Monday, March 9, 2015

On Batman and psychological security.

I watched the last two Batman films last night. The Christopher Nolan trilogy is beyond compare to everything that came before them so they're the only Batman films I’ll ever reference. Unless of course I ever need to talk about how much Danny DeVito’s penguin scared the shit out of me as a child.

The movies brought up a ton. I started thinking about self-sacrifice and determination, the ways in which Christian Bale and Tom Hardy gained like 75 pounds of muscle for their roles. Sure, it’s most likely steroids or human growth hormone, but it still happened. Anne Hathaway said she mainly ate kale for months getting in shape and losing weight for her role.

How is it discipline is so easy for some and is so disastrous for others?

Watching Heath Ledger was a fucking bummer. What was his relationship with discipline like? He must have had his weak spots. Don't we all? He lost his life to his struggle. I wonder if he lived with depression. It isn't hard to imaging turning to drugs. I've thought about it many times.

I get these moments where I'm able to float outside of myself. Out there I think objectively about how on any given day things can change. Not in a magical way. I could wake up tomorrow and be a hard-line vegan and lose weight and improve my health. I could get hit by a car and lose my legs and spend the rest of my life in a completely different struggle. A completely different story with which to feel sorry for myself.

I'm currently reading The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts. Though I'm only about a third of the way through the book, I've already found a lot of value in Watts’ writing:
This book is an exploration of this law in relation to man’s quest for psychological security, and to his efforts to find spiritual and intellectual certainty in religion and philosophy. It is written in the conviction that no theme could be more appropriate in a time when human life seems to be so peculiarly insecure and uncertain. It maintains that this insecurity is the result of trying to be secure, and that, contrariwise, salvation and sanity consist of the most radical recognition that we have no way of savings ourselves.
I am sure to some that would sound dark. To me it's a deep exhalation. Disney's made a gazillion dollars preaching “let it go,” because we all need to let go of something. Watts description of our desire for certainty speaks to both religion and the everyday ways in which I seek order and amenity.

So much of my stress comes from worrying about money, and my future. My ability to take care of myself. The abuse and hatred of my body is both fed by my existential dread and soothes the mind that points to it.

No doubt over the next few days I will be pulling quotes from Watts’ book and speaking to them. My brain is such a jumble it can be difficult to pin-point one topic or pull one thread from all the others it touches.

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