Writing as catharsis

The lines being etched on my face are of no particular concern

Posted in Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on October 12, 2011

While growing up I was never what you would call a self-assured person. My mind certainly had ideas other than pandering to my ego and giving me an easy ride through my teenage years.

As a result, I’ve spent a pretty considerable proportion of my spare time in the last ten year reading, pondering, writing and questioning questions of the self while looking wistfully into the middle distance. My reading and thinking has covered subjects such as genocide, quantum physics, existentialism, anthropology, post-modernism, psychedelics, nihilism, evolution, rationality and finally – after an incredible amount of resistance on my behalf – politics, economics and human rights.

Throughout that ongoing process of reading and questioning, I began to form the basis of my (hopefully ever-evolving) worldview and philosophy. While sitting amongst beautiful old trees in Oxford in late July 2010, I finally decided to try and formally explain the incredibly broad and bizarre genesis of themes into a single coherent article. Ten months later I had hacked this rather ambitious projected into a state that I, in some vague sense, deemed to be acceptable. I published it online and shared it around my family, friends and people I have never, and likely will never meet.

A lot of my time and energy in the last ten-plus years has focused inwardly; on finding a philosophical or existential foundation that I can lay down. Evidence would suggestion that I must have, at least in part, accomplished this to an acceptable level for the time being. That is not to say that the document is by any means perfect – it tries to tie some pretty huge ideas together, and I think it will be many years before I will truly be happy with it – but since the completion (I should really say “temporary shelving”) of that project I have not felt any desire or purpose to continue jotting down philosophical ramblings on a regular basis. This was most certainly not a conscious decision; all my writing, drawing and guitar playing is driven by whim, mood and mental state – but my observations over the past six months would really speak as evidence to that fact.

Still, I continue to read and analyse more than ever. During these last six months I’ve been filled with a sense of anticipation that I would have some coming new development sometime in the near future – after, of course, an appropriate synthesis and accumulation of experience and new ideas. This is something of uncharted territory for me; to no longer be preoccupied with matters of philosophy and existentialism.

After waiting I now feel as though I am gaining some sense of that promised development – and it is one that I provided myself the most cloaked hints of when travelling around Europe in mid-2010. After so much inward focus I now feel that I should be investing my energy to finding ways to surpass myself in order to commit and further a goal beyond my immediate needs. I need to commit myself to a vague goal or ideal beyond my immediate self, and work to overcome the elements of myself that would otherwise limit by impact and my ability to accomplish that said goal.

I need to actually sacrifice some elements or comforts in order to actually force or elevate myself to someone that can have a greater positive impact that I would like to.

And so begin a process of attempting to “do good”. The lines being etched on my face are of no particular concern anymore. Let this next phase begin.