An honorable failureby clif high, Sun, Jun 23, 2013 08:00
As with most humans, i have failed at most things in my life.
What seems to set me apart from others, besides a curious lack of attachment to my 'identity', is that i count each failure as a personal badge of honor. Many of these badges are worn for all the world to see as scars and disfigurements. i would not have it otherwise; absent ego driven pride, satisfaction is the deepest of the core emotional states, just above love and fear. i am satisfied with my failures.
In a life longer than i had any right to expect, i have learned to fail very well indeed. i had thought to catalog my failures in a very impressive list, but i even fail at that. There is not enough ego pressure to even try to impress itself (prelude to trying to impress others) with its long list of failures. Suffice it to say, that if it was expected of a man, in our western society, over these last 60/sixty years, i have failed at it. Every challenge expected of a man in our society, i stood to meet, only to be knocked down by universe.
Perhaps i agreed in my soul contract, to come as exemplar of failure; perhaps i chose the way of failure as it was something i understood from a previous life, it did not matter, as somehow, whenever i tried on the clothing of success, the fit made me feel uncomfortable, constrained, and strangely, nearer to non-death.
Perhaps it was early exposure to the 'elites', to those who had 'achieved success', or been born into its more favored location in this matrix; perhaps it was some universe planted flaw in my genetics; perhaps space aliens mucked about with my dna; it seems not to be knowable, only evident that i fail to know why i am a failure. However, i do know that 'success' that i have seen, scares me into satisfaction with my life of failure.
i have met those humans who have achieved success, and without variant, i have felt pity for them in their presence. These humans have 'achieved', and from that point on, the were stuck with their 'success'. Mostly i think it may have 'made' their lives, but it ruined their souls. To my failure accustomed eyes, the 'successful' always evoked feelings of the same flavor as i had when viewing the ancient Pharohic Eqyptian relics: here was a civilization that worshipped, and devoted all of its efforts toward a single goal, the 'unchanging state of success'. If you read their surviving literature, a single overarching thematic impression comes across, that life was nothing but a pursuit for perfect, successful stasis. That success could be defined as 'ever unchanging'.
i shudder to consider it, and the skin on my back wants to craw off my spine at the thought of suffering such 'success'. Rather give me my life of wanton failure in infinite reincarnations over a single life of perpetual, eternal, immortal success.
Now lest you think my attitude some twisted conspiracy theorist apologectic sop toward reconciling my personal narrative to my life ending as a failure, let me point out that it is manifesting universe that reinforces my view every time i am presented with 'news' of the successful humans of this planet. i am repelled by the slick, non (or trans?) human images presented as success. One looks at their smooth, unaffected faces (no honor badges there, no scars saying this face has lived, tried, failed and suffered), and nearly weep at the horror of it all. What are these beings presented as 'success' models by the media? What species is being held up as our collective goal? It sure as fuck is not a a human.
At least as a failure, while i always had to pay for my mistakes, i was never forced to live with them, unlike the 'successful' who suffer the reverse, never paying for anything, and yet, preversely having to live with all of it, ever after. Just consider the personality 'clif' and its long string of failures...what may come to mind are those rare occurances of 'near success' as in "eyup, he's a squirrely bastard who usually gets this shit wrong, but you remember that time he had the Max Keiser look-out thing a month before the space aliens buzzed them?"
Live a life of failure, and those few instances one fails to perform to standard stand out. Yet, contrast this with ANY successful personality held up to our society by any authority, media, gov'mint, or religion. Seriously, think of a successful person, in any category of life, and do you remember their long string of successes that got them to that pinnacle? Doubtful; but quite certain you DO remember their instances of 'wardrobe failures', and 'lapses in judgement', and 'run-ins with the law', and 'excessive reaction to stress', and all of the other instances manifest in achieving their 'success'.
Again, consider just what is presented to society by any of the authorities promoting success....is it discussions of the latest greatest song by so-and-so? her last enlightment experience? her fabulous relationship with mother/father/siblings/spouse/children/society? nope, it is her recent DUI/bitch_slip/nip_slip/tongue_slip or other negatively focused, mean-spirited and dare we say it? jealous jibe at her 'success' by focusing on everything but.
Scary stuff. And i have seen, up close, and personal, how being a success affects the people involved. It is truly a terrible thing to observe. These people become so rigidly encased in success, that they become 'denser' on the planet than ordinary humans. This phenomenon has been noticed and commented upon by many writers/failures throughout history in observing their 'betters', the 'successful ones'.
Denser is not good for humans. As the successful person accummulates the 'trappings of success' (please note what we reveal not so subtly in our language), their manifestation of their flesh actually becomes 'thicker' and 'denser' within this matrix. It is not an accident that we refer to the 'gravitas' of such people.
Once cursed with success, ever after living out the payment. Made rigid in demands by ego for yet more success, or if not more, at least NO diminishing of what once was...again, the idea of the unchanging, and perpetual state that success demands. These people afflicted with success, seeming having avoided many of the sufferings of life available to the failure class, and what do they do? They force themselves, in their quest for perpetual success, to replicate the suffering their success supposedly allows them to avoid. It is rampant in their lives, and you are forced to participate in it daily if you injest mainstream media. Examples abound. Just look at the successful person who has 'made it', and need not suffer body damage through daily labor amidst bad enviroment. So what does the successful person do? They subject themselves to 'cosmetic surgery' and in an endless quest for their past body image, bizarre diets, and their resulting impact on mental health. Look at the irony, they are inducing forms of the very suffering their success supposedly avoids.
Yes, i am a failure. i am satisfied as such, as each and every instance of failure is proof of effort, of attempt, of movement and life. And these are all good. i am satisfied in managing to dodge success all these years, and wear my scars as honorable badges of the battles engaged, and proof of passion, if not ability to 'achieve'.
Yes, i am a failure, an old failure, and i have learned over a long life of failure that success is scary. As a linguist, i see it in our common language: success is described always as bringing 'baggage', and "weighty concerns". It is no wonder then, that when the inevitability of change occurs to the 'successful' person, how is it described? As 'falling flat', or a 'face-plant', or a 'fatal fall'...all too true, and too sad.
And the failures? How do we describe them when they fail yet again? Well, first, it is never noticed, and never remembered, so one may contentedly, repetiously fail as much as they wish. And the really cool thing about failure is that universe so supports it as to continually supply a never ending stream of challenges to which one can respond with failure.
Oh, that's right, one thing i failed to note about failure...it has a tendency to make humans a bit smarter, those who survive it, that is.. you see, even a dumb human, seeing that life will continually knock them down, will learn to roll. Of course, universe cooperates by knocking off all the square edges, and hard corners in the many falls that the human takes in coming to that conclusion, thus making it easier for them to roll.
The poor bastards who 'achieve success' (or are 'born to it') early in life are doomed. They never stand a chance. Without failure, how are they to learn to roll?
Yes, if one if forced by life to live long, then learn by the wise experience of others, as i have done, and chose failure as the better path, and learn to roll early in life. The ukemi (falling/rolling) arts will serve you well.