But what are my values? Am I allowed to follow them in the current state? Haven't I betrayed them all. No teaching job. No wife. No kids. Where am I, lost... That's how my how thoughts run sometimes.
But Doctor, maybe that's the problem of courtship, or the kind of thing I went through with that person, that girl, was that you become separated from your values. Some of the insecurities still mess with you at that stage of life, college days, particularly with this last unexplored new area... I mean you know yourself as this deeply kind person, would do anything for anyone, indeed love for all people, but then you fall into this back and forth, this tentative mode where insecurities come out, and you get hurt by what a person says, and so you walk away and harbor that kind of 'well, if that's the way you're going to be, well fine, fuck you' thing, and that's not how you want to treat her in any way, but you're too close to it and you perceive hurt feelings. You have nothing but kindness for this person, but she got a little bitchy with you when you brought her flowers and you end up, I dunno, withdrawing, holding off on your gifts, on your light, on all the nice things you want to do for her and share with her. You don't know how to read her, and so you retreat.
And then that starts a process of being separated from your values, and perhaps that's the source of the greatest depressions. You were sort put in a trap, and where you know you've found an outlet for the highest form of kindness a person can express and find fulfillment in, I don't know, you get separated or confused and you start to act out, get angry, get self-destructive, don't follow through on things that you really want, feeling like 'oh what the hell's the point anyway...' And because of so many little go-rounds, back and forth, kindness, retreat, dismissiveness, that sense begins to bleed over a lot of things. A cynicism... And then you might find yourself looking at yourself like 'what's happened to you, my friend, what has happened to you... You used to be so bright, so engaged, so self-confident and in tune with your values.
It's like she becomes your enemy, and then a lot of people follow suit, like ostracizing you as the weirdo. "What the fuck did I do? Can't you see? I'm not a bad person, I don't have evil intentions, I want to help you, I want to be good to you..." And by the end of it all you're looking at yourself, "what the fuck happened to you?"
And that's I guess why I stuck with writing so long, because I had this sort of vision of an infinitely gentle infinitely suffering thing, something that could only find expression in literature, much along the lines of The Brothers Karamazov, which shows the real good in people, the real unselfish quality, of wise Alyosha with his schoolboys making peace amongst them, and that iconic picture of the Christ found in The Grand Inquisitor passage, a Jesus who says nothing to his accuser and tormentor, above such things. Do the good have to be martyred? No, of course not, but you kind of feel like one who intends to be good is in for a lot of suffering as he formulates his lesson plan to teach the world, a world that does not maybe even want teaching...
And from a practical stand-point, what does a good person have to offer anyway, as far as a solid mate. No, you have to be entrepreneurial in this world, like Joseph P. Kennedy the father, figuring out how to make good money and support a family.
It's like you fall into a daze. Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who my father is and the things I stand for in life? What do you say to your accuser? You clam up. Time passes and you make few more efforts, but those feel like they got shot down too, so you develop this hair-trigger, self defeating at the mere hint of rejection. Maybe this was the sort of thing Lincoln was subject to, the ship of his values running up against the rocks of life. As strong a man as he, even.
And in the mode of being, kind to everyone, well, I'm sorry, but you get distracted. You'd like to focus it all on her, but, there are lots of people in the world. There are always 'the least' of us. You'd want so badly to focus just on her, but there's a lot of noise, a lot of pulls off in different directions. You end up doing stupid shit too. Wasting your time on swine.
Maybe, doctor, that's why you become a writer, because it's the only pure world, though of course that is not very satisfying, that the Brothers Karamazov thing happens only in the realm of the book, that you can't teach that in the world so much. You'd be tossed out of the classroom anyway. Teach math and computer science.
Funny, you know, the first adult thought you have is that in a way everyone is a scholar, in their own way. You respect people's native curiosity. Maybe they don't read books like the way you do or did, but there's something going on, even if it gets misguided or wasted. And then from that sense of the scholarship in everyone, you come to spiritual ideals, that which too everyone responds to, has some sense of.
Values, yes. I have values. I had values. But you also get lost. Maybe that's just the way life, being the world, inherently is... I don't know.
Sad, not knowing what to do with yourself, just a walking blank kindness, maybe that is Jesus, or whoever, Buddha, the situation you just described, feeling you aren't able to do anything, as if you had your hands tied behind you, told to keep quiet, stuck in a prison where no one sees you.
Values, that seemed like a silly almost ridiculous question at first...
Maybe there's a reason Dostoevsky portrayed men and women as extreme, crazy, vixens, madmen... This quality is part of his palate, his spiritual world expressive of his version of Christianity...