Human Adulthood Part II

It seems to me like adulthood and emotional sobriety go together.

said Panos Sarangelis

Yes. Emotional intelligence is very much part of a human adulthood. An adult human looks at situations with a drive to reach a solution rather than to further complicate it with emotional outbursts.

I stood between many so called adults who were completely losing it. To name a few: two quarreling males, one just out of prison and shouting obscenities at another in prison jargon.. a group of charged young males with baseball bats chasing another guy because one of the group perceived him as insulting his sister… a drunken and very unhappy chap at a bus stop who grabbed a bottle, broke it and was waving the shard in the direction of my ex; I had to ask my ex to move across the road and dealt with the guy in my own way (he was a compete stranger btw)… a gang of teenagers at a playground who surrounded me and my then two year old and with a swagger offered to ‘give me one’; it took me five minutes to bring the offending bubble brain to tears. The gang helped me with the broken swings after.. an irate small time Nigerian drug dealer in Cam when I wanted to get one of our very drunk guys out of the bar safely, as there was an altercation between the two and they wouldn’t let him leave..Broken_Bottle

etc. etc. endless stories of human children.

None of the people above were adult-like or anywhere on their way to adulthood, regardless of their physical age. They had zero awareness and moved on an impulse. That’s all they had in them – AN IMPULSE. No thought, no awareness, not even a modicum of consideration.. nothing. Animals by birth, animals by creed.

Perhaps, some of them came out of this state and got to use their heads later on in life. I don’t know.

Why do I call these people animals? There is no snobbery or a sense of superiority on my part. I simply state it as is: animals are governed by instinct which tells them that if you are not bigger, better, scarier, louder – you lose. Intimidation, chase and fight are the order of Mother Nature, unless it is about procreation, and then it is a very brief period of superficial tenderness between the male and the female.

Then.. she might eat him, or he might eat her kids, or the mother may feed her weaker young to their siblings, or..  Seriously, from arachnids to lions to Great Apes.

It is just a fact of life in the animal kingdom – size matters, and the winner takes it all.

But us, humans? When a mother bear charges at you protecting her cub – the instinct takes over. She does not consider whether you, this puny human, are a serious danger to her. She does not check whether you have any weapons on you or some bear spray or you are alone. She charges because you are perceived as danger regardless.

When you charge at your girlfriend because you perceive she may have done something to offend your masculine sense of pride.. how different are you from that bear? The adrenaline surges, and you obey like a mindless puppet.

Human adulthood is about a HUMAN. Not an animal. It is about someone who can  engage their mind, place it into the working mode regardless of how emotionally charged the situation may appear. It is someone who does not act on a stupid impulse and certainly not on the first thing that jumps into their head.

Young humans find it the hardest of course. In their heads they are still just a couple of inches from the mother’s apron. And considering that their mothers and fathers (see Sophia) have already begun the process of infecting the offspring with the same mindless virus they themselves possess… what chance do we have of developing into a thinking mature entity? The imprint for anything acquired in childhood is immensely strong. Think of all the songs you have learnt while a kid.. I bet you still remember them, perhaps even both the lyrics and the melody. You probably still remember the smell of your grandma’s or first teacher’s perfume, and the sound of your father’s new car engine. You may even remember your first emotional sadness and the first emotional gladness. I sure do. Whatever neuronal connections were formed during one’s childhood – will be the strongest and will endure for life.

The sad fact: I can count the number of adult humans encountered in my own life – on one hand.

And another fact is this: I’ve always had this sort of.. picture in my mind of the kind of partner I wanted to have in life. One day in the recent past I examined that picture once again, despite having lost any wish for human company, and the insight struck me clearly. This was a picture of a human adult: decisive and unflappable.. responsible for own life and decisions.. without hidden emotional baggage (the past is fine as along as one lets it be just that and learns from it).. sure of the decisions and the way to get there.. able to admit to self and others when mistakes are made.. with no hint of cruelty, but fair in the way they deal with life and people.. without blaming all and sundry for their losses.. not sentimental, but able to feel.. knowing own strengths and weaknesses without shouting about either.. able to be self-reliant and internally independent of others’ opinions..

