Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Boundless Sense of Guilt

According to the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein all loss is experienced as a result of one's own destructiveness and as a retaliation for past hatefulness and injuries. In concrete terms, if a child is jealous of a younger sibling, and fantasizes about the younger child's death, well, if the younger child in fact dies, the older child will perceive the death as resulting from his own destructive fantasies. Through loss, says Klein, the world and one's own insides are experienced as depleted and desolate. One's love and capacity to create and protect good relations with others are felt to be impotent and paltry. Good experiences with others, by contrast, augment the belief in the power of one's love and reparative capacities. Hatefulness and malice can be accepted and forgiven; others can be approached with a sense of hope and possibility. Real other people are extremely important in Klein's formulations. The child regrets the damage he feels he has inflicted upon his parents. He attempts to repair that damage, to make good, over and over again. The quality of his relations with his parents and the quality of his subsequent relations with others determine the sense he has of himself, in the extremes, either as a secret and undiscovered murderer or as a repentant and absolved sinner.




I myself suffer from a boundless sense of guilt. That sense of guilt is the prism through which I view the world. I see myself as an undiscovered murderer and try to avoid contributing to my guilt by means of withdrawing from the world as much as possible. I seek thereby to attain a state of innocence, but my maneuvers only serve to prevent the development of any relations with others and obviate any meaningful interaction in the world of men. I live in a black and white world populated by murderers and innocents, by players and the uncorrupted. In my warped value system, human interaction, no matter how well-meaning, is rife with corruption, while the status of innocence is reserved for those who minimize their commerce with the world.

I know I have no place in the world of today; once I'd definitely refused to kill, to be a player, I doomed myself to an exile that can never end. I leave it to others to make history, to live their lives in the world of men. I know, too, that I'm not qualified to pass judgment on those others. There's something lacking in my mental make-up, and its lack prevents me from being a rational murderer. So it's a deficiency, not a superiority. But as things are, I'm willing to be as I am; I've learned modesty. All I maintain is that on this earth there are players and there are victims, and it's up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the players: those who would exploit. That may sound simple to the point of childishness; I can't judge if it's simple, but I know it's true. You see, I'd heard such quantities of arguments, which very nearly turned my head, and turned other people's heads enough to make them approve of murder; and I'd come to realize that all our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clean-cut language. So I resolved always to speak--and to act--quite clearly, as this was the only way of setting myself on the right track. That's why I say there are players and there are victims; no more than that. If, by making that statement, I, too, become a contributor to exploitation, at least I don't do it willfully. I try, in short, to be an innocent murderer. You see, I've no great ambitions.

My sole ambition at this point in my life is to state my philosophy of life and to expound my passions, my struggles and my woes. I have become a monologist, well-equipped for speech--never at a loss for words. And while this monologue of my existence as an undiscovered murderer is a cryptic passion, it is not poetry, the fact is that I live as a fugitive and speak as a fugitive, and when I die bleeding from the sutured holes in my chest I will die as a discovered murderer of my self; as my blood will flow from me, I will die dispensing myself in utterance, as if death were chattered-out being, or as if all we are made of is words and when we die the soul of speech decants itself into the universe.

1 comment:

I think...therefore I am... said...

hi brian,
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I have replied to your post too.
Your blog is amazing...however too long. I read parts of it...interesting.
I due blog erratically, but do leave comments on your thoughts, i will reply whenever i can..cheers