Open Talks, Words&Roots

The Age of Emotional Innocence

How  does a young human being go about learning of its inner self? In this era of the new “great depression,” seeking answers too often resembles standing in front of a shattered mirror with a pile of fractured and broken pieces and no reflection. Whilst outside booms the 21 century. Seeing no reflection, one just stands there, remaining innocent of one’s own  emotional life, surroundings, or even existence. While in this uncertainty, someone other- or something,  “presses down” on us from who knows where.

I hear someone contradicting – “Why does a young human being need to learn about itself? The time will come, youth will pass, and naturally, some purpose or other will be squeezed out of life. Naturally.” That is all very well- but except for a huge waste of time, as any ignorance, it brings about many other cons. The weight of life strikes children from their very first social encounters, the ones they never tell. However, emotions with no outlet, no guide, no known format to adhere to, no reason, turn existence into an unreasonable thing. And I believe that outcome is the first axiom that depression impresses upon the mind.

No one doubts that we should study school subjects at a specific young age and not 10-15 years later, when those things would be easy to grasp. Being ignorant so long is almost dangerous.  Likewise it is with emotional education. A person who grows up with no examples to turn to, no great lives to “follow,” no psychological questions to ask – before they are pushed at him by life, with no warning – is reduced to “following” the lives and likes of other blind peers marching into the same pit.

Why is it then that we push out the drama genre – the external, safe, on-screen, in-page drama – out of our lives? Look around in a society that storms movie theaters to see cartoons. Isn’t that strange, considering each person always has his own drama to face? Have they no desire for a predecessor, a helper, a guide? Or importantly an anti role-model, someone who’s actions not to repeat? Is it because we have gone on a bout of optimism? Somehow, looking round me, I doubt so.

Up there, all around us,  almost unseen among the hustle,  float so many separate pieces of a mirror once whole. In reality, they only make us see the person that was there all the time. The person whose reflection was hidden, that’s all. The mirror – or rather, its pieces, may in human language be called intellect, soul, various art forms, psychology, Faith, Chronos. I believe the key, among so many art (read – expression) forms, that were given us, is to unwrap individual thought, not superimposed thought, not your neighbour’s thought. And maybe disagreeing with a work of art is as productive as agreeing, if not more so, because it causes the emotion that makes us want to do differently, in other words, again, individually. And this holds greater memory. And this gives rise to dialogue.

Dialogue with self and with itself is what literature has gives us for ages. “An author’s work is no more than an optical tool… so the reader could discern within himself things which he wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.”  – So speaks, for many authors, Proust. However, recently they told people that these sorts of dialogue are unhealthy. And we have a generation very sick and broken – because all of them believed.

Some will talk about experience. I have a few words to say about that too.

Experience is a great thing. However, one who is taught only by experience, without any guide, is often a victim of experience, for experience is a very rough teacher. Its pupil is rarely strong enough to be taught by this teacher alone without becoming its victim. And a victim is someone who is left with no voice, but only an instinct – do not touch me! And then follows an electrical current which pushes out anyone willing to approach. Again – pushes. Down, out. Depresses. For depressed means only pressed down. By whom? Everyone must find their own answer to this question, without, in the interim, falling victim.

As for experience, suffering, etc. – no one has escaped these teachers, but only unloving or careless hands will lead us into their school completely illiterate  This century may be uncaring, but the luxury it gives us is looking back as far as we wish –  to choose a loving guide. Otherwise, innocence these days may just be a nicer synonym for ignorance.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Age of Emotional Innocence”

  1. Why is it then that we push out the drama genre – the external, safe, on-screen, in-page drama – out of our lives? Look around in a society that storms movie theaters to see cartoons. Isn’t that strange, considering each person always has his own drama to face?

    There is one thing you’ve missed out on here, and it is why someone chooses to go and see a particular movie.

    So I’ll turn it around: they want to see that movie because it conforms to their own inner emotional world – and it does not challenge them in the way real life would.

    The movie makers know full well what sells – that is to say, that which comforts those who do not like real life. My own book does this… only to drop a bomb somewhere near the middle. I crafted the reality of a persons’ life, and then crafted an illusion of it. Yet this illusion is what many people prefer over the reality.

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    1. Sure, that’s right. But I also wonder how much “what sells” is a result of marketing. For people can be turned both ways. There are two ways of looking at it. The ancient belief in tragedy as a powerful force to create opposite emotions, and the Broadway idea of light entertainment. Of course, it existed long before Broadway, but a hundred years ago its scope still amazed Europeans. Which means they were a bit less marketed in that direction.

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      1. “But I also wonder how much “what sells” is a result of marketing. For people can be turned both ways.”

        There’s an old marketing adage: you can only sell to someone who wants to buy.

        But there are people who try to brainwash via marketing; it isn’t cheap and it isn’t efficient. Still there are people who want people to believe things that they otherwise wouldn’t. The British government did it: over a period of 25 years they indoctrinated the country by way of newspapers and the new genre of cheap fiction to believe that the enemy was Germany.

        Before that time, the enemy had been France.

        Using tragedy is one crude way to influence people. Superman and no few other “heroes” like Luke Skywalker all started out as orphans. Something to pull at the strings of any homely American… “poor diddums didn’t have a daddy or a mummy ergo, we side with him”.

        Simple enough to do, but it is still expensive if you want people to think in the way you want them to. The people who engage in this kind of thing would be thinking of target audiences – what they’d never dream of was what their customers thought of them…

        That’s the key to advertising something and making a profit from your advertising (rather than throwing your money down the drain).

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