Sunday, October 05, 2008

Telling stories to myself

My friend, in explaining his justification for taking psycho-tropic pharmaceticuel medication for his mental disorder, told me a story.  About synapses and seratonin.  He is a bright guy, full of intellectual rigor and I realized quite suddenly that his decision to take this drug was because the story that was told to him about his brain made sense to him.  In fact, without that story he would not have taken it.  There had to be a story.  Now whether or not that story was complete, true, or false, is hard to assess.  Most of medicine for years and years has not been based on these stories but authority.  But the empowered consumers we are now, makes experts create elaborate stories about our brains.  And it works.  

Likewise, nations create myths, build histories bending the truth and in some cases lying outright (Israel) - but who cares, it works.  

Stories are powerful, especially the ones we tell ourselves.  

We all have them.  They either haunt us or give us a sense of worth.  But to what extent do they have to be true?  Fake stories also have their utilitarian function.  

As a child, my father used to call me a genius.  He used to say I could do whatever I wanted, that I was the smartest boy he knew.  Imagine the effect this has on a 5 year old.  I immediately felt a sense of responsibility, of having to always be the best, and prove my father right.  I often wonder how I would be if I wasn't given this encouragement as a child.  

In retrospect, I am no brighter than the average bright kid.  But my father with this story, he captured my imagination, and made me work to make it true.  

What stories do you tell yourself?  If we just break down all the narratives we have flowing endlessly in our minds, it would tell a lot about us.  I am not saying there isn't any objective reality out there, a truth, a certain way, but there are blurry lines, that can be crossed, smudged over that can make the difference, make the reality, reality.  

Positive affirmations work on this assumption.  As does Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.  These techniques work, I don't know how, but they work.  

The mind is such a powerful thing.  Its sad that most of us subject it to television and allow other people to fill it with nonsense and worse, so many people drink it away.  Maybe they are afraid of their powers.  Of what's possible.  For with power comes responsibility.  

Dear reader (you know I love to refer to you as such), I miss you, wherever you are.  I send an electronic rose for your troubles and sorrows.


But cheer up and take in the day.

I am here in Delhi awaiting the change of seasons.  What a marvelous place to be, even as bombs go off around me.  

I know I have not written in quite sometime.  It happens.  But I owe to much to this blog to abandon it.  Whenever I meet new people and they discover this archive, I feel as if they have had the privilege of entering and playing with my soul.  If they care, at least there is a written testament to what I believe in, what moves me, and the beauty of words.  

I met a girl in Lebanon who said my style reminded her of Henry Miller.  

Another girl wanted to fuck me immediately, while reading Blake.  

This all plays so well with my narcissism.

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