Thursday, November 12, 2009

The politics of the fool

I often repeat myself in sessions, often because a point reoccurs to me and I forgot that I dealt with it before, or in better cases because I figure out another angle on something. Now even in the latter case one must be careful lest laziness and the recursion of revisiting revisted topics lead to madness and rather poor reading, however, given the complexity of the human mind, a good topic often deserves more than one angle and more than one session to boot.

But who then can determine whether the booting requires the revisiting or whether upon that road lies madness, madness! I CAN, for I am Rand, the great and glorious.

And so I shall revisit the fool, or rather my fool-ness or fool-i-ocity, or if you insist on the grammatical, my foolishness.

I've dealt with the topic as an ideal (dedicated to God, of course), but let me now migrate a bit into the practical, or perhaps the pragmatic, or perhaps just the otherwise.

At this point in my life, I'm rather satisfied with the role of the fool, with some qualifications and ample wiggle room. Indeed, I do aspire to the path of the holy fool. However, it is not necessarily my natural role, largely because there is only a minor fraction of our souls presented in our outward faces, thus one can fit many of these fractions in a mind, and thus many roles can be elegantly natural.

That is to say, I can play other roles.

I can play the insistent idealist, the apathetic pragmatist, the careful politician, the passionate artist, the dedicated scientist, and the austere monk. And I do play these roles all from time to time, and more.

But when push comes to shove, my default face to the world is that of the fool. For better or for worse. For now.

I can justify this position in a variety of ways. I find it grating to take myself too seriously, moreover I find it grating to take others too seriously, yet I hate to offend, and I hate to cause trouble. But most importantly, the fool does tend to entertain.

This is a principle point. I like making people happy. I enjoy the happiness of others. I like interacting with happy people. And me playing the fool often makes people happy.

Though to be truthful sometimes I wonder, whether people actually do enjoy the act, and as importantly whether they like the sincerity behind it. Because as much as my fool-ness is an act, it is an act based on my thoughts and feelings, essentially it is me expressing myself. And in that sense, it is me being myself.

On the other hand, I could for example be myself by throwing myself 110% into writing, however... being a writer or an artist, while requiring one to draw upon others, is an essentially solitary craft. That's fine when I'm alone, but to make this the face I use to interact with others would risk pushing others into roles relative to my artistic drives and ambitions, denying them a real relationship based on mutual humanity. That is not to say others have not taken the writer role and ran with it, limiting its excesses so that their relationships are full and rich while mining its virtues for all that they can get... I'm just saying that as a public face, I don't think the writer is for me.

I could go through many other roles and pick them apart. I can also pick apart the role of the fool, for example the barriers it throws against me being taken seriously or being able to deal with people seriously.

What it comes down to, with the pluses and minuses, is how comfortable you are with dealing with the minuses, and how much you like the pluses, and ultimately, how much God wants you to follow that path. To be fair that's a lot of factors that are hard to figure out all in their wholeness. Hence one often bounces between things back and forth and finds revelations and insights and mistakes, and so on and so on, et al.

One thing you also fine with roles that fit you better or worse, is those that don't fit you at all. I've tried playing the counter-cultural, the over-achiever, the techie. Parts work alright for me, but I find only a minimal passion. Ususally to find some real satisfaction I need to mix it up with some foolishness.

And this is an aspect of my problems with my life at now. To say overall, I must say the work environment doesn't suit me well. I am every now and then able to pull out my fool card, but there's an essentially lacking element for me to comfortably play that role, or really any role with satisfaction. To have some satisfaction in my human interactions I must have some confidence that how I interact with people is either appreciated or at least enjoyed in a general sense, and I must have some confidence that my faux pas's, my miscalculated gestures, my inarticulate attempts at communication, these will be generally tolerated. That is actually a rather heavy demand to require of everyone, and so I don't. But for me that is the basis of a real, meaningful relationship, otherwise all you have is confused postering.

The work environment seems to lend itself to the confused postering. Afterall, a faux pas can get you fired. But moreover, there is this great ambiguity about relationships. What is the proper ettiquette of a professional relationship, what is too far, how do these relationships weigh and interact with other ones, how do these fit into life outside of work. It doesn't help that my professional role has no real need to inteact with anyone besides my boss, so what is the professional relationship of coworkers who have no professional need to interact. I am always perpetually insecure with my relationships, but with my professional relationships, I find it is a constant drain of stress. And this isn't the fault of anyone, this is just the nature of me and my circumstances.

Let me backtrack, with most people in the office, there is a degree to which they approach that mark of trust where I find my relationships both meaningful and comfortable, and there are some who are just easy to deal with and wonderful to be around. But as a whole... as a whole work is stress, there are times when it is less stressful, and I sometimes wonder if work could be otherwise... but then again, in the long run, perhaps that's irrelevant. Afterall, work is but so many hours, and life is so many more, and in those hours I should be able to find time to play the fool.

But then again I wonder... I am undecided the extent to which I want to write off some degree of comfortableness at work. Moreover, if I can hit that degree of comfortableness, there is a good chance that I harnest a general affection for the people at my office toward feeling more satisfied with work, and yet... It is all so complex, the hodgepodge of different emotions and thoughts that run an office's social ecosystem, and my tradition has been to step back and create my own social ecosystem when my frustration with my current one runs too high. But with work, I don't really have the option of stepping back...

But then what would the fool do? If I really do aspire to the path of the holy fool, what ought I do. More importantly, and in all seriousness what would Jesus do?

The answer is a path of love, but here's the question, does that path lead me deeper into the office-universe or further away?

I am not idle on this question, but I am ambivalent, but in the end, I am also awesome.

Which does give me the edge.

And so despite my confusion, despite my cowardly indecision, despite my frustration, I still must ask myself in the morning, how can I be a fool today?

So anywho, take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight folks!

And God Bless.

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