Dignity

Four ten.

I seem to be quite discontent with my life as it is today. I guess it’s just the absence of pleasure that gets me down. I keep saying what a gray existence this is, how colorless and insipid, and essentially unhappy. When this depression hits, I take recourse to a past when I had more pleasure. Basically, I feel unloved. Loneliness eats away at my very soul, and the November weather doesn’t help. I might be happier if I could drink beer, yet even this is illusory. I’m an epicurean living in a stoic world, a complete fish out of water. My parents lived that way all their lives, selfishly sucking the most pleasure out of existence that they could. I look around me and see no other way than hedonism. To be a hedonist without pleasure is indeed a meaningless life, and that is life without alcohol for an alcoholic. But I know that for me there’s no moderation in drinking, thus I am stuck with anhedonia. As we move into the winter, the memory of my mother returns… I don’t know. I’m just a wreck. 

Occasionally I take comfort in the idea of individual freedom. But freedom in the world of the pandemic seems like a delusion, because we’re all chained together in the same condition. In fact, as I consider it, personal liberty is precisely what my life is missing today. There’s too much focus on sociology, the study of society and culture. This may be coming from the church. The libertarian influences on me have deserted for a while, but I know that freedom is my inspiration and not the chains of collectivism. I suppose I have a disagreement with my church, and maybe I need to change my lifestyle accordingly. I’d like to revive my ideas of Renaissance humanism and restore my reverence for the beauty of the human form. Religion has corrupted my image of humankind as a noble thing: heroic and strong, pure and honest. The individual molds society, not the other way around. The greatest human being is the one who can stand trial against the world and win. 

Domingo

Nine o’clock.

I’ve been to the store. I forgot to mention my bottle returns to Vicki, so I’m out 30 cents. If I remember tomorrow, I’ll tell her then. She’ll believe me because she knows I don’t lie. Someone had brought in a bunch of sandwiches from the deli, so I bought roast beef and cheddar. This will make a good lunch today. By the way, the black ants in my kitchen have disappeared. I guess they got tired of being jettisoned down the drain with tap water.

I feel strong and independent this morning, like an equal human being. Our humanity is very important, as I wrote to my pen pal earlier today. The pride and glory of being human has gone out of our religion since the days of the Renaissance. I totally admire Pico della Mirandola for his Dignity of Man. By contrast, today’s definition of human is whatever makes us weak. I believe that being human is a grand thing, and we can take a lesson from Ancient Greece as long as those old books are available. Not to mention the poetry and essays by Renaissance scholars themselves. I still owe Castiglione a read through his Book of the Courtier. Also Sidney for The Old Arcadia. Anyway, the humanism of medieval Christianity doesn’t exist anymore. Modern day religion promotes the image of people as humble and groveling before their God. That just doesn’t appeal to me, and never really has.

Aesop’s breakfast is up in a few minutes. The sky is cloudless and we’re probably in for a hot day. I don’t plan on letting anyone get me down today. It isn’t worth it to feel ashamed for anything. Hold your head up and get on with it. Others will respect you for that.

Be Yourself

Two ten. It used to be that my ear for bass playing depended on having gear identical to my favorite celebrity bass players. I finally decided that this was a fallacy, for I am just myself and not someone famous. Why pretend to be somebody else when I pick up a bass guitar and start to play? Now I’d rather sound like myself. When I used a Music Man bass back in the day, people would compliment me, but I said it wasn’t me they were hearing, it was the instrument. It sounded familiar to them, being a popular bass on the radio and television in the ‘90s. By using one, I was just being an imitator of what was cool. Now I need to figure out a new way of playing the bass, and make it my voice that people are hearing… The afternoon heat is forcing my eyes to close, but my brain still feels okay. Marci from the pharmacy called and said my Vraylar is a special order and will be ready at noon tomorrow.

Four fifty. The indoor temperature has reached 80 degrees. I lay down on the bed for a while and let my mind wander. Feared I would pass out, but so far so good. It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow… I love the notion of the dignity of man, how with the intellect we can overcome being animal and vegetable and be divine. Psychoanalysis does the opposite of this, strips you down to a defenseless brute, basically dehumanizing you. Because, after all, the only weapon and shield people have is their God-given reason, and this defines us as human, even as Aristotle said 400 years before Christ. What is the point in disabling a person’s reason? Most people reject Freud nowadays, and I have to agree. Whatever promotes the rational faculty is a good thing, because the essence is freedom and happiness.