“Weary of this fight,
This long and lonesome fight,
Every step I take I feel further away,
Can’t get it right.”
Words to live by, given they are also the words of one of the best songs I ever had the pleasure of listening to. Hannah Miller’s lyrics reflect to me more than I think she even intended.
For a long time I to have believed in human nature, the apparent existence of the essence of humanity without ever stopping to really wonder what it entails. And this not just being what I have been told by the great rationalists, the philosophers, the clergy, the mystics but rather from my own experience in my own laboratory of life.
My conclusions shocked me and bear in mind that in themselves they are in fat quite inconclusive. Sartre, a man with whom I have no relation, no admiration whatsoever seemed to be my only ally, and you know what they say about allies like those but what choice did I have.
I feel in his doctrine he was quite right, about this nature of humanity although he would not agree that it even existed; he according to me not only discovered it and like Grey also dissected away at its morsel and painstakingly understood its own mysterious mechanisms of working.
He talked of the ‘being for itself’ that which is constantly at odds with itself and never complete in its own definition of self. This was his absurd claim, a claim he used to obliterate the thought of the existence of a human nature because as I have explained a human never really is anything it is always inching towards something it wants to be but never quite achieving that actualization. So then how could any essence underlie such a creature? The next logical assumption would be to disqualify any possible ‘underlying essence.’
To me that was where he made his terrible mistake for essences can be tricky things; maybe the very essence of this being is to never truly achieve any form despite its longing for it. An essence to want to be but never truly become doesn’t equate to nothingness but rather to an impossible everythingness.
Never in the history of the world has there ever been a creature such as a human, with all the modifications of nature to suit us, engineering of medicine to serve us and yet we are still not satisfied. Not that there is more to be done but rather that we will never be satisfied with what we have done. And for those who do attain satisfaction we throw terms such as obsolete and traditional onto them because it is simply a violation to our commonality to satisfice.
Our destiny is to forever remain destined, never actually reaching this ‘apparent destiny’ because there is always a newer machine, a greater idea, an even more potent pill yet to be attained.
We create these road maps for ourselves only to burn both the maps and cartographers once it no longer suits us claiming that the map was a poor description of the landscape ahead while it is in fact we who changed the destination yet again. A constant battle with what we are and what we can be.
Although whether or not this is a curse or a blessing I can’t tell because what joy there is in knowing you can chase whatever you like without it ever catching you, what sorrow there is in knowing you can never capture whatever it is you chose to chase after.