Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fallacious derivation of self worth

All too often in this culture, and perhaps others, self worth is defined and derived from externally donated sources. It seems to be defined in terms of skills, position and status, personal characteristics and social roles. This strategy is immediately effective until circumstances change that alter those skills, status, or perceived characteristics. For example, changing jobs that make ones skills obsolete, changing friends that see one in a different way. Under these circumstances, the source of self worth evaporates setting in motion a cyclical problem where one is having to replace these previously prided characteristics with new ones at a time when they are most difficult to appreciate. This process is a fool's errand. Self worth, if the term is to mean anything, is derived from being. One has value because one is. This forms a foundation that is impervious to the ephemeral tide of circumstance.
And yet, in the often tempestuous din of identity formation, the bulk of identity is derived externally for us guided by accident and flimsy intention. Throughout this process, the currency of fallacious value is the validation we receive externally. Yet validation, though apparently necessary, does not fully penetrate the mire of character, achievement, skill, and all the other imagined extensions of being. Because it never fully penetrates to the core of being, no amount of validation ever seems to be enough and thus a never ending pursuit of validation serves only to stymie. Effort, futility, false presentation and other chasing of the wind thus dominate the human pathology.
Worth derived from being rather than the effects of being, is one the penetrates from the inside out. It is stormproof, it is not bound to changing circumstances and fickle external reflections. It forms the foundation from which positive and fruitful evaluation can take place. It forms a sanctum of peace and stability in which one can recharge for a minute before returning once more to the brink. When worth is derrived from being, it is divorced from individuality and the ego that often tempts false worth. But the effects of being are flashy and easily seen while being itself is so omnipresent it is practically hidden from one's attenuation. To hack through the lianas of the obvious attributes of self to finally arrive at the unadulterated self is the path towards freedom from doubt.


rainswept said...

XXXXXX; or, to put it suggestively, suicide is still murder.

Roastery on Tuesday.

Special Teams said...

If you want your copy of House of Leaves, find the tall pretty blonde at the Yard and inquire.

CaptainOrange said...

A worthy goal to be sure, but one I fear that cannot be independantly achived. Yes, an understanding that external validation is fleeting is important. But, you can't develop that understanding without experiencing prescence and abscence of validation. Moreover, there the ironic requirement that to escape the need for validation, we must first have it. Else how should we have the confidence in ourselves to dispense with it.