Can we change, realizing something is amiss and make adjustments accordingly, as Patrick Stewart suggested about the story behind his film Nemesis? Or are we stuck with ourselves, unable to escape our own weaknesses, as suggested by Arthur Miller?
My opinion on this changes depending on whether I'm listening to an old interview with Mr. Miller or I'm listening to a current one with Patrick.
I tend to agree with Arthur, who was a fatalist. He suggested our personalities and inclinations are set and we ultimately cannot escape our own fate (fate used here to apply only to our own set of characteristics and not some grand masterplan for our lives). Famous tragic heros as well as duplicitous villains have been created and destroyed under this philosophy. Shakspearian heros and Arthur's own Willy Loman are obvious examples. The fatal flaw that gets ye every time. But what of our own complexities? Are you consistent in your beliefs and actions?
On the surface I'm asking the old cast the first stone question. And I'm casting, baby! No, really I shouldn't. Cause I'm good, loving the animals, peace, kindness, and all of that happy stuff. But I'm also mean. And I yell. Curse, even, at loved ones. I'm suspicious of people sometimes. Don't trust 'em. But boy do I like to give if at all possible. Just don't get in the way of my own comfort. I try to change but am uncertain about my progress. To think I'm stuck with my personality, some might say this is laziness. Represents an unwillingness to change. And goodness sakes, I'd like to change.
So Patrick's view is encouraging (delusional? my skeptical side wonders) and lends me the hope for change. We aren't stuck! Hooray! But there is work ahead. This brings me to the book I just finished, entitled A Fractured Mind: My life with Multiple Personality Disorder by Robert B Oxnam. Fabulous book. Not only does the reader travel somewhat voyeuristically through the experience of living with 11 separate personalities (each with his or her own set of unique memories inaccessible by all the others), but is faced with the question "What makes us whole?" At the end of the book Robert's psychologist exporles the treatment he utilized for Robert and discussed the two forms of recovery. One is catharsis, retelling to another supportive individual. The other is reworking the internalization process (hard wiring). Changing the negative response patterns into good, good, good ones. This of course takes more work. The other secret ingredient used in Robert's treatment was the element of possible loss. The psychologist cannot be his best friend; Robert must not be secure in that assumption. Therefore healing can take place with a more firm, yet compassionate, doctor 'o the mind.
Healing in this case is integrating all of the separate personalities into one. This means they will share the same memories, have the same experiences to offer, and operate under the rule of only one leader. Once again it must be asked, who operates under such circumstances? That is, do you react differently depending on what part of you is called upon? Say, at a family gathering for instance. At work. With certain friends. Under the influence of particular groups. After the revelation of upsetting news. And the list can continue indefinitely.
Which is why we have truffles. I just made my first batch last week. Peppermint Glitter truffles! Check 'em out...on the left they are with their friends the peanut butter balls, and the right all done up in their glitter. In the middle, there is nothing...just like death (hopefully).
Speaking of, we also picked up a free piano today. Only it wasn't really free after we paid for the U-haul and help moving it in the house. Pianos are particularly heavy and not receptive to swearing, pushing, or other abuse. But we love our little dusty 1925 Whitney Chicago.