The fact that I, Sinistre am authoring this post does not mean I endorse celebrity culture nor glorify it; despite Michael putting Tarot videos on the blog all the time, this blog tries to be as serious as possible.
Last night (or whenever Monday night was), I was visiting some old friends from the past, and I heard on the radio, that Owen Wilson was in hospital. I thought to myself, ‘oh, that’s sad’, I suspected something of a mental crisis immediately, but I suspended my own judgement over it being prejudicial.
I later found out, through random hyperlinks being bolstered, that Owen Wilson’s hospitalisation was related to a suicide attempt; and thus begins my serious part…
What is suicide? Suicide is the willing termination of one’s life. The term one may question is life; namely, insomuch as ‘what is life?’ (and consequently, what is death/what does it mean to be dead). I could go in some biological root and ask the question of what is life. But I am going to make an ambiguous use of the word and refer to what most people use the word as.
Life is one’s way of going about things, it relates to where people want to go; life seems, not so much that something can be described in terms of the present, but the future, their future, their intentions, their hopes, feelings, projects and all such investments. We talk of a ‘way of life’, very often, a way that people go about their physical duration, but a way of life is so much more than a physical endurance. We are so much more than the biological and physical processes that explain us. We are emotionally complex, or emotionally simple, we have goals and mental imagery; some of which is belief-forming about the future, a state of affairs which have not yet obtained. Many people feel their very lives at risk when they are to feel ‘their way of life’ at challenge.
So many people want to explain human behaviour in naturalistic terms, or, if I may say in different words, through the language of science, and evolution. The caricature everyone has of evolution is that the purpose of life is to procreate; all we really want to do is have sex and, secondly, survive to prolong the familial or genetic line. Dawkins is right, that us humans, if we are to assume the Darwinian narrative is true, want to go beyond this simplistic dual goal existence. We want to think for ourselves, we want to create things not of our loin, but of our minds; technology, philosophy, art; these are the great products of the human mind. We can escape the programming of our being, or, perhaps, a weaker assertion, we can put more things in us than just screwing and killing. Do I like this naturalistic story? I don’t feel comfortable with it.
Our many projects in life, can fail; our many aspirations and beliefs falter. These can have a terrific impact upon our self-image. Sometimes we invest so much in an end, that when we learn that end cannot obtain, we feel there is no reason for living anymore. There has been some speculation about ‘why’ Mr. Wilson did what he did. Many will say (as I have heard regarding other people, and which I may admit of myself) things like ‘why would he want to hurt himself? Wilson’s a great actor, he’s a funny man and has brightened the lives of so many people with his comedy and sentimental and very loveable chararacters. Some of the moments when I was ill took a break for a brief two hours when I went to see films like ‘Wedding Crashers’ or ‘Zoolander’, I laughed at their humour, I smiled, I was temporarily taken out of my bleak existence and transported into a laughter-driven story. As I went back to my real world, to my life, I felt a little better that I could take a trip away, just for a short while. But the reasons we may give for a person to act can never be their own; their intentionality is key to the nature of their actions; their preference and motivational set are fundamentally important.
One of the reasons I am so interested in social science is because I am interested in people; I want to, above all, understand them. My ineptitude with others and my own self is always a boundary I want to break down. It is the reason my name is Sinistre, always in cognito.
I close with a few questions; rhetorical, if you may. If you were asked to describe your life, what would you say? In the greatest of sensitivity and honesty, with sincerity and clear judgement, what can be said of your life? What is your reason for being? What way of life do you hold on to? What will happen if you lose it?
We at noumenal realm are thinking of you, Owen; and all the others who feel they are at life’s window ledge.