The “FANTASYLAND” of YOU!
Plato is famous for saying, “the worst of all deceptions is self-deception.”
I’m now going on record, with this wicked-good thought, in order to create my own fame (fortune we’ll save for another post):
The biggest distraction from Self is the hope that an exalted social media-based image meme must have validity.
In other words, in the hopeful poster’s pathology to feel adequate and accepted from outside feedback (think: the LIKE link on Facebook or the heart icon on Instagram)…
…they scurry to find a favorable, enlightening image; one that appears full of rich color and vibrant abstract swirly lines. And, yes, of course it comes perfectly embraced around a saying (a platitude, maxim, adage, etc) that seemingly must have come from Linda Linguistics, the goddess who insta-shuns any and all things, people, and events that make her acolytes feel____ (fill-in any kind of negative adjective associated to an outside trigger).
In other words, if its online, looks exquisite, and stings with a commanding dictum… for shits sake Sally, it must be true — true for me, true for you.
One such image that recently had me nearly spitting out an overpriced glass of vermouth, was this one:
And, before I had a chance to even read the poster’s edification of it, my mind internally yelled:
Holy f*ck Chuck… she must be permanently and forever exonerated from her-SELF, because the image says so.
When we try and sell the world only the white-washed versions of our character — i.e., that we’re all good, saintly, and full of purity all the time and, by gosh, “if you see me as anything other, then it must be only your own inner truth!” — we still can’t escape from our own repressed, disavowed dark traits.
As the trailer to The Shadow Effect points out, whatever we tend to be most up in arms about, most expressive in morality about, we can be assured there’s a repressed version of its opposite percolating in our dormant ‘dark’ side somewhere.
It’s precisely what many do online, thru machine-gunned daily image memes. The self-diagnosing that’s going on is evident to a trained eye (especially one that also does know the person through observational behavior and interactive dialogue).
Its what Joe Rogan briefly touches on in this 6-minute clip:
When a person takes an image meme (such as the one posted above) and writes:
…its quite clear it’s metaphysical psychobabble designed, under the mask of colorful-coolness, to keep the dormant self-avoidance at bay.
Look, I’m not so hard-edged here to think that we all should just be instantly willing and ready to go into Carl Jung’s concept of the “embodiment of the monster.” (as Dr. Peterson talks about in the video above); however, at the same time, we can’t swing to the opposite extreme either:
Finding scapegoats to prevent us from having to take self-inventory of our success in relation-SHIP, therefore own-up to our own behaviors in this present reality.
Being on our own path; or a claim that everybody has their own truth, or that we have to focus on ourselves. None of those platitudes, in a bubble, justify ignoring personality vices and bad habits we see occuring in others around us.
NOTE: That was, interestingly enough, the first thing on my top 10 list of How To Stay ‘Young, Dumb and Broke’.
As humans, we’re either focused and gearing-up our interests in compassion or cruelty; disgrace or respect; self-accountable behavior or blame and perpetrating judgement / aggression (whether expressed or repressed).
In my relation-SHIP experiences (many of which I’ve been grateful to have),I’ve come to learn why vulnerability is the only authentic state. The only legit strength for truth — about you, the other person, the dynamic — to reveal itself.
Everything else is a mask, a distraction to keep us from having to be responsible for the stories we tell about others (behind their backs) to those that will listen to our script.
One minute, we’re DOING one thing with somebody that appears to be executed in grace and right-minded gesture. The next, we’re rolling our eyes as we tell another person about such and such crappy, horrid, or boring experience.
We gaslight the person who we incorrectly think was our foe, when all along he was a friend, only disguised as an unwitting “teacher” who just didn’t throw us into the dungeon for being so pitiful and pithy with our comments and critical nature.
We sensationalize, resent, blame and misdirect (project) our own flaws on the dance floor. We stepped on their toes, but it was their fault.
Then that story creates the illusion, which is all part of a script only from the depths of our own creative mind. The other players, the real characters (such as the dance partner), never had a chance to fill in their part. We (meaning you) already had it written in stone.
As my longtime friend Len Wright likes to ask:
“How can you grow if you have a story everything has to fit into?”
Why we create our stories in the first place was probably best succingly answered by 19th century German philosopher and philologist Friedrich Nietzsche:
“People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
So, what does the deeply-fearful self-avoidant do?
Well, they keep the illusion going, of course… by any means necessary. And, in an age where you can get instant LIKES without any context or depth of authentic discussion around your buried insecurities and head-in-the-sand conflicts, what better way than through a social media posted image meme.
If enough folks hit the LIKE link, then it must be true (as per the image above, in that example, that nobody can truly know us).
Then again, I think I’ll go with vulnerability expert Brené’ Brown over something superficially wrapped inside an image.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
In regards to just how vital, how powerful, allowing yourself to be known is, I leave you with this excerpt from the book, ‘Mirror, Mask, and Shadow’: