On Chimeras and a constant need for validation in our postmodern age

You sometimes encounter people in life who want you to love them intimately. They’re literally obsessed with you and try forcing their perceptions of intimacy on you. They’re not exactly stalkers but aren’t a far cry from that breed. Now, I understand unrequited love and the need for someone to reciprocate your feelings, but if you truly love someone, you’ll let them go. You’ll never force your delusions on them because no two people think alike.

Yes, there may be a collective consciousness, but I don’t believe in the concept of soul mates or two people sharing one soul. A collective consciousness is something more genetic and has to do with traits acquired and personality, but ultimately you are your being.

People fail to recognize this aspect of liberating individuality and seem to constantly seek the approval of the ‘other’. They have ideas of the other which are often so different from who the other really is. They have dreams and misconceptions that often lead to such acts of foolishness. We live in a cyber, postmodern reality where a few messages sent, or a few Tinder dates make ‘together forever.’

Love requires commitment. Love isn’t judgment. Love isn’t falling for fancies. Love has a deep emotional aspect to it but that’s something that one acquires after years of actual togetherness and it’s not the puppy emotional, fake, cyber simulacrum.

I have found strange people entering and exiting my life. They come in like hurricanes of trust and promises and exit like whirlwinds of bitterness all because they expected something that I didn’t want to give them. I can offer friendship, loyalty, and trust if people give me the same, but I cannot offer love that satiates your chimeras. People don’t understand that I’m not hardwired to love them like their mind tells them. Your mind tells you many things and you feel myriad things but most of what you’re going through is self-indulgence. Pure selfish, hedonistic anti-altruism and when I don’t give you what you seek, your bitterness erupts like a pustule and those warm eyes turn into icy glares meant to pierce or wound.

People go to insane heights when their delusion meets the hard ground. You’ll find them unfriending people on Social Media, engaging in gossip and projecting their anger and insecurities onto the person they perceive insulted them. They dig into their pasts and scrape old wounds until they’re bleeding again and play the blame game. The person of adoration becomes an object that needs destruction.

Sometimes the madness descends to utter incoherence. ‘How could you have done that?’ You’ll find them screaming when you did nothing wrong. I don’t love you and neither did you. You worshipped me, and I’m not flattered. I need you to move on. So, please get over it. That’s the only response you can give people like that and if you don’t want a direct confrontation, just cut ties. Trust me, any vicious cycle, even if a person has faced similar circumstances in their life but deludes themselves into thinking that creates a special unity, needs a severing.

What is with this age and the need for constant reinforcement? I guess social media has played a destructive role in fueling our narcissistic egos. It’s all about the likes, comments, and shares and it doesn’t matter if you’re happy or depressed. If you’re happy, you’ll resort to posting picture perfect selfies and gloat as the likes and comments flow. And then there’s the sorrowed narcissist. The person who uses depression, prior abuse, and the ostracism or bullying they’ve faced to get the same likes. This person doesn’t usually use Facebook but uses blogging platforms to achieve the same goal – an ephemeral reinforcement.

I think we’ve forgotten how to have a good time. We don’t even read paperbacks anymore. We prefer shortening our attention spans by spending time reading blog after blog, hoping someone will find our blogs and like or comment. And a comment; something said by a stranger we know nothing about makes our day. And if it isn’t repeated the next day, we feel insecure and lost.

My friends, this is shallow living. But getting out of this needs suffering. You need to suffer pangs of loneliness to know solitude. You need to suffer failure to know that victory isn’t everything and this is a gradual change or an unraveling of sorts.

Having said this, I’m guilty of so many things I’ve pointed out and criticized, but I’m slowly realizing that this cyber existence isn’t worth it. Now I’m not advocating a Luddite puritanism but a balance or a middle road like the Buddha put it – neither giving in to too much or too little.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

20 responses

  1. Agreed. I appreciate reading the writers who are intelligent and seek to change the world’s horrible habits and spiraling downfall, though. I think it’s up to them (to you) to fight against getting caught up in the vanity and remember the altruistic reasons instead.

    • Thank you Chelsea. I do my best although my work is often misinterpreted. People like you have the same good intentions in mind, but there are so many who hate and it’s difficult dealing with them honestly especially when you’re already psychologically struggling and pushing against the grain.

    • Haha. You never fail to bring a smile to my face Bruce. Especially on horrible days! I shall immerse myself in your work tomorrow. Maybe explore the archives. I’m cutting down on the number of blogs I follow. I find too much hate here.

      • I switch off my phone and put the laptop far away sometimes. And just pick up a random book and read. And it’s not just hate comments. You’ll find these counter posts and people projecting their insecurities onto you and people discussing you on their blogs. There is a very dark side of WordPress which is why I use Medium sometimes. Only problem is that it’s difficult to break into the community and form bonds with people there. It’s a different system which is run like a business.

      • I didn’t know about Medium. Then again, I don’t have a cell phone or a laptop – I don’t actually need them. Who needs mobile devises when you don’t have anyone to mobilecate to?! I have two PCs on my desk. I don’t read much online – blogs or otherwise – because I have limited broadband. All this lack of technology comes from living way in the middle of nowhere (which is Erehwon spelt backwards).

      • Which is why you’re stronger than I am. I need to start living like you. I actually plan to. I might just use an old camera I have at home and go around taking pictures and stuff. I’m planning on moving to a new place soon anyway. I wanted the mountains but I couldn’t find a nice place there. So I’m still on the lookout. I might just lock up the phone and laptop and let dust coat them lol. Right now this stupid ligament is giving me trouble. Once I heal, I’ll start venturing out.

    • Thank you so much Mia. I’m glad the timing was appropriate. I was going through a bit of a phase myself and just needed to write this.

  2. ‘They come in like hurricanes of trust and promises and exit like whirlwinds of bitterness all because they expected something that I didn’t want to give them.’

    Unfortunately, this has become the bitter reality of our loves today. Too many expectations and too much miscommunication. You have penned it down really well!

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