Dr SelfLove or: How I stopped caring and became an enlightened narcissist!
This is yet another excerpt from the private diary of our Protagonist and as before the author makes no claims as to non-fictional nature of the material. All resemblance to any person living or dead is purely incidental. Instead, the author wishes to acknowledge his debt to the great late Stanley Kubrick and the even greater genius of late Peter Sellers for the inspiration behind the title (although it borders on plagiarism) from probably the best satirical movie ever made about the human condition: Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The author strongly encourages the reader to watch this movie or at least add it to their bucket list.
Today I had an epiphany: I LOVE MYSELF! Every single square inch of this ugly old sack of meat and bones and every cubic centimetre of whatever is inside the said sack. Every idiosyncratic behaviour. Every misguided delusion of grandeur. Every second that I have been able to spend in the land of the living. They are all mine to cherish and to love and no one else on this planet, nay in this universe — not even my poor old mother can tell me otherwise.
Acting on a recommendation, I watched the movie The Map of Tiny Perfect Things on Amazon Prime Video and just as I was about to write it off as a remake of the classic time loop movie, Groundhog Day, I realised that the writer and director might have something else up their sleeves. As I then watched the plot of the movie twist around I realised that the movie is not about time loops but rather about Quantum Entanglement, or in Einstein’s words “spooky action at a distance.” The two lead characters are actually two such entangled individuals (or particles or wave functions based on the reader’s understanding of quantum physics and quantum mechanics). One of them creates the time loop due to their refusal to accept reality and the other gets “entangled” in to the same time loop until they finally find each other, then understand their individual predicament, and reach the point of enlightenment which enables them to break the time loop while strengthening their entanglement.
As I then pondered upon the use of the four-dimensional cube, the Tessaract, to explore the possibility as to what the fourth dimension would be if not time, I realised that what the author and the director possibly wanted to suggest was that the fourth dimension was the human connection, specifically, Love, which can transcend all known physical dimensions. This entanglement is what enables life in the first place. But then I have always insisted that our own definition of life is romanticising something that is nothing more than a chain of chemical reactions that just happened to have been set in motion on this tiny spec of dust orbiting a sun orbiting a super massive black hole that is part of a cluster of galaxies that are in turn part of a web of even larger scale and so on and so forth inside an universe that itself might be just one in infinite multiverses!
However, from our vantage point there is no denying that life exists and a living thing is a harmony of structure and order as opposed to the cosmic chaos. But at the same time so is a star… it has order and structure and has a lifecycle and indeed stars give birth to other stars. So is a star a living thing? And if all cosmic bodies are bound by the force of gravity is that what love is? It certainly seems to follow the rules of Newtonian gravity. And all efforts to explain the need for love at a molecular level have been quite futile. It’s just oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and other other hormones messing around with our moronic neurons in our brains.
This sets the stage for the “Ah ha!” moment that I experienced after watching the movie. Of course, commercial considerations must have forced the creation of the book, the screenplay, and the movie as a romantic teenage love story. Take those constraints out and you realise the deeper truth: the two characters in the movie are tragically flawed and need to come together to overcome these shortcomings. What if instead we look at the schisms within ourselves, the good and the bad, the yin and the yang that drive us to worry about who we are and our purpose on this tiny pale blue dot in the cosmic blackness? I don’t know about others but I refuse to fight pitched battles against my very essence based on grievances brought to bear by the world around me.
As a young adult I was gifted the book “What do you care what other people think” authorised by the Nobel laureate Dr Richard Feynman before his untimely death due to cancer. I am never ceased to be amazed as to how this one book has served as both inspirational and yet pragmatic guide for my life right along side Atlas Shrugged. Of course having a genius mind is an advantage that few can claim and I certainly don’t even come close to Dr Feynman’s intellect to use his life story as a blueprint for my own life. Nevertheless, I have always claimed that if there was a role model that I have aspired to be that would be Dr Feynman. I must, however, admit that maybe one distinct disadvantage that probably has been holding me back is that I can’t seem to stop caring about what other people think. And no I am not talking about caring for others or caring for the environment or any other such altruistic causes but rather caring about how I perceive myself from a rather unique perspective that my above average intellect and diverse life experiences offer me.
I therefore take great offence at being labelled a narcissist or even worse a sociopath by those who are least qualified to do so. I suffer from no delusions of grandeur and a clinical psychologist with impeccable academic and professional credentials has assured me that I cannot be diagnosed as a sociopath. That then explains why I had been so itching to challenge this concept of a Dark Triad which as per Wikipedia is called dark because of the typically malevolent qualities of the three personality traits that make up the triad: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.
And to be certain human history is rife with examples of how people with these traits have abused their abilities to achieve dominion over feeble minded members of the Homo sapiens species. But statistics do not make these qualities vices. They can be applied in a virtuous manner by those few enlightened souls who are willing to tread down the path least travelled at the risk of being ostracised and cast out of civilised society. I would be willing to bet whatever is left of my soul that if such an individual with the perfect combination of each of these attributes were to exist; they would stand proudly at the middle of this triangle and turn it in to a glowing beacon of hope for the hapless masses!
Just as proposed in the Matrix trilogy such an individual would be the remainder of the equation that is the collective state of humanity today in the simulation that is our reality created by higher dimensional “super intelligent yet bored out of their minds” beings who need to be entertained! Without this remainder the equation will fail to balance itself thereby threatening all creation which is unacceptable. The show must go on!
And so while I may not be the ONE to bring peace and balance to this world, I see nothing wrong in practising self love to counteract the feeling of insignificance that we all afflicted with. Instead, as I finish watching the movie, I cannot stop myself humming the title track of the movie, 1992 by Bruises:
“The golden years are over!
Hang on to your lover…
Your heartbeat’s getting louder…
Hang on to your lover!”
It’s just that my one true love happens to be my alter ego!
And while the flame of my unabashed narcissism might be too much to bear for the puritans amongst us it will but flicker for barely an instant across the ocean of space time. So then why should I apologise for the inconvenience to those who prefer anonymity offered by the faceless hordes of the Homo sapiens species?
I stand alone and proud and in love… with myself!
The author wishes to thank the Protagonist for having the courage to bare his soul thus and bids him adieu for the remainder of this voyage.
PS: The author wishes to convey thanks on behalf of the Protagonist to the one and only Barry (aka Bharat Krishna) for the movie recommendation on his website This is Barry! Please do check it out for other amazing movies!