Saturday, February 28, 2015

autotelic

I could be an artist, but what's the point?  I started asking that question a long time ago, but what does the question mean, really?  Is it even a real question?  Or just a manifestation of something gone awry, neurologically?  To feel that there is no point to anything we do.

This is the be sabotaged in a very fundamental process, of reward and fulfillment, but it's all too easy to mistake the question for the problem.  That is, don't ask that, and you'll be fine.  The question is just a symptom, though.  The question doesn't arise, unless the problem is already emergent.  The question is an attempt to wrestle with that desperate feeling, of being unable to connect with life in a way that makes it feel worth living.

Norepinephrine, dopamine, anandamide, serotonin and endorphins, we know these are the building blocks of a healthy process, but we also know they don't always come together, and we're still pretty damn hazy on exactly why.  We give people reuptake inhibitors, and have no idea why they rarely do much good.

External circumstances are bound to play a role, as well - we learn to pursue our goals, or we learn that there's no point, when we don't have the means for that to be realistic.  People in poverty aren't ambitious, when they learn from a young age, how ineffective ambition can be.

Something that should be motivating, gets shorted out, so that people don't even try.  In turn, the brain ends up wired differently, designed by circumstance to just get from day to day.  People learn to be more short-sighted, when that's the only thing their lives teach them.

The point is just to survive, and enjoy what we can, in the process.  This is a vicious cycle though, when it's not terribly rewarding in the long-term.  Maybe we have lots of kids, or do lots of drugs, watch too much tv, eat lots of junk food.  We attempt to find reward, where we can.

How does a person aim higher, when nothing in their lives has taught them that doing so really makes any sense?

I have all sorts of ideas of things I'd like to do, that I don't honestly believe are within my reach.  I don't have the concentration, the courage, or the resources, but I could still create art, at the very least.  The impulse is still there, on some level. I just still wonder why I should bother.  It wouldn't be the autotelic process that it's supposed to be.  I wouldn't get absorbed by the activity, the way I did, before something fizzled out in my head.

My doctor still hasn't gotten back to me.

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