Strange thoughts. All people have them, freaking out about them, because they consider them evil or abnormal. Because they deem them an unnatural experience.
They’re not. They’re natural, like breathing or gravity.
The problem is that these thoughts are extremely personal, making them hard to share with other people. One doesn’t simply draw down one’s defences, exposing one’s innermost feelings to the scrutiny of those judging. You never know who’s looking, what they’re thinking, or how they’ll react to your disposition. Even if they say they understand, you can’t take the chance. You can’t tell what goes on inside their heads.
Trying to keep things from people is as natural a reaction as losing one’s bearing when leading an expedition. You do your best to get back on track, and when you do you’re glad you found your way back. Being lost was rather scary, so you make sure you stay on course and not stray again, keeping everyone reassured that you’re on top of things, end of story.
But it’s not like that. Getting off the beaten path is not the end of the world. Negotiating the wilderness for a while is illuminating and fulfilling, be you among others or alone. Humanity’s journey through life is a matter of moral orientation whereby people follow their inner compass, which they constantly calibrate with the help of others, but this doesn’t guarantee their safe passage to a redeeming place. Consensus does not a correct course plot. People have been known to stray en masse, driven by their groupthink. Learning how not to completely rely on the course set by others is tantamount to a life more complete. Getting off the beaten track and heading into what initially seems like a lonely and strange wilderness is often a wise move. Who can argue with a little risk? Let the compass go haywire, see where the crapshoot leads you, punch your expectations in the face and march over their limp body, into the dark tunnel ahead, into the shady and stark woods.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no guarantee you’ll come back. You might end up lost and broken, forever roaming the wilderness, looking for a way out. You might lose your soul en route to the long way to no man’s land. You might end up trudging your way upriver, all the way to the dark source of your nightmares where the doubts never sleep and the stones scream in the night.
That’s what makes it so exciting. The uncertainty! Going out on a limb and risking everything you know is what it’s all about. The psychiatrists and clerics would have you believe otherwise, speaking of harmony in the name of heaven and for the sake of normality, but they have it all wrong. No good story ever started with ‘I did exactly what was expected of me my entire life.’ No world was created out of the ashes of the previous one without having burned a few bridges.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE