Suppose - purely theoretically, of course - a person wakes up in the morning feeling like a zombie. The limbs are heavy and stiff, every movement causes pain. When he gets up he feels nauseous and dizzy, which will last more or less the whole day. He forces himself to take morning exercise, a cold shower and breakfast. Actually, it was only the thought of a cup of coffee that got him up in the first place.
He checks the news. Nothing new. Except maybe that the world is spinning its wheels a bit more than usual at the moment. The globe is under quarantine. Everyone is helpless, looking for scapegoats. In Chernobyl, there is a fire near the reactor ruins. Apocalypse. Elon Musk launches hundreds of satellites into orbit. No ufos, alas. Trump rallies against immigrants. Lybia - where was that again? - is in the midst of a civil war.
Enough info in the morning. Our - purely hypothetical - human is thinking about what he wants to do. Writing. Psycho-neuro-immunology. Self-esteem. Supposedly, a strong and stable self-esteem has a positive effect on the immune system. Not a bad idea during a pandemic. What is that actually - self-esteem?
"Self-worth" is the value an individual ascribes to themselves. Somehow I have to think of Baron von Münchhausen, who is said to have pulled himself out of the swamp by his own hair. What do I do, then, if my genes predestine me to be a pessimist and I am then also in, - what do we call it? - "precarious" social circumstances? - So if I am now in the "swamp"? - Could I also think "self-esteem-feeling" (in Rheomodus)?
If my self-esteem depends on what self-image I carry within me, then my suffering makes perfect sense. If I am unconsciously convinced that man is bad and sinful at the core of his being, then suffering is only consistent, because it confirms the deep belief that my parents have implanted in me. That's what's really viral!
For centuries, people were ruled by being instilled with deep feelings of shame and guilt. When the power of the church waned, the theory of psychoanalysis took its place. Basically, the human being is a wild, libidinous, antisocial, murderous "it", which must be sublimated and cultivated, or rather - in practice - beaten up so beautifully and violently that it is "good". That is real existing fascism!
Wilhelm Reich was initially a follower of Sigmund Freud, but he made himself independent early on and went his own way. The "orgiastic potency" played a central role in his much too revolutionary thinking. Reich initially fled from the Nazis to the USA. In the 1950s (!) Reich's books were publicly burned there, and he died in prison shortly afterwards. The 1968 movement referred to Reich's work "The Sexual Revolution". During the student riots in Paris, Reich's books were thrown at policemen.
If Wilhelm Reich is right, then fascism is nothing other than the hatred of life or the "emotional pestilence" of man. This emotional pestilence consists in the fact that the burgeoning life must be stifled where it appears, because otherwise it would remind the plague sufferer of his own unsatisfied desires, his essentially corrupted life of fear and mortification. Freedom must be prevented for the plague sufferer by all means! To show lust and joy in life - that would be really selfish and downright impertinent! In a world full of zombies, showing love and positive feelings becomes a revolutionary act!
Am I a sacrifice? Or am I making a sacrifice? What do I have to do to give meaning to the seemingly endless suffering that is life? Does my suffering perhaps only come about through evaluation? Am I not helplessly at the mercy of suffering? Perhaps Buddha is right when he says: 1. life is suffering, 2. the roots of all suffering is the illusion of self, 3. freedom from suffering is called Nirvana and 4. the path to Nirvana is the practice of Buddhism.
Whatever "bang-bang enlightened" or "nirvana" means, it has to do with the absence of "I". When I no longer know anything about myself, I am "suspended". Then the illusion of time is also suspended. For indeed, both time and self do not seem to represent objective reality, but rather the result of quantised processes of consciousness. As long as the self generated by these processes is not yet suffering enough, that is not a problem either.
But if it does suffer - purely theoretically, of course - then the question arises as to what - bang-bang (!) - the "exit" from the mental "lockdown" looks like. It can't be that the reward comes afterwards, that would then be just another variant of Catholicism. When I stop evaluating, yes, when "I" stop being - does my self-esteem rise? Or does life then feel more alive, so that I then come to the conclusion afterwards that this life, and thus I myself, are worth living?
Maybe I just have to pretend "as if". The pessimist with the defective self-esteem thinks: "No matter what I do - it's no use". And he will be right. The glass really is half empty. The self-made optimist with the strong and stable self-esteem acquired through self-activity thinks: "Everything I do brings something".And he too will be right. Because the glass really is half full! It is a decision, a resolution, and for that it takes courage. I'm going to live from today on as if everything I do has meaning - and then see what that does to me.
From a purely neurological point of view, it is quite clear that the evolved person with the well-myelinated neuronal pathways, the creature of habit, which operates at the speed of a Formula 1 car (300 km/h), is initially much more powerful than the "person in the beginning" who says: "Fuck it!". - For decades, the past has always confirmed my pessimism. "If you don't expect anything, it doesn't hurt so much when you really don't get anything then". - Until I noticed that this way my life is rotting. So - as of today - with the neural conduction speed of a leisurely stroller or flâneur (3 km/h), I pretend "as if".
This is the "Münchhausen principle". A long road with many small steps and countless setbacks. Whether it will have been worth it? Whether it will have been "worth it"? What is the alternative? Do I go with Cain - who says: "To hell with everything!" - or do I go with Abel and make a sacrifice that pleases the "Lord", life or whoever - the universe, the game master, the "Old Bag with the Long Beard"? That would be the way of a hero. That would be a medicine against man's mental pestilence, against the virus of heteronomy replicating itself again and again senselessly. That would be the end of self-dissection, that would be a passionate and exciting life with self-worth, with playfulness!