I was at wit’s end. Where shall I end up? The complex construction which had been settled by the ‘grown ones’, that is to say the adults, seemed like a huge inaccessible rocky mountain to me. I was obliged to enter their hard and adverse world now, although I was an inexperienced boy. I felt a tremendous pressure, because I had to participate in something which stood much higher than what my potential and skills could achieve. I could not bear this! ‘Until yesterday I was still a child without responsibilities; somebody did not arrange things well, this is unreasonable, nobody had told me this, somebody concealed the truth from me and it is his fault that I am now unprepared!’
“I did not want to undertake the responsibility of myself. I wish I could, really, but I was sure that I was unable to do so. ‘What a misfortune! What a deadlock! The only solution is to struggle’, I thought, ‘and whatever will be, will be’. But I felt that I did not have enough stamina. I had gone through a very miserable and shrunken puberty, drenched in rejection, fugue, isolation, and not at all flourishing. I hardly believed in myself. I was in deep darkness, soaked to the skin by my complexes and fears. ‘What is being asked from me suddenly, my God? This is unreasonable, unfair! Leave me alone! I want you to consider me a child! I want you to take care of me, like you did before!’
“I remember the procrastination which did not allow me to switch off the TV and start studying my lessons. My God, to what a battlefield were transformed my brain, my throat, my breast and my stomach! How could I live like this?
“And not only one or two evenings, but tens, hundreds of evenings I passed like this during my school and university years. What an addiction, my God! The guilt feeling overwhelmed me! I had been addicted to the emotion of guilt. This is neurosis. Zero quality of life, for years…
“So, I sat in the lounge chair, I remember, and saw all the rubbish I could find in the TV. During the first minutes I jumped with enthusiasm on it, regarding it as something compellingly interesting, which would excite my mind and render me beautiful vividness and fascinating experiences. At that moment I unconsciously totally deleted from my mind my duty to study or do whatever I was supposed to do and excluded myself from everything else except for the TV. Any interference from humans annoyed me very much.
“The enthusiasm of the first few minutes was soon followed by the guilt feeling, which due to its intensity reduced substantially the amount of joy which I drained from the television watching. When the guilt thoughts visited me, I felt their characteristic unpleasant discomfort in my stomach. The thoughts proceeded following this painful cycle: They reminded me how much work I had to do and that I had to stand up and switch the TV off at once and what the consequences would be if I did not do so; for instance: ‘Tomorrow the teacher will examine me and I will not know my lesson’. Or, even more tragically: ‘I will not achieve to take the high-school diploma, I will be unable to be employed anywhere, I will have no money; I am a pinhead, condemned to neediness and unemployment for a lifetime and hence without money, devoid of home and woman and with no joy. Even if I switch off the TV now, I will barely find the courage to go to study due to my weak character. I will certainly go again for wandering around and playing backgammon with my lazy friends. Even if I perform self-control for two or three days, again I will start the flights. I have to accept it, I do not have any willpower and the relapse – namely longstanding – is always certain. Hence, to what avail if I stand up and leave the TV, to what avail if I manage to respond to my duty for two days; I will have done but a hole into the water. As soon as the finger leaves the water, the hole closes instantly. The water, which here stands for my limpness and idleness, takes immediately back the space which my finger had occupied. It is tragic, I feel despaired, the stalemate suffocates me, but unfortunately this is the undeniable truth: after so many years of procrastination and indulging into evanescent delights, I know it now for sure: I am condemned to be a mediocre, poor, timid and miserable person, who is not going to enjoy anything in his life. Here, in this lounge chair, I am going to decay.’ ”