The Authentic Self

I wonder if it is maturity, or just plain old Uncle Sam/Big Brother influence. I’m starting to lose the angst — the fire! — that used to consume me. I feel now not so much of apathy, but more of an agreement to stop fighting and start going with the flow.

I first realised something wrong with me when I found myself agreeing that Microsoft actually made quality software (for the Mac, no less), and I started to really question what was going on with me.

(Gasp!) Am I becoming one of you? One of the millions of wandering souls without a cause, with nothing to die for… …and nothing to live for?

Before I completely lose myself within the masses, I have to start questioning who I really am, what is my purpose (if any)?

I recall an e-mail I sent to one of my lecturers, sometime in 2003, when I was serving my internship at Giamso Tours. I described to him in vivid detail what I had seen, and felt, on my way back from work: a most distressing trip on the subway.

What I had seen that day was the inside of a giant worm, digging and eating its way through miles and miles of dirt. In that giant worm were people, whom to me, at that time, were no different from the dirt the worm was digging through.

The hundred or so passengers on the train that day, what purpose had they? If they had died right then and there, how much would it have impacted the world? Would the world be any different had they not been around?

At the back of my mind, I refused to ignore the fact that I too, was one of the pieces of dirt, travelling in the belly of the worm I so condemned. I felt despair, desperation, anger… who the f*ck was I?

What is it that I feel now? Quite the opposite. I feel hope, optimism, joy… I feel like I could own the world if I really wanted to. I don’t even think about the reason I’m on earth — I’m here just because… would I be better off knowing the reason I am here? Would the world suddenly become a better place the minute I out why God (if there was one) decided to put me here?

What is the use of knowing these things? What is the use of philosophizing about this world when we can just go forth and live it, and let it be?

Notice the questions I just asked… those are the questions I would expect one of you, the normal, everyday person, to ask — but not me.

I’m a philosopher. I ask questions that cannot or are difficult to answer. I reject this world. I reject optimism and hope, for they are not objective. I believe that there has got to be a reason for everything; and if there isn’t one, it is absurd and therefore another cause to curse and cuss.

But I find my unique, shallow pessimism leaving me. And somehow, it doesn’t quite feel that bad. World, embrace me, for I am now becoming John Doe, #9342080202.

2 thoughts on “The Authentic Self

  1. its army. i felt the same way too.

    but once u get posted out and resume back normal singaporean (non tekong regimented lifestyle), u realize all the shit comes back to you double fold.

  2. Is it really the army? Is the army giving me optimism and hope? Could it be that that the structured discipline, the mind-washing is actually playing its part in motivating me into becoming “one with the world”?

    Alas, it might be. But to so quickly and conveniently point the finger at the army for this hope and optimism…

    …it’s not right.

    But I would like to add though, that this “oneness” I feel is radically different from the “oneness” I used to feel while regularly practicing meditation. At that time, the “oneness” I felt actually made me look outwardly unhappy.

    But I was, according to my diary, at that time feeling like “I have no reason to smile, no reason to be sad, no reason to be anything; yet, I am feeling serene and blessed; I am feeling happy — and I do not have to smile to show it.”

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