Blah blah blah of course, it is an ideal, as rare as Klondike gold, and I realised that too.

Which also meant.. hmm… get that…. that if everyone WAS that kind of human adult.. life would absolutely lose all attraction. Life would lose the drama that feeds it all, keeps it going, gives this existence colour and momentum and passion and the will to go on. In a way, a human adult is too well put together, too calculating even.. too reasonable and driven by the goal, even robotic at times. Where’s fun in that?

That, reader, is one of those times when the snake gets to bite its own tail, and the circle is near complete. One comes back to the same old world, and suddenly sees that the drama is the juice of life, and beyond life’s drama – is desert and eventual death of the spirit.

Your human spirit. Your human will to go on no matter what kind of slime you get to suck (and there’s plenty of slime to go around). So next time the drama engulfs you – appreciate it for its beautiful life giving properties, embrace it and give it just enough space to make it interesting, but without destroying your inner world.

Mother Nature is full of drama; human world is just another expression of it.

Without the drama of life – there is no life. Human adulthood is not about clarity or truth, oh no. A human adult strives, has ambitions and life within them that they wish to negotiate in a reasoned and self-beneficial manner.

The absolute understanding kills all that. There is no life there, only existence, even if comfortable, but still… only existence nevertheless; a maintenance of the illusion of life on the outside, while the inner world becomes bare, even sterile.

Note: Tell me this one minute action below is not human-like. They even exchange words before the fight.

(to be continued?)

Blue Header

40 thoughts on “Human Adulthood Part II

  1. Hi Tano. Thanks for the article. You said:

    “appreciate it for its beautiful, life giving properties, embrace it and give it just enough space to make it interesting, but without destroying your inner world.”

    What would be your best advice on how to achieve this. In particular the part about not destroying your inner world. As someone who is a relatively anxious person it seems difficult to embrace and appreciate the drama of life most of the time.

    1. @Dan

      “it seems difficult to embrace and appreciate the drama of life most of the time.”

      I just thought of something in relation to this phrase of yours.
      It is true what you have said. It is difficult to embrace and appreciate own leg most of the time. Because the leg is there.

      Once lost – you’d miss your leg, won’t you?

      Same with drama.

      The only way not to destroy your inner world is to gain emotional maturity. So..
      1. see if you can understand and formulate for yourself what emotional maturity means.
      2. learn which situations cause you anxiety
      3. immerse self in those situations

      Under 12 months you’ll be clear as rain on the state of your anxiety.

      That’s what I would do anyway. ‘Fight fire with fire’ or something they say.

  2. Hi Dan,

    When it comes to adulthood one needs to get to know themselves.

    You said ‘a relatively anxious person’ about yourself.. dig in that direction: what is anxious, what makes humans anxious, look at the process of how anxieties form using your own experience as well as that of others.

    In short, understand your anxieties to the very bottom layer, and you may lose a significant portion of them.

    An appreciation of drama will come later when your vision improves, just like an appreciation of a painting often improves when we learn more about art.

  3. I don’t know and don’t care much whether or not you see, but I do see – and since you are talking about it here, I share what I see.

    What I see are the countless shades of grey, between the Human Child and Human Adult and between Human Adult and whatever lies beyond that.

    And the journey or progress – the movement from one to the other state or stage of being – is almost never linear or clear cut.

    It is not capturable in a few short references to the conversations between you and your son – nor can it be crystallised within a few encounters; like the ones you mention here.

    Neither do I see the progress or movement as irreversible – i.e., once taken place or happened – it would apply for all times and at all places, for that individual.

