Ending Courtship With Society: A Letter From a Budding Misanthrope

“It’s not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Betrayed and wronged in everything,
I’ll flee this bitter world where vice is king,
And seek some spot unpeopled and apart
Where I’ll be free to have an honest heart.”

― Molière, The Misanthrope

The Budding of a Misanthrope

I need trees and bees more than those who fancy themselves the bees knees
I need Sarah and me, and toys, and the wealth to be free

So I am letting go of the idea that people have to – or even do like me,
Letting go of the friends who find me merely an amusing novelty

Because the problem with two different natures is that the highest always has to sink to the lowest
And so it goes, I’m letting go of the idea that I’m not the poet, the Raskolnikov, and the ghost of my heroes

I’m excited to take some time out of my day to write today, because I know that what I have to write holds significance for me.

Essentially, I came to the realization yesterday, while on a walk, that I’ve spent thirty one years seeking answers externally, when the only truths that have ever helped me have come from within. And in a world full of people who think they know better, this is a challenge; I open my email, I am inundated by messages promising me how I can do X, Y, and Z better – from industry advice concerning my work, to advice on spirituality and health; everybody is selling the promise of expertise. Same thing on Fakebook: I face a barrage of advice about life in pithy quotations and authoritatively written posts – all telling me how to live. The absolute worst culprits of this drivel are the ‘personal coaches’ out there who have figured out how to live a life worshipping themselves in Bali by selling everyone else on how to “live more authentically” or “start a coaching business”.

Frankly, I have not a single iota in common with these new-age fakes. Not that I don’t appreciate some of what I read, but I think they are nearly all alike in that they mistake their self-centered, shallow image for something authentic, when really they are just clones – all vying to conform to that societal ideal of the popular persona; high school all over. And like high school, I’m still the dark and brooding intellectual who feels like I share more in common with my heroes than I ever could my peers; in fact, I’ve never really had peers; frankly – if I may exercise the courage to admit it privately here – I’m not much like others: I think most people are comparatively dumb and characterless. I’ve always had much more in common with others after five drinks. And this is not at all because I am socially inept or insecure – it’s simply that I am a different kind of person who has a different mind and has lived an equally unique life.

Take the above for what you will, but I am a writer. We are always misfits if not misanthropic, having lived our entire lives feeling like we were born in the wrong time.

And I’m tired of trying to conform to a society that doesn’t understand me. I’m tired of expecting people to have a modicum of sense about who I am. I’m not like you; we aren’t the same in the way that a visitor becomes a foreigner in a distant land. This is how it feels to be me: to have traveled through time only to have forgotten where you came from.

It’s as if the rarest thing in the world for me is to meet someone unique and interesting – someone who doesn’t treat me like an alien but rather as an equal.

I suppose my dislike for society is mutual.

This is just a fact of life for me at thirty one, which I cannot in wanting to be happy ignore. Yes, perspective is important, but so is aligning your perspective more objectively to the truths of reality. I have no room for delusions, no patience for disappointments.

And just like I was the smartest kid in my classes as a child, I’m still burdened with a brain that is retarded in its intelligence. I cannot live the robotic life others do. Where there is a fern in the acorn of most, within me is an oak tree – nurtured by a quantity of books, which this year alone likely surpasses what you have read in the course of your entire life.

Consider this my break up letter to you, society.

I’ve simply tried too hard and too long to be accepted and liked by you. It’s pained me to a point where I can no longer do it.

The cold, hard truth is: society cannot understand me under these conditions; whereas, were I at present Lawrence Black the famous writer – as befits my sense of destiny – I would be viewed in a way that might finally give me mass acceptance, in the very same way a pretty girl or an aloof, handsome boy is accepted and liked at-large. Whether this shall come to pass, I can only hope; however, my hopes do not lie in the desire for love. I would never buy it. But I think this a good thing.

I’m reminded of the time I bought a BMW coupe, and while stopping for gas on the way back from Irvine, where I had purchased it, I caught myself garnering the attention of a pretty woman whom I knew would never in a million years have looked at me without the car. After that, I parked the car down the street from my office in shame, until I convinced the dealer to return it later that week.

Point being, attention from external validation does nothing for me but depress me. No matter how wealthy, successful, or popular I become on account of externals, I will always separate the image from the man.

This reminds me of something I read once in an interview with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. When asked whether he felt woman only liked him for his fame, he replied: “Who cares!”.

Well, Mr. Hefner, you may not – but I do. As Plato wrote, “I would rather have the man without the money than the money without the man.”

I’m just a deeper person than most.

I have depth of character like few I’ve met – and in retuning to LA and surrounding myself with writers and artists I hope to change that.

But for now, I just want to write some rules to my own life. Because at thirty one, I’ve come to many of the realizations about who I am, which I have touched on above.

And to align your perspective more closely with reality is one of the great tasks of life for the complex person. For the shallow person, I don’t think this is that hard. Reality, at least from the perspective of society, is pretty fucking dumb. Thus, I’m done courting it.

It’s not that I’m against you society – in-fact, I desire to help you grow up – it’s just, I prefer my own world to that which never understood me.

I need the spiritual space to withdraw and live my own truths.

And this writing is an unedited piece of shit, but it’s not for you.

Update: Recommended reading someone sent me tonight after I published this:

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