Sunday, January 07, 2007

Excerpts from A Million Little Pieces: My thoughts

"I hang up the phone and I stare at the floor and I think about my Mother and my Father in a Hotel Room in Chicago and I wonder why they still love me and why I can't love them back and how two normal stable people could have created something like me, lived with something like me and tolerated something like me. I stare at the floor and I wonder. How did they tolerate me."

"Near the end, there is a section of testimonials. There is one by a dentist, one by a European drinker, one by a salesman, one by an educated Agnostic. They were all Alcoholic disasters, they all found God, they all started dancing the Twelve Steps, they all got better. As with all testimonials like this that I've heard or read or been forced to endure, something about them strikes me as weak, hollow and empty. Though the people in them are no longer drinking and doing drugs, they're still living with the obsession. Though they have achieved sobriety, their lives are based on avoidance, discussion and vilification of the chemicals they once needed and loved. Though they function as human beings, they function because of their meetings and their Dogma and their God. Take away their Meetings and their Dogma and they have nothing, Take them away and they are back where they started. They have an addiction.
Addictions need fuel. I am not convinced Meetings and a Dogma and a God can fuel mine. If what the doctor says at the beginning is true, and joining AA is the only way to cure me, then I'm completely fucked. Fucked Fucked Fucked."

"We're here to help you James. We're here to help you get better and to help you learn how to stop killing yourself. If you do what we tell you to do and you follow the Program we prescribe, you will live a long and happy life.
I have recieved my sentence.
It doesnt have to be carried out. Just trust us.
Have you got anything else to say to me?
I hope you'll trust us, I hope you'll give us a chance to help you, and I hope to God you're here tomorrow.
I stare at him. His eyes are thick and wet and breaking. He is obviously sad and obviously disappointed. I'm tired of making people sad and I'm tired of disappointing them and I'm tired of seeing them break. I have seen this too many times. He will be the last.

I am singularly the most self-destructive individual I have ever known, and this fact makes me hate, and destroy myself, even more. Paradoxical?

I have found a motivation to live. I want to do something really famous by the age of 27, and then join Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. Pretty?


3 comments:

sugi said...

Whoa! They enjoyed what they did dude.. they didn't set a target of doing something great and dying off...

Kannan said...

Zubin,
This is my last comment to your posts. Sorry for making it so lengthy.

In many of your posts you have written that life is meaningless and you really wish to end it but somehow you are failing everytime. At the same time you have written that you are seeking the help of psychologists as well which indicates a desire on your part to live and that makes the entire scenario paradoxical.

I thought about this and got some interesting views. God could have created us like robots programmed to perform specific duties and without any kind of feelings. There would have been no sufferings on earth then!!Instead, he chose to create us with all kinds of problems and given ability to handle it too!!. (Why God has to create at all is a problem lying in some other spiritual domain I think). I have strong faith in God and believes that whatever happen to me is decided by God and I do not have any control over it. Where I have control is in my response to a particular incident occur to me. Response-ablity -- the ability to choose our response is the biggest gift God has given to mankind!!

Victor Frankl, in his work on logotherapy, maintains that even in the concentration camps, where death was inevitable, there remained a choice of how one would die --whether with dignity and compassion for others, or railing against God and behaving inhumanely to others. Life presents us daily with many challenges and the measure of a person is in the responses we choose. Someone aptly observed that everyone's life is circumscribed in one way or another, in a prison of limitations. The challenge is do we focus on the bars that confine us or do we look through and beyond them?

When our vision is blinded by so many factors, we find life as meaningless, because at our deepset level we are creative beings. Unless we are able to unleash that creative energy by doing something MEANINGFUL, life will remain meaningless to us. Life is a much much more complicated puzzle than you think. And our view of things are circumscribed by a narrow view consistig of the present alone without the broader benefits of the past and future. only God's vantage point, unlimited by constraints of time and space can render judgements that are consistent with now and then. In your case, you have not even started living. So belive me my dear friend, YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO MAKE MORE JUDGEMENTS ABOUT LIFE!! As time passes and and as the pieces fall into place, you will get better idea of life and no doubt, your view of life will take a 180 deg. turn, I am sure.

You should learn to transform the gashes in your life (if you have any), as the parable below teaches.

A king in ancient times owned a diamond of unparalled beauty. It was his most prized treasure. In times of celebration or when he hosted foreign dignitaries, he would proudly display it. On one of these occasions, as he lifted it out of the case, it fell to the ground and suffered an ugly gash that severely marred its extraordinary beauty. The heartbroken king announced that whoever would repair his valued possession would be granted any request. But should they undertake the task and fail, they would be summarily executed.

Artisans and craftsmen came from near and far, but upon viewing the extent of the damage, declined the attempt. Finally, a craftsman agreed to undertake the risky task. He was provided with a room and the requisite tools and after a long time emerged and presented the diamond to the king. The king gasped. The diamond still had the massive gash, but the artisan had turned it into a stem, around which he engraved petals that formed a magnificent flower. As striking as the diamond had been before, it was now manifold times more exquisite.

There are those among us who are capable of taking the 'gashes' of life and by drawing on inner resources, transforming them into strengths that make of them human beings of far greater depth, understanding and compassion than they could have been otherwise.


Beware of the 'why' question. I.e. Why did God do this to me? Why must I go through this? These questions often get us nowhere. Perhaps a more constructive approach is to change the 'why' question to a 'what' question. Given the circumstances, what is my role? What does God want me to do? What should be my response? What goals do I need to set for myself to both survive and make this a growth experience?

I think I have not written what I wanted to write!!. Already it is too lengthy and i would like to finish it here (even though crashlanding!!). I pray almighty to give you the wisdom to see things through the right prism. Also, hope to hear your name tomorrow as a famous writer!!

PS: You can vomit your anger on me @ kannan_55@yahoo.com!!

Anant said...

Or perhaps zubin, like so many other people, you've just figured that being self destructive is the easiest way to appear unique and paradoxically 'cool'. Never heard of it working for long though.

I've always liked the phrase 'wake up and smell the coffee' - on so many levels.

On another, less sarcastic note, are you still in Delhi?