    And what I see the most of is the in-between or the transition period. I might even say that all that I see is the transition period, always a process of becoming one from the other – more in some situations, less in others, and more of the same in others.

    In Zen they talk about climbing the mountain, being on top of the mountain and descending the mountain to talk about certain stages of progress or journey. I once heard someone talk about ‘circumambulating the mountain,’ as an alternative image; something that I am perhaps conveying here.

    Given the environment, we all regress. Given the situation; we all exceed our own expectations. With the right buttons being pushed, we all possess the capacity to destroy at least our own selves, if not also the selves of others.

    So, I hope (though I REALLY don’t) that you don’t make it sound all so cut and dried and leave some shades of grey – or perhaps talk as much about the Transition, as much you talk about the Human Child and Human Adult. There are none. There is only Human in Transition, Human in Passage; and that is all we encounter anywhere, ever.

    1. “you don’t make it sound all so cut and dried and leave some shades of grey – or perhaps talk as much about the Transition, as much you talk about the Human Child and Human Adult. There are none.”

      Right.

      In order to learn mathematical equations one has to first learn the symbols in which they are written, the most basic level of + – : X = etc.

      To learn to speak a foreign language one has to understand the most basic words and how they are formed into phrases grammatically, the most basic level of ‘rule’ is a noun, and ‘grammatical’ is an adjective, and together they make the phrase ‘grammatical rule’.

      You can absolutely keep it shades of grey, and much of life falls in between those. But if you want to UNDERSTAND some of that greyness – perhaps, it would help to see the basics to begin with.

      This is what I am doing: Simplicity is hard to grasp at times. As I said in the beginning of the article (expecting exactly the kind of expression you have put up) – if you want complex – look away.

      Life starts with the simple building blocks and gets progressively more complex. Go back to the basics.

  4. “Human adulthood is not about clarity or truth, oh no. A human adult strives, has ambitions and life within them that they wish to negotiate”

    “The absolute understanding kills all that.”

    I dont think these things are mutually exclusive as it seems McMorty and maybe you do. Dropping all the self created baggage that was prior to understanding as well as being able to see through the beliefs that people herald as “truth” are uniquely beneficial to the human adult. That doesn’t in any way hinder one’s ability to re engage and play the game so to speak. By making that agreement we dont merely forget that most humans are simply drama projecting machines. Hell, we dont even owe it to anyone to tap them on the shoulder in their dreams. We just no longer get sucked into the matrix along with them. I cant say that has hindered my ability to live a normal life at all. I know who and what i am. A human Adult. No shame in that.

    1. PS Im also not surprised that you’ve listed most of my qualities as your ideal mate lol. You remind me alot of my wife except for she has your headstrong energy in an extroverted sense. Similarly she admires those things about me but also thinks that at times I’m to “cold” or like you said “calculating.”But she needs me to be solid as a rock and at times more headstrong than she, ya know, be a man with a plan so that she can actually be the female in the relationship. We make a good couple actually because of that. It allows her to be passionate and at times even carefree. Just something id thought was interesting…

      1. Be a female in a relationship? Interesting… I will not go into that one, not to shake your firm beliefs around gender.

        But in short.. the prize is the pussy, no matter what kind of romantic aspirations exist around the issue of gender roles.

        1. She has alot of masculine energy. So do you. I make an effort to be balanced unless the situation requires that i swing drastically to one side or the other. I’ve got a fair understanding of these issues as well.

          1. “She has alot of masculine energy. So do you.”

            I perceive masculine energy as 1. physicality of the body 2. ability to think away from emotional influences

            I am not very physical, and in my past was not able to think in real terms. In other words, I was mostly a female impersonation, not much by way of masculine presence.

            Now I have both. It got added.

    2. “I cant say that has hindered my ability to live a normal life at all. I know who and what i am. A human Adult.”

      Well, it may ruffle your feathers, but you are some time away from the absolute understanding, J. That is why you are able to live a normal life as you say.

