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Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

*Addendum to the previous post on discontentment.*

A: You there?

P: Give me the news.

A: I feel utterly despondent. I am not channeling any kind of Patrick Bateman here. I feel I am on the cusp of insanity.

P: Why?

A: Apatheia. All apatheia is bad in my point of view. I believe one is essentially dead if all passions are dead. The apatheia of monks is, in my view, a bit of an oxymoron, for they do not stifle their passion for god. If they did not have that, they would have nothing at all. Less than nothing.

P: I think ataraxia seems to be the better state. How long has this gone on?

A: My entire life but something is different about today.

P: Did it arise out of the blue?

A: It was a leaden mantle very slowly lain on my shoulders. I feel I have led a very full life already and want it to end.

P: Your march is a bit slower than usual as if you were dragging your own corpse. The key description is that you feel no connection.

A: It’s a feeling of real, true, persistent, pervasive sickness.

P: Do you feel dread?

A: There is no dread because there is no future nor past, there’s only a persistent present.

P: Would you say you feel disgust at the very thought of being alive? Do you feel trapped with anguish?

A: With anguish, yes, but no disgust. I am trapped. I am the prison or maybe the world is a prison, in effect the same thing.

P: What was it you were talking about last night, the moping off of bulls?

A: Yeah, they’ll go off into a stand of trees by themselves after a long life of being with the heifers and eating the grasses and enjoying the sun. Sometimes the virile younger bulls will beat them up, too. The bull loses passion for life and he goes away from the herd and dies.

P: Mmm, interesting. Do you feel there’s a “something else” or a pursuit of truth that must be done?

A: How do I even find the thing which has an unknown nature?

P: The state that you’re in is ripe for questioning.

A: I question or I die.

P: I feel there is a big change coming on, although it might just be me. Question yourself and which is that something else you desire to know or seek out and you’ll have a reason to keep going. Motivation will slowly set in. However, there is no rush.

A: If these were ancient days I’d go into that isolated self-reflection through long silk road camel rides or reveling in the unpredictability of mother nature on the open seas. The pursuit is tiresome. It is hard to feel always like Hemingway’s Santiago.

P: Old Man and the Sea? Vaguely remember it, but it was an amazing novel I thought when I read it.

A: He went at it every day until it was finally there. The big one. And he caught it! It was taken from him, but that doesn’t matter. He did catch it. The goal was achieved. Time and such eats it up but the memory is all that matters. Time has eaten the great monuments of Egypt and Rome and the whole fleet of the Athenians and the sons of great men whose grandsons’ very bones are dust. I take the poem Ozymandius truly to heart.

P: The personal and subjective feeling of greatness, the memory of it, that is all that matters. Like the deed of the crusader in the Seventh Seal, he did cheat death by letting his friends escape and he defined his greatness that way, not through his feats of battle. I have to go now, but thankfully in this time of darkness you can read and reread this conversation. We will talk soon.

A: Have a beautiful evening, P-.

P: Good night and remember, it’s a journey that bears fruit.

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