The Lowest Form of Life -- Part 2
(c) Peter Ferntzy 2011
Anyone who has been injured will be tempted to perceive all of reality from the perspective of that injury. For our purpose, it matters little whether the injury is real or imagined. The perception that, somehow, one has been hurt, wronged or degraded in an outrageous fashion is enough to trigger a strange and destructive journey. For addicts who’ve been through a great deal, this is the greatest danger: the temptation to interpret every event from that one point of view: one’s own injury, one’s own tragedy, one’s own story.
History is full of examples of where such temptations can lead. Poor, disillusioned and legitimately angry young people in Germany were in the early and middle 20th century convinced to view the world this way. In this case, they were manipulated into believing that Jews (and a few others) were responsible for most of their ills. With that established, they were then receptive to theories about Jews being responsible for everyone’s ills -- responsible for just about anything that had ever gone wrong. We all know where that led.
But Nazi Germany is simply a glaring, and extreme, manifestation of a tendency that has long haunted the human condition. Poor white boys in the South might think that blacks are responsible for everything that ails them, even though the real culprits are elsewhere. A Mary Daly feminist might see patriarchy as the cause of all injustice, just as a vulgar Marxist will pin everything on capitalism. An angry black man might pin all the world’s ills on white people. A religious zealot who has experienced some misfortunes might blame it all on secular humanism.
I wish to emphasize once more that it matters little whether one’s injuries are real or ficticious, because the formula remains the same: I have been injured, and now claim a right to interpret all of reality from the perspective of my injury. When people take that tack, they turn themselves into the lowest form of life that humanity has ever produced. How someone got there becomes less important than the existential reality: he harms others, and he harms himself by constantly stewing in the resentment -- tearing at wounds that might have healed long ago. See? That’s when justification becomes irrelevant.
Right here, right now, addicts are being encouraged to view everything strictly through their personal experience. That entire line of thinking is precisely what is keeping addicts –- my people –- down. Don’t fall into that trap! It’s not about you. It’s not just your story. And you will merit respect only when you can rise above the personal, rise above your experience, and think clearly. “All I have to share is my experience” might sound good. But it’s a trap. It’s a play used to keep you down.
Time to wake up
Time to get busy
Time to step up
Make ‘em go tizzy © Peter Ferentzy 2010