Friday, July 26, 2013

Get Your Own Reality

Before my overdue fees became equal to the price of the book itself, I wanted to share a passage from Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March":


Read Saul Bellow

"It wasn't right to think everyone else had more power of being. Why, look now, it was clear as anything that it wasn't so but merely imagination, exaggerating how you're regarded, misunderstanding how you're liked for what you're not, disliked for what you're not, both from error and laziness. The way must be not to care, but in that case you must know how really to care and understand what's pleasing or displeasing in yourself. But do you think every newcomer is concerned and is watching? No. And do you care that anyone should care in return? Not by a long shot. Because nobody anyhow can show what he is without a sense of exposure and shame, and can't care while preoccupied with this but must appear better and stronger than anyone else, mad! And meantime feels no real strength in himself, cheats and gets cheated, relies on cheating but believes abnormally in the strength of the strong. All this time nothing genuine is allowed to appear and nobody knows what's real. And what's disfigured, degenerate, dark mankind - humanity.


See Rutger Hauer (as the Replicant, Roy) in Blade Runner

But then with everyone going around so capable and purposeful in his strong handsome case, can you let yourself limp in feeble and poor, some silly creature, laughing and harmless? No, you have to plot in your heart to come out differently. External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can't get justice and he can't give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe. The great chiefs and leaders recruit the greatest number, and that's what their power is. There's one image that gets out in front to lead the rest and can impose its claim to being genuine with more force than others, or one voice enlarged to thunder is heard above the others. Then a huge invention, which is the invention maybe of the world itself, and of nature, becomes the actual world - with cities, factories, public buildings, railroads, armies, dams, prisons, and movies - becomes the actuality. That's the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what's real. Then even the flowers and the moss and the stones become the moss and the flowers of a version."


Spin Your Top. Frequently.

Maybe this helps explain what has been happening to me. Or not.

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