that title wasn't by mistake.
i just forgot about it.
there's that old saying: naked i go into the world, naked i leave it. biblical and natural, it says a few important things, mostly, though, it comments on our actions between birth and death.
we enter naked: clean of knowledge and sin, we come into the world to become the center of mommy's universe (ideally) and grow into a lacanian sort of lack. eventually, we become jaded. we forge our own fig leaves and mis/pre-conceptions.
we leave naked: as we die, we come to terms (ideally) with our own inadequacies and realize that, even though we are not fit for the job, we did fine. we have to abandon our lives and our concepts of self. here, we will frequently revert back to what lacan called the imaginary order of world understanding in which we are not separated, not distant from our peers, but whole and connected.
in between we are clothed: our ambitions and our concept of self is our clothing. we realize, as soon as we learn to differentiate between self and mommy (in what lacan refers to as the symbolic order transition), we learn that, through differences, we are unequal. mommy has height and power and nourishment, we have nothing but wails. we quickly learn how to manipulate our environment and to create a space for ourselves. we give ourselves goals (whether it be a diaper change or a college admission.. it's no matter.. goals, nonetheless). it's with these goals that we clothe ourselves, hide ourselves. life is a big round of fear and loathing and shame. if we have no goals, we are afraid of the future. if we have no prejudices, we die -- prejudice, in general, is our idea of what will happen from an interaction with another [noun]. for instance, a snake.. i afraid of it because i think will bite me. that supposition that provides the fear, the bite, is a prejudice. i've never been bitten by a snake, and certainly not by one that i chance to encounter in the future. still, my prejudice protects me: my loathing of the snake that might bite me protects me from bites. but shame.. that's the real kicker.
without shame, we are naked. if our ambitions are our clothes, then shamefulness is a lack of ambition. motivation notwithstanding, we, i think, all have goals. the level of our shame is determined by our evaluation of our goals and our relative success in meeting said goals. if, for instance, my goal is merely to survive day-to-day, i might value my goal pretty lowly, thus my level of shame is high because my level of clothing is low. or, if i succeed poorly at that goal, my shame level is also high because my successful clothing operation has failed and i am exposed.
if we do not value our goals, we cannot value ourselves because it isn't our "self" that we judge so much as our clothing, our ambitions and goals and our successes within them.
so, in between our periods of nudity, we have self-separate-awareness. in the beginning, we are one with our surroundings. very zen. in the end, also, we are one, but a more enlightened one in which we choose to be a whole.
in the in between, we are segmented and suffering, lacking, but not lethargic.
so, with "eye wide open" i am confronting my ambitions and suggesting that others do the same. i realize my position and i acknowledge it and, from that position of understanding, i can really evaluate the things that i thought before inaccessible to evaluation. and i can come to the conclusion that everything's gonna be ok.