It´s not just about the sofa or the fucking khaki trousers. It´s about the way we think. It´s the way we mediate our gym time, our mealtimes, our image and our future plans. We are scared, because that is how society has conditioned us. We are stressed; we lock ourselves up and surround ourselves with shit from Ikea. We pretend to maintain an identity and self-esteem that we carve out based upon a gag of materialism and social norms. We seek false gratification out of the fear of breaking down the fake comforts that can lead us to our true primal self.
I say, chill the fuck out. Things are NOT that complicated, we just choose to follow the path of turmoil and fear, and make excuses for not doing what we need to do to get out of the way of the friggin bus. It´s called cognitive dissonance, in psychological realms, but I wont dwell on the head spin now. Later maybe. In short, we rationalize when we are stressed and faced with conflicting emotions and impulses. We may know what should be done to break free from the armpits of modernity, but we crawl back to the comfortable illusion of the dehumanized striped sofa. Aaaagghhhh.
What do we learn from the twisted world of Tyler Durden?. Not to give a shit?. To let go of everything around us that makes our identity what it is?. Maybe the lesson to take from this epic movie is to reconsider dissonance. Stop making excuses in order to protect your egocentric motivations that are cultivated by the crap surrounding you. Self-destruction, for Durden, need not be so extreme as to warrant being ostracized from modern life, your job or your family. No, but you can let down your guard and be exposed to fear, emptiness, or a path not ventured. Only then can we realize our true morality, which is not bound up in our self-improving masturbatory hand of superficiality.
Tyler Durden is Jack´s consciousness. Jack is fighting the urge to remove his dissonance. He wants to improve himself, but needs to realize that who we are runs deeper than the image we portray at the gym or the other externalized reflections we prop ourselves up upon…..Our strength on the outside pails into comparison with the drive we have internally to make changes that only a truly free self can obtain. Beyond the reach of the naysayer, or the rationaliser.
Jack: “You could take him”
Tyler Durden: “The trick is not to care”
Masturbation, Ikea crap and other material junk we surround ourselves with offer a false sense of self-improvement. Not that those momentary pleasures, in the Stoic sense, are forbidden, but that we need to realize that a kind of destruction, or massive change in discipline, is what modern society needs to open up our souls for the possibility of a return to our primal selves. What are we really trying to achieve by plastering up a broken wall in the name of self improvement?. Why do we criticize those who seek to push the boundaries of societal norms, thinking that we are broadening our horizons by conforming to superficiality?.
Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction, Truman once said. Life is not about finding excuses, tolerating the effects of stress, acquiescing to self-improvement through external influence. It is about realizing there are no limits, only those we choose to surround ourselves in. We can optimize our lives by being aware, being active, being true to ourselves and those around us. It may take severe action, clearing out a lot of crap, facing your fears and nurturing your survival instincts.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
Right on Tyler. Fuck the khaki trousers, go nude and self-destruct!