Saturday, August 14, 2010

Getting rid of attached books

Haaa! Here I am again in my library trying to get rid of books. It is sooo hard to do because each of them is attached to a personal narrative about time & place, interests long cherished, or to the person who gave them to me. So how do I break free from these narrative attachments? Well first I must single out the personas that serve as the focus of the narratives. The bits of identity that comprise "me" (Lacan's le corps morcele) have gathered into these chemical compound-y things. These personas, as I will call them for lack of a better term, are imprinted with an idealized image and labeled with a name, such as "me the scholar ...behind my Lennon-glasses I am wise and kind, always eager to study history and philosophy."

But these seemingly benign personas have trapped me. They are difficult to live up to, for one thing, and the bits of me that are excluded from their mix cry out for attention--and go off to form personas of their own. (Be quiet, Mariko! Not NOW!) That may be the norm in Second Life, where these personas can be given pixilated form, but in Real Life, this process becomes problematic. As narratives of support for or the failures of these personas weave themselves around them, they become like prisons.

So how can we free our identity from these personas, which grow in power as we use them in our interactions with others, and as narratives grow upon them like weeds? Julia Kristeva says we should use language to free ourselves from these bonds. We must disrupt our process of identifying with the personas we have created or have been created for us by the expectations of others. When we believe in and act out our narratives, we are in as much of a fantasy world as Oz or Middle Earth. The narratives are easy and comfortable habits to slip into, but they are self defeating as they keep us going around in circles, stuck in the same ruts. Help me, Julia! If I cannot be a sage like T'oegye, free from narrative attachment to the past or the future, at least let me have more conscious control over what I do have.

*Ahem*...anyway, to get back to the original problem, the personas that have attached to the narratives of why I am such a person who should like these topics or should read these, here and now, I confront you! Monk, Renaissance scholar, Hermetic Philosopher, Wm. Blake scholar, JRRT lover, Bible student! You are not me! (What a presumptive collection!) All of you together have included in your make-up parts of me, but not some of the most important parts (like humor, general silliness &c)! Begone, I adjure and command you, in the name of the Thrice Great Hermes and his disciple Tat...(oops), ummm...I mean, in the name of Ozma, fairy soverign of the marvelous land of Oz! Ok, that's done, now...back to the books. Anyone want a 38 volume set of the Church Fathers?

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