Having Been Human
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Tue Sep 4 21:17:52 2012
Personal Mythology

When I was younger, I had an elaborate personal ritualism .. well, not exactly, but a list of things that were important to my emotional well-being, objects I related to in certain ways, things I usually liked having in a particular configuration wherever I dwelt, and so on. I've long since abandoned almost all of this; there are a few things among my posessions that I would regret losing despite rarely interacting with, and a few things that are symbolic as part of my identity, but that's about it.

Part of the earlier framework was the notion of certain songs as being highly-significant and part of my view of being (hard to really get at the concepts, particularly given that they're so long abandoned). Today this popped back into my head for some reason and I've been trying to analyse one of the songs as to why it has so much resonance. It's a bit embarassing and irritating (much of my earlier self is something I now associate with irritation and irrational anger; my history has long periods of self-hatred that taints all my memories). Plus, there's so much childish in what I recall.

I recall that all the songs together felt like they represented the span of my emotions.

The one I've been chewing on is Roxette's 「Dangerous」. I think a big part of it is, surprisingly, the rhythm; it's lopsided for a big part of the song, and I like how it's swayed for emphasis in the song. The version of it in my head plays with the rhythm a lot more, making the beat a lot less "square". I wonder if I've had that modified version in my head more than I ever had the original, or how important it's ease of translation into a more beat-playful version was in initially appealing to me.

I wonder if at some point the distinction between that song and another song I thought of that way, Pachelbel's Canon, or the variety of rags I listened to in youth, set the stage for meditation on sauberkeit versus complexity in my political and personal philosophies since. I've often said, in first conversations on life with someone, that I started with Ordnung in my soul and Chaos outside, and later in life I've reversed that arrangement; building strong perspectives in the face of chaotic roots is the challenge, rather than building orderly structures in my core that survive (or give me shelter from) the real world. This expresses itself in my current radical empiricism, and in my notion of good science or philosophy; a nervous quest to build science and philosophy that can survive the deep complexity of the real world feels much more real than any attempt to build anything a priori or math-y; abandoning the platonic perspective is a prerequisite to what I see as good thought.

I am drawn to try to consider how this relates to the Enlightenment in France and the shadows it cast into Germany. That struggle played out in music too; these are concepts that at least some people arrange their lives around.