“Man lives by eating significance, as a child eats food.”
This quote is from my old friend, Colin Wilson. In high school, in the late ’60’s, I was captivated by his Outsider series, and along with Hermann Hesse he helped me through the trauma of adolescence. I left high school with scars on my face, and a deep sense of being the outsider. I resonated with the image of the steppenwolf, albeit a tame, self-loathing one.
When I read the alumni notes from my old college, I marvel at the accomplishments of my classmates from the year 1976. And now, as I enter my 7th month of retirement, and looking at a new school year in which I will not be on the front lines, the steppenwolf has returned.Throughout my life I have never been comfortable joining anything: clubs, political groups, religions, corporations. Mauvaise foi. Again at the margins.
A subterranean, living marginally. Having reached the harbor, I have safely docked and burrowed into the triviality of everyday life.
Wherein lies the significance, the enormous vistas? This is not a country for old men.
But where is the promised land?
It is here, inside all of us. We don’t see it, distracted as we are by our trivial pursuits, our banal mentality, our mendacity.
Break on through to the other side, as Jim said. Get a sledge hammer and break down the walls of our fear frozen catalepsy and enter that other world that beckons and coexists with the banal, the mundane.
The robot must die.