virus: Being uncomfortable isn't always bad

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 20:44:28 -0500

>Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 05:18:44 -0600
>From: Zloduska <>
>Subject: Re: virus: Being uncomfortable isn't always bad
>I think you can be worthy of respect without being "superior". Anyhow, I
>realized this. I would like to think of others as my equal, and not
>consider myself to be on a higher plane of thought than they are. However,
>I cannot deny that part of me does this regardless. Is it subconscious
>that when you view other people, you tend to place yourself above them, no
>matter what your attitude? If I have a choice, I would *not* like to think
>that I'm better and more enlightened than everyone else, but I probably do
>this anyway.

That's pretty much my perspective, too. I don't think I can answer those questions for you.

>...I told RB something like
>this: "It would make no sense for me to discuss (argue) this any further,
>because *IF* ((notice the IF here, Reed)) almost everyone thinks I'm
>ignorant and wrong, then their minds are already made up and it would be of
>no use." I was of the opinion that he was completely wrong; the opposite
>of what you say. I was assuming that everyone did _not_ think those "bad
>things" about me. My whole point was that I did not want to bother trying
>to *prove* that I am not operating on a lower plane than you are. Comprende?

Using the conditional rendered your statement ambiguous. This was combined with your impression that the conversation was a "chore" and that it was draining your energy. Those are classic signals of a challenge to paradigm.

>Again, my point was that he is _not_ in a place to "judge" these matters.
>I don't see what's irrational about not taking the bait when someone
>implies you're inferior. I completely disagreed, is that clear?

It is now.

>(Note: I am -over- that whole thing and harbor no ill will towards Richard.
> I'm just driving this into the ground because you are telling me I felt or
>did something I did not, so I'm correcting you.)

Who is correcting who?

>>It is easier to tell people what to think than to tell what people are
>If as you say, it's easier to make it up, are you?

We all are. It isn't as insidious as you're making it out to be.

>>We are all part of the public.
>Not me; I'm a vampyre. [1]
>[1] Warning: this was only a _joke_!

Ha ha!
Hmm...isn't it convenient that this "joke" allows you to avoid for, what, the third time (I've lost count) admitting that you are a member of the public. It's interests me that you would joke about being a vampire. There is quite a lot of symbolism surrounding the vampire myth. Detached, bloodless, casting no refelction, undying...a sort of isolated hyper-mental state of existence. Even in sleep, heremtically sealed, as if dead. Impotent, and lacking in any common physical desires. It's quite an image, really. What is your subconscious doing when you aren't watching, I wonder?

But, in all seriousness. You are human aren't you? You are a member of the general public, correct?

>>>Again, I think you're trying to pick my mind apart a bit too much.
>>In what sense...beyond your comfort? beyond my abilities? beyond what
>>is appropriate? beyond reason? ;-)
>Beyond what you can possibly know from the fact, which you said yourself,
>I'm just "words on a screen".

I interpret. You're the one who thought Oprah was bad, even though you don't watch TV. Would you say that opinion was an interpretation based on what you "knew from fact", or was it an uninformed prejudice? Is my interpretation of you based on more or less facts than you know about Oprah and her TV show?

>>Alternatively, you are not conscious of the deeper meaning in everything
>>you say.
>Um, alternatively, I think you are not conscious of the *acutal* meaning of
>my words, let alone the deeper meaning. The many times I have to clarify
>myself with you is evidence of this. Your remark is kind of like saying
>that a panda doesn't realize its place in the world besides eating bamboo,
>so you have to make the analysis for dumb, lesser creature.
>I don't think so.

Hmm...interesting analogy. I'm not certian if I agree with the superior/infereror connotations. It's near enough that I read it a few times. I think the difference is that one doesn't expect that the panda ought to know it's place beyond eating bamboo...while one assumes another human being has greater potential. In the end, one hopes the human will be doing thier own self-analysis.

>>As a result, your words often betray you. Do you feel like you
>>"really" understand most people and can help them "really" understand
>>you? Do you feel a deep connection to the public, one which makes you
>>happy to be a fellow human being?
>>Or not?
>I feel disoriented right now.

Why don't you read the passage again and see if it makes sense now.

>Okay then, I implore you to "define" me. Please...I think defining a
>person is hard enough to do, let alone solely through email for a brief
>period of time.

You're overreacting. Let's try this a different way. Do you read book reviews?

>1) I don't think you have offered enough about yourself so that I can tell
>who you are.

What would you like to know? If I tell you my favorite color, will you feel more informed? My occupation? My alma mater? Nationality?

>One thing that really bothers me is the tendency you have to act like a
>therapist or a high school guidance counselor. I imagine that if we were
>to talk in person, I would have a *much* easier time conversing with you.

Maybe. Imagine having this same exchange, only on the time scale of a conversation...say over an hour. People tend to find it very hard, in my experience. But, if we met in person, we might have a lighter conversation.

>But here, we tend to clash and I lapse into feeling like an "indignant"
>rebellious teenager having to protect myself from you picking me apart the
>wrong way, and so I act the part.

I don't understand. Above you said I can't define you. Then you say I "make" you act like a juvenile. Which is it? Am I to understand your previous statements as a teenager screaming "you can't tell me what to do, this is my life!"?

Show, don't tell. Play the role you want to play.

What role do you want to play?

>You make me feel sassy. You sassy boy.

Did I mention I'm married?



  Reed Konsler