I FELT AS IF I WERE IN A SOUND PROOF ROOM

NOW MY PREDICAMENT AS A SOCIAL SCIENTIST WAS THAT I WAS NOT BASICALLY A SCHOLAR. I CAME OUT OF A JEWISH ANXIETY-RDIDEN HIGH-ACHIEVING TRADITION. THOUGH I HAD BEEN THROUGH FIVE YEARS OF PSYCHOANALYSIS, STILL, EVERY TIME I LECTURED, I WOULD GET EXTRAORDINARY DIARRHEA AND TENSION…    I  COULD STUDY 10 HOURS AND PREPARE A REALLY GOOD LECTURE ON FREUD OR HUMAN MOTIVATION, BUT IT WAS ALL AS IF WERE BEHIND A WALL. IT WAS THEORETICAL. I THEORIZED THIS OR THAT. I ESPOUSED THESE IDEAS, THESE INTELLECTUAL CONCEPTS, QUITE APART FROM MY OWN EXPERIENTIAL BASE ALTHOUGH I COULD BRING ALL KINDS OF EMOTIONAL ZEAL TO BEAR ON MY PRESENTATION, THERE WAS A LACK OF VALIDITY IN MY GUTS ABOUT WHAT I WAS DOING. AND, TO MY SUPPRESSED DISMAY, I FOUND THAT THIS STANCE WAS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE BY MOST OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO SEEMED, IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO BECOME “SCIENTIFIC”, TO THINK OF PERSONALITY IN TERMS OF VARIABLES….

 

HERE I WAS, SITTING WITH THE BOYS OF THE FIRST TEAM IN COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY, DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, AND IN THE MIDST OF THIS I FELT HERE WERE MEN AND WOMEN WHO, THEMSELVES, WERE NOT HIGHLY EVOLVED BEINGS. THEIR OWN LIVES WERE NOT FULFILLED. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH HUMAN BEAUTY, HUMAN FULFILLMENT, HUMAN CONTENTMENT. I WORKED HARD AND THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM WERE HANDED TO ME…

 

BUT THERE WAS STILL THAT HORRIBLE AWARENESS THAT I DIDN’T KNOW SOMETHING OR OTHER WHICH MADE IT ALL FALL TOGETHER

 

. AND THERE WAS A SLIGHT PANIC IN ME THAT I WAS GOING TO SPEND THE NEXTY FORTY YEARS NOT KNOWING, AND THAT APPARENTLY THAT WAS PAR FOR THE COURSE.

 

AND IN OFF HOURS, WE PLAYED “GO”, OR POKER, AND CRACKED OLD JOKES. THE WHOLE THING WAS TOO EMPTY. IT WAS NOT HONEST ENOGUH.

 

I WOULD GET UP AND SAY WHAT I HAD READ IN BOOKS AND THEY’D ALL WRITE IT DOWN AND GIVE IT BACK AS ANSWERS ON EXAMS BUT NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. I FELT AS IF I WERE IN A SOUND-PROOF ROOM. NOT ENOUGH WAS HAPPENING THAT MATTERED – THAT WAS REAL.

 

 

 

(BE HERE NOW)

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About earthyearth

from brooklyn, nebraska.

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