Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Celphalization – A Fragment

One in four households in America consists of a single person, according to the Gray Lady (also, similar interview found at the Economist). I am one of them. At this point it is traditional to post the Forever Alone macro, but in all honestly, I enjoy solitude. I was reading up on the history behind the Asimov novel The Caves of Steel, in which humanity builds up cities to the point were they blot out the sky. Most men spend their entire lives without seeing the sun. Asimov, himself an agoraphobic, was surprised when a reader suggested that live without the sun would be intolerable. This story symbolizes the truth that we, as humans, unconsciously assume all others to be like us.
We live, as we dream – alone…
Joseph Conrad
I, too, often find it hard to understand why others enjoy the social life so. I am extremely uncomfortable in crowds (crowds being any number of people larger than five), and prefer to spend my free time at home. I am not anti-social or a misanthrope (well, not to a point of unbalance) but I just have a low tolerance for others. Even with close friends, spending more than a few hours with them begins to become a drag.

So reading this article really meant something to me. I found some kindred spirits, and it made me feel much better to learn how many people feel the same as me. I find there to be great advantages to be alone. I can spent my time the way I want to, I can do the things I want to do (and not do the things I don't want to do), and I don't need to concern myself with the sensibilities of others. For me, solitude is one of the greatest pleasures I can have.
I never found a companion so companionable as solitude.
And to this point, I do not seek companionship, since it would mean the subjugation of my will to another's. For most, this would be more than worth the price to avoid being alone. To me that is as bizarre as worshiping the sun.
Much like the lady in the article, I can not imagine trying to live with someone that wants to share their live with me. If I was to find companionship, it would need someone that enjoys isolation as much as myself. I would need someone that would be okay with only seeing me once or twice a day. In the few relationships I have had, this has always been the point were it falls apart. There is no way around it, I care for myself far more than I will ever care for another. And I will not change myself to meet society's standards.
So this means I will probably always be 'Forever Along'. But I am okay with this. Because the truth is that all men are alone. People will go to great lengths to feed the illusion that there is someone else out there that understands them, that will always be there for them. But we live as we dream. I just have been blessed (or cursed) with a greater clarity that most.
Alone, quite alone. You have no fear of that. And you know what that word means? Not only to be separate from all others but to have not even one friend.
-- I will take the risk, said Stephen
James Joyce
Celphalization posts are fragments of thought, unrefined ideas written with less rigor than other posts. Consider them to be like dirt in a oyster—maybe with time they will become a pearl, maybe not. When I was looking through some old college documents, I found a list of biology vocabulary words. The first on the list was 'Celphalization' – a trend resulting in well-developed head/brain/sense organs. I figured that this was a good as a name as any. 


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