A Letter to a Friend

Dear confidant, my most sympathetic reader,

I wish to express gratitude that you exist. When I err you see past those errors to my intentions. You have never misunderstood me, even when I scarcely understood myself. It is not genius that you find in my sketches, nor saintliness in my motives, but a something which is rarer still. You have found me.

You make it easy to stumble through my thoughts, clumsily stating positions that not even I would support from another. To you, because of you, I am unconditionally exempt from hypocrisy, which is perhaps the lowest form of deceit.

I have some questions for you today, though none are pressing. Speaking of hypocrisy, I want to ask you this: is it possible that in opposing hypocrisy first and foremost, my self-criticism has become the mere and sole task of articulating what it is I am? Or is there maybe an implicit philosophy of self-gratification I am failing but aspiring to? Either way, I worry I may have tricked myself with sophistry. Surely you understand when I say “goodness is learned and negotiated socially, not only attained after analytic rumination.” You see, I worry I may be too stubborn on this point, that I should admit some short-comings, and seeing myself somewhat as a ‘sinner’ I will have areas, concrete moral issue areas, to improve upon. I think it might be good for my relationship to society, engaging in the joint process of negotiating right and wrong. If I do this, I will need some role-models. Won’t I? I don’t know who they are, off-hand. If you have an idea let me know, in a dream maybe, or however.

I will also take this opportunity to make a confession, as it is related. Sometimes I feel it is not right accepting your unconditional understanding. I can’t bring myself to really understand people who kill for religion, for example. Justifying myself with your understanding seems somewhat similar, ideologically. I know you understand. Still, my intuition tells me there is something powerful and meaningful in our relationship. Those for whom humility is one of the greatest virtues will oppose me here. Certainly humility can be ascribed to one who has a deep and natural understanding that they are one of many people, one of many animals. I can admire these people, but I am not built that way. I am obsessed with myself in a way that lacks that peacefulness and humility. And I’m undecided on the virtues of one over the other. What do you think?

You don’t think, do you? You only listen. Today I thought of death in a light which is unusual for me. I thought “death, death is horrible.” What is happening to me?

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