theendlessknot

putting thoughts into words regarding the entangled state of mind which is my existence

Escapism

2 Comments

I think it’s time I did some more writing again. There’s been something there which has just been simmering in my mind for quite some time. I think there’s something difficult in knowing that some people just run away from today’s world before giving themselves a chance to find their place. I see it as a conflict which takes place more and more every day. What’s troubling is that there’s really no escape at the end of the road, despite how much one might like there to be one. Whether it’s a religious conviction, an immersion into creating one’s art, a pair of headphones, a really good book or wherever else you might go to lose yourself, it doesn’t seem to accomplish much of anything if one doesn’t ensure that one is marking one’s trail, looking back to see that there is a clear foothold to step back on to to return to the grind house which is reality.

Escapism is a dead end road.

There’s no easier way to say it, because it’s true. Rather than being dogmatic about it, though, I would argue it in this way: Even if one truly were to escape into that which brings him/her the most comfort, this peace would more or less equate to some sort of forlorn stupor, which wouldn’t manage to have any demonstrable impact on one’s own sensibilities – making it a callous sort of self-debilitation. What I mean here is that if the goal of escapism is to decrease one’s stress in life, by decreasing one’s level of self-consciousness, then there is a divide – a wall – being put up which others perceive you to be building between them, which, in turn, causes them to feel distant from you. Eventually, if one pulls one’s self away by wide enough of a margin, then one will irrevocably defeat the very goal which one had set out to pursue; one’s self will be all that one has left, given the right amount of time and enduring number of blank stares.

The psychology is not very simple, and I won’t necessarily claim to know it off-hand, but it’s obvious that people don’t connect well with people who they think are self-absorbed. After all, there’s nothing really there on the other side reaching out to connect with them. But what kills me is trying to relate to someone like this anyway, when I know in all honesty that there’s just nothing I can really do if they won’t help him/herself. At the same time that this is tragic, I feel like it’s a growing pain that one needs to go through in order to realize one’s self’s true value. A value which helps consolidates one’s self and others into a community, or network, instead of a collection of disparate islands which one finds one’s self drifting between during one’s day.

So don’t try to lose yourself too much, or you’ll actually get what you want. There are plenty of people out there willing to talk you out of yourself, and frankly, that’s a good thing.

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Author: theendlessknot3d

I'm Mark. I recently graduated college with a Bachelor's Degree in philosophy, and I started this blog to continue engaging myself and my mind through my passion for written argumentation. I have also used this as an opportunity to explore my other creative outlets, such as writing French poems or photography. In this blog you will find a wide range of written material, including philosophy articles, musings, paradoxes, poems, photos and more. You'll find that I usually write about serious themes, such as everyday life struggles, in a way in which I always try to keep my posts upbeat and interesting. With anything that I write, I encourage you to make your own criticisms, insights, recommendations or anything else which you feel would help me improve my content.

2 thoughts on “Escapism

  1. Damn, this is one of those posts where “I wish I wrote that”. You are completely right that escapism is futile. A lot of self-destructive behaviour will alienate you from everyone else. But I think what you’re maybe missing is that people who escape normally do so because doing the inverse would hurt even more. Sometimes the things in life are too difficult to confront, or sometimes we are just tuned towards apathy. I myself have a problem with escaping into reddit and music when I am on the bus. I can sit in silence, only when I forget my headphones. The weird thing is, is that this is socially accepted escapism.

    • Thanks for giving me some more to think about! Yes, I agree with what you said about avoiding confrontation with some of these external stressors to minimize our pain. Although, I think you have to pick your moments in doing so. My only point in the post was that it’s very easy to become so involved within your own little “bubble” that you end up falling into a pattern of isolation which is hard to break out of, because of your perceived apathy in regards to other people. It’s interesting that the extreme alternative, going complete extrovert on the world, might lead to the same result..

      “The weird thing is, is that this is socially accepted escapism”

      I really like this point. I think what you mean is that escapism isn’t something which always leads to negative consequences, such as alienation, since everyone is accustomed to doing it in certain settings, making it more of a neutral issue. Hence, the word “accepted.” But I would still argue that escapism in your bus riding example is still a pattern of behavior which would tend to produce the same effect over time, just not as quickly or as drastically. The thing about it is that if our goal is to create community, there is hardly an opportunity to relate on any level with someone who holds a crutch which he cannot let go of. It’s problematic in that the person cannot walk alone, yet s/he is visibly struggling to do so anyway. It’s heartbreaking to me.

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