      However, I do not dispute your state of adulthood; if you remember I referred to this a few times in the past. A state of adulthood is highly conducive to living a fully engaged life, no doubt in that.

      The absolute understanding is beyond that and is not a prize. If anything – it is the opposite of a prize.

      1. “Well, it may ruffle your feathers, but you are some time away from the absolute understanding, J. That is why you are able to live a normal life as you say.”

        Nah, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But thats just it, everyone is a storyteller. I get that. But ive come full circle with it and have accepted it as a facet of human nature. I guess you’d have to be more specific. I’ve a pretty fair understanding of the nature of beliefs as well as the process of quieting the internal dialogue that people lost in which is all that easten philosophy is pointing to when they talk about ridding yourself of the ego. Its just about killing the storyteller as a way to merge with truth. Its just a philosophy. Nothing earth shattering. But like i said. You’re welcome to your own perspective on the matter.

  5. But in short.. the prize is the pussy

    That’s why I’ve lost interest in dating and the idea of having a girlfriend (for the most part, I still have some interest). It feels incredibly dishonest to hang out with a girl because in the end it’s just about sex. Not because we have such a good connection or some other explanation, a good connection just facilitates the sex I guess. I do get that most people are not aware of this at all and so are happily playing along, and would probably defend the idea of relationships as if it’s something special and real.

    I’d imagine that if I had a girlfriend and told her that in the end it’s about sex, it would break her heart. Even though nothing has changed in the way I treated her, it would break her heart, or at least hurt a lot. Part of a relationship it seems is an imaginary image that both sides have to ‘buy into’ and sustain, this goes for friendships as well I think.

    1. “in the end it’s about sex”

      It is. Human minds are good at coming up with stories of love, attraction, ever after and so on.

      However, you are too young to throw away human experience. You can either look for a female who does not lie much to herself (very rare) OR you can participate in the game in full awareness of this being a game only.

      I cannot participate in the game now, but I did – in the past, unaware and as lost as millions of self-deluded folks out there.

      I once wrote about a friend of mine here, Nick. He is dead now, but he was the first one to tell me this: men marry women because it secures (or at least the expectation is as such) access to sex. It didn’t break my heart. I thought it was odd, but upon further thinking realised it could be true. Now I know this to be true.

      In fact, he might have been pretty enlightened, but it was never discussed. Now, when I look back at it, I am almost convinced he was. He never married and died alone.

      But hey… the stories of love are so enticing for most, aren’t they… Hence, the illusion will carry on unchallenged.

    1. “what’s in it for women, is it the D?”

      You mean the dick? Nah, who cares about the dick. It is not at all necessary for women to have a dick to be satisfied.

      Look at the animal kingdom. What do females look for? Healthy mates, because who wants to take care of sickly offspring.. security, because someone has to defend you while you are nursing.. strength, because if nineteen out of twenty of your hunt attempts result in failure, you ain’t gonna feed me and the cubs.

      It is a simplification of course. Females hunt too, many nurse their young without any presence of a male, and defend themselves.

      Humans are slightly more evolved, and our societies allow a degree of freedom for females not to be constantly taken (i.e raped, as is often the case in the animal kingdom) but human females look for the same kind of stuff: protection and security. It is hard wired and still present after two million years of evolution.

      In human societies protection and security come in the form of money. If you cannot offer that – you have at least to offer her the POTENTIAL to one day have that.

      Most of it is expressed unconsciously. Neither males nor female realise what drives them.

  6. Wow guys. I can’t imagine not being able to feel and distinguish the difference between the animalistic desire for sex from say feeling appreciation for my Mother who did the best she could, for my daughter who is everything i could ever hope for, for my wife who has consistently demonstrated the exceedingly rare human trait of never ending patience with me. For every circumstance in hindsight thats lead me to this moment.

