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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I have a piece missing

I have a piece missing from my self. I am sure a lot of people feel the same way. I know others don't: their self is complete. They could feel happy, or unhappy, in particular situations, but their self is basically a complete entity. In the same way, I can feel happy, or have good day, but that doesn't mean I am a complete person.

You can try to fill the missing piece with drugs, alcohol, work, religion, or a relationship; any one of a number of things. That will not really fill the gap, though. The gap is in you (or me, in this case), so nobody or nothing else can fill it up. People have names for the cause of this gap: the patriarchy, capitalism... Those things may be bad, but they are not the cause of the hole.

I have no idea of why I feel this way, but I almost always have felt so. I cannot even complain about it, because I'm assuming the a certain percentage of people walking around on the street are in exactly the same position as I am. In fact, it gives me some satisfaction to let you all know that this is the way I feel. I will no longer pretend to be a complete person.

You may feel the same way but give a different label to the experience. My particular name for it is this, but you might must feel that something is wrong with you.


Thomas said...

This may not be exactly the same feeling, but something I've been thinking about lately. Here's chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching:

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.

Now, some people use this as argument for the emptiness or "nothingness" of the self. But what I've been thinking lately is that the "centre hole" is only there relative to the spokes that indicate it. The self, the personality, our identity, is the body, its habits of mind and heart, that is arranged around something that is "not there", something that is missing, and precisely by being not there is "useful". The part of us that people know (the wheel, the vessel, the door, the window) really is our "whole self". The missing part belongs to it. It is in a sense a part in its own right.

Like I say, it may be a different experience from yours. But it seemed comparable for a moment.

Jonathan said...

That book was important for me when I was about 12. I think it named something about my own passivity, allowing me to frame it in a more positive way.