Oh he loves life as it is—most certainly. I look forward to what it could be.
The big risk here, of course, is rejection. We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.
I didn’t ask to be here Mr. Franzen. I was put here. The prospect of pain is too much to bare. This is why I hope for the chance of the singularity to come about so that I won’t be confined to this humanness and all its weaknesses. As far a anesthesia goes I don’t get mine from social media or technology like some would. Maybe it’s from my consumption of information and quest for knowledge? Either way I am able to block things about this world full of flaws and defects.
And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived. Even just to say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll get to that love and pain stuff later, maybe in my 30s” is to consign yourself to 10 years of merely taking up space on the planet and burning up its resources. Of being (and I mean this in the most damning sense of the word) a consumer.
You think you’re so clever don’t you? To go through life painlessly is to not have lived you say? Tell that to the sufferers of the world. I get your point on consumerism in your piece however. To continue, I should say If I had one “love” as you call it, this would be to make the world better because it is so screwed up. This is why I’m an activist, a liberal and a progressive. I have this real attraction towards fighting against injustice you could say. But even though I may “love” something I still choose anesthesia for life’s other faults.
Which is what love will do to a person. Because the fundamental fact about all of us is that we’re alive for a while but will die before long. This fact is the real root cause of all our anger and pain and despair. And you can either run from this fact or, by way of love, you can embrace it.
Yes, what you say above is the real cause of our anger and pain and despair but I don’t see how or why I would want to embrace that.