    I don’t trust the stories that provoke them but i pay real attention to the way i feel. Its as real a sense as sight. And trying to rationalize and explain a feeling like love is like trying to replace the experience of life with words. Like trying to describe the taste of a strawberry with words.

    Id trust my gut over some bullshit story in my head any day. The story your telling is that relationships are strictly about sex and things like love dont exist. This is a fairly narrow way of interpreting relationships and is apparent in your personal experience. Its rather shallow. Funny how we always seem to get what we give.

  7. but i pay real attention to the way i feel

    I’ve never had a relationship – romantic or otherwise – that has felt real to me.

    I am questioning if I really care about the people in my life, like friends are supposed to. If people can care about each other in a way that’s not just for personal gain in whatever minor way it might be. If love is real, since most of what people call love is not that. If someone can really be prepared to die for someone else without that person ‘playing-pretend’, or in some other way fooling himself. And whether that qualifies as love.

    What I come up with is that no, I don’t really care about other people. I have never loved anyone to where I’d die for them. I don’t think love is real, and if it is then it’s extremely rare.

    1. “What I come up with is that no, I don’t really care about other people. I have never loved anyone to where I’d die for them. I don’t think love is real, and if it is then it’s extremely rare.”

      See.. you are just being honest in the way most people are incapable to be.

      The ultimate sacrifice – to give your life for another – is surely a sign of ultimate love. I would say it does exist, but very very rare. Very.

      I exclude parents, because if a parent can sacrifice themselves (not all can) – it is often not about love but about a blind instinct.

  8. Well rest assured that from your perspective you are most likely correct that love is not real. Which is okay so long as your consciously creating that narrative.

    Id agree. The more you shut down and narrow your experience to the lense of say, apathy, then thats what you get. A non relationship void of any feeling and a cold dead existence to go with it.

    Your overall attitude is a good indicator of what kind of reality you experience.

    1. This makes me think of how religious people talk. When I’d say I don’t believe in God they would say something along the lines of ‘never say never’, and ‘Do you maybe think there’s a chance God will find you later.’

      But than they are still talking from their perspective of their actually being a God. While I don’t belief in God so don’t see that possibility.

      It’s a fundamental difference of ‘I don’t belief in A (or at least Im very strongly doubting)’ and ‘A exists but you don’t see it yet, or haven’t experienced it yet’. Which I feel like is the same difference of view we have.

      And honestly to hear you talk about your relationship with your girlfriend and the love for your daughter it makes me envious, it sounds really nice.

      1. “And honestly to hear you talk about your relationship with your girlfriend and the love for your daughter it makes me envious, it sounds really nice.”

        The cynical me pipes up… give it twenty years, give or take.

        I have a close male friend here, in his mid thirties. He has a very healthy attitude to things like that.. I once said ‘You marry her – it would end up in ruins a few years down the line’. He said “I know. But that’s life, and that’s the human experience. I don’t mind that if that’s the way it’s gonna be”.

        I think this is healthy, going into something with one’s eyes fully open.

  9. I can’t imagine not being able to feel and distinguish … patience with me.

    It’s also not about being able to distinguish between those feelings, to me. But it’s that in the end they are not real, it’s that being able to feel those feelings seems to be contingent on a certain amount of imagination/ideas.

    1. “He said “I know. But that’s life, and that’s the human experience. I don’t mind that if that’s the way it’s gonna be”.

      Cheers to this man…

        1. “also like Tano said I am ‘too young to throw away human experience’.”

          This is how I decided to have a child. Exactly on those lines. I said to myself “Parenthood is part of life experience. If I don’t experience that I am sure to regret it in some way years down the line. I will have a child, but only one, no more”.

          See… even becoming a parent is a decision driven by self-interest.

          1. I thought about that too, a short while back, and came to the same conclusion. Also if I do become a father I’d be a very good one as I know what it’s like to be emotionally neglected by your parents. Still, like you said in another comment, it’s inevitable that I will fuck up in some way, but there are degrees to that.

