Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Relic of Conceit

On one of her more recent blog postings, Mood Indigo opens herself up for a rib-sounding and truth-telling session... and in order to goad herself into assembling a blog entry 'honestly', she drags from the murky depths a lobster cage to sift through the crusty fears that scuttle out. Now, I have absolutely no way of determining how truthful the post turned out to be (who becomes the who when the who is made manifest?), but the exercise seemed so refreshing and noble that I decided to try and at least proximate honesty in this post. For a consummate escape artist such as myself, this is going to be rough (I can already feel myself testing the bonds, regurgitating the key i'd swallowed earlier so's i can squirm free) but well worthy.. here goes.

I'm familiar with two very powerful mental states: paranoia and jealousy. They are in league.

Paranoia's a sure-rooted word for a fleet-footed concept: 'para' = beside or beyond; 'noos' = mind; eidos = 'form or shape' --- ultimately, describes it as a "mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions"... but I'm not here to speak of paranoia: all mental disorders seem to be assessed by matter of degree (IOW: the abstraction that is secularly "human" is made out to be sort of formal balance of virtue and vice, and so everyone characterizes some expression of form. Disorder is when one particular form dominates).

I'm here to speak of jealousy. What the fuck is it and why do I experience it so much?

When I say jealousy, I do not actually mean the emotional expression of it (which may have immediate streaks of paranoia, despondency, negative self-appraisal, anger, disappointment etc. attached) but the idea of jealousy as a motivating force... avoiding jealousy, or affecting my life to maintain the absence of jealousy I'd consider to be experiencing jealousy, obviously without the burning sensations.

Flat-out, jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing, that is as long as it is not paralytic... it can be quite complimentary, is a phenomenon that every ilk, breed and creed feel throughout the human globe, is a legitimate motivating force and biologically functional by nature. But as soon as it gets linked to delusional belief structures (from as powerful and immediate an emergence as paranoia to just calculated aversion of it - which is the type I experience) it takes a negative spin.

Jealousy, as I experience it, is different from envy: jealousy targets a threat to status as from another, whereas envy exposes a desired attribute, privilege or possession as belonging to another. They can of course be readily confused and mutually involved.

Yakkity-smakkity... what is it that I'm jealous of? Here I again resort to pointform:
1) In terms of writing, I find myself inherently jealous. Guarding my ideas behind an iron trap. If I raise a point on this blog, you can be assured it is not 'crucial' to me as a prospective story idea. In fact, I am reluctant to even speak about ideas. Paranoia, perhaps, but I don't like 'releasing' concepts that might get swiped from the ether and installed into the zeitgeist (a great word that, but one I'm beginning to despise). Not that I think that these ideas're grandiose, I just think that they're mine.
2) I am jealous of the relationships I am not immediately able to protect. This could be triggered by envy too. For example, I am jealous of my step-brother's relationship to my father. I am jealous when I feel there is flirtation happening between my lover and another. This could be due to some element of perceived lack of control.
3) I am jealous of laughter. Envious of another's acumen in inducing it.
4) I am jealous of others' ability to not abide by an ethical code.
5) I am jealous of you for reading this, because this is something you could use against me. Therefore, I'm done.

Now I am going to rub myself down with exfoliating substances (which is most substances if done vigorously enough: pistachio shells, frozen cheese curds, toothpaste, rye bread, Archie comics...) to slough this skin-clinging grime.

I have a few dynamiting strategies in mind. I'll save them for another post.

c.1225, from O.Fr. gelos (12c., Fr. jaloux), from L.L. zelosus, from zelus "zeal," from Gk. zelos, sometimes "jealousy," but more often in a good sense ("emulation, rivalry, zeal"). See zeal.
c.1280, from O.Fr. envie, from L. invidia "envy, jealousy," from invidus "envious," from invidere "envy," earlier "look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon," from in- "upon" + videre "to see"

- - - - -
- i don't like microwaves. i cannot bear to be near them when they're on. they make me feel funny and i hear things.
- i don't like sleeping with the door closed.
- i don't like wearing the same socks 2 days in a row.
- i don't like being called 'buddy'.
- i don't like membership games as a basis for friendship.
- i don't like that i can't remember a lick of lyrics.
- i don't like that lies are rendered transparent to me, and yet i say nothing.
- i don't like that i let jealousy determine so much of my inaction.
- i don't like this list.
- - - - -
also, if you've never heard of it, here is the ultimate website for drug and substance information. the 'art vault' is particularly interesting -->


Güggs said...

very thorough and interesting. i'm freakin' jealous of your writing skillz.

Mood Indigo said...

I think I've been outdone! You tell me - was this a successful exercise for you? Having pinpointed some aspects of your jealousy - do you feel like you've gotten the uperhand at all? I'm not sure if I do yet in regards to my fear - but getting it down, knowing it's there and not just something I can push behind brain matter gives me confidence that I'll have to face it sooner or later - and I choose to believe I'll conquer it when I do.

S'Mat said...

thanks G...

MI - i woke up today feeling most unsuccessful: i think the post was not as sincere as it needed to be. i shied away from disclosure, presented a sanitary near self-promotional version and missed the whys (everyone has felt these jealousies, i'm sure, but why do i find they affect the choices i make... i don't know!)

so, no real triumph here. but i do have a similar sensation to what you say, knowing it's there for the conquering will help confront it in the future. strange though, as i'm gradually starting to believe that jealousy is why i hide my head in the sand, and what's holding me back... so how to assess in the future when the future is determined by it as experienced now?