          2. Treat a child like you’d want to be treated yourself – as an equal and with no telling them lies – and all will be fine.

            Children are very sensitive to lies, but never tell us they know when we lie.

            Although.. lies do support the survival game. Sad but true.

            What’s emotional neglect, in your experience?

          3. My brother bullied me a lot when we were kids. When we’d make too much noise my dad would yell from downstairs for us to quiet down. We did, but the bullying went on. He never came upstairs to talk to us directly. Eventually, I retreated into my room all the time and never said more than a few words to my parents. (In part because my brother always told me “If you talk about this with mom and dad I will fucking kill you”. I had nobody who really paid attention to me and saw that I was really suffering, and nobody who stood up to my brother for me. That’s my experience of emotional neglect.

          4. They probably did see that I was suffering but were unable themselves to do anything in that situation due to them not being adults, my parents did and do love me but they are not adults.

          5. K, you have innate wisdom and understanding. You are also, from what I have observed, emotionally mature within.

            This, however, is near cancelled by your overt sensitivities to other people.

            Get conflicting with them. Conflict will cure you.

  10. Hmm now rereading your question, I’ve misunderstood it. You were asking my view on what emotional neglect is.

    It’s when the parents don’t pay attention to the feelings and emotions of a child, push them aside, don’t fully acknowledge them, or make the child feel bad in one way or another for having those feelings. Also, not being honest – like you said – is a big one in my opinion. Parents usually seem to sugarcoat what they tell their children, treating them like idiots, or subhuman, instead of human being with less developed thinking capabilities.

    1. You didn’t misunderstand, thank you for considering both the personal aspect and the general notion of emotional neglect.

      They say ‘find the source of abuse or neglect and heal it’. I don’t understand what’s there to heal, and believe me I once tried to follow this misguided advice (in the before stage).

      It fetched nothing. I went back, observed my memories and saw very clearly that it was then and had nothing to do with me now. Memory cannot reach you, cannot hurt you, cannot change what you have now. The attachment to own pain is so comforting in its familiarity that people hold on for dear life. Like in that unfortunate advice – they pick at it, and pick at it, and keep it alive.

      I had such a striking, very lucid realisation of this self inflicted pain once.. I might tell this story later; it was a dream-like experience that completely changed my relationship with own memories.
      The events were once. No more. Nothing left but a flimsy connection in the shape of a memory.. like a shadow, not even precise in its recollection.

      See.. I then laughed at the stupid advice of ‘healing’. There is nothing to heal, honestly.

    2. Thanks for the lengthy reply. I’d be very interested in that story if you’re willing to write about it at some point.

      This, however, is near cancelled by your overt sensitivities to other people.

      Hot dang, that really struck a cord with me! I’m so used to not having any conflict in my life that I find it really hard to think of ways to create it.

      One thing came to mind while writing that sentence, if I expressed myself more honestly to people – my opinions, my views on them and their motivations, etc. – that would very likely create conflict.

      I’d also like to know if you have any suggestions? I think my mind has become so good at avoiding conflict that it blocks out a lot of options to create it.

      1. if I expressed myself more honestly to people – my opinions, my views on them and their motivations, etc. – that would very likely create conflict.”

        This. Honesty would provide you with heaps of conflict. However, I suggest you don’t play with what is your livelihood (jobs and bosses, unless you are prepared to walk out).

        Also, just see if you can do mostly what YOU want to do, and refuse to do what others want you to do, be it a choice of a movie or an activity or simply of a reaction others are expecting from you. Deprive others of the expectation that you would conform to their wishes instead of following your own.

        Also.. as they say a way of starting an argument online:
        1. Express an opinion
        2. Wait
        You’ll have an argument in no time haha. Don’t duck from it.

    3. To add, I don’t just want to start conflict for the sake of conflict, as in start drama. I pretty sure that isn’t what you meant. So the same question still applies, do you have any suggestions?

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s