The Exceptional Man

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Reflecting Back

As I look back, these last few years have been exceedingly strange for me, a mingling of colliding emotions. Evidently, I’ve made some lesser choices, and by and large, looking back at my younger years, I can rather easily pick out my immaturity, laziness, avoidance and indulgence. These defects have proved hostile and unfriendly. I have suffered unpleasant consequences for my omissions and I will never take back my past choices. Undoubtedly, I am hard on my myself. But perhaps, I was a little more mindless than I needed to be for my age and to my misfortune, I did get carried away more than I would have liked to. Lost in the moment and among friends, I grow deprived of forethought, and prioritising involvement and enjoyment over discretion, I unsurprisingly find myself feeling repentance for my careless acts. If I am being honest, I am inclined to be negligent, but not with everything. Mostly with those allures that distract my thought and heed, that string me along their amusement and comfort my present ‘worries’. As a matter of fact, I’ve had my fair share of escapes, copes that help me forget my troubles and deaden the afflictions of the past.

Escapes are diversions that breathe new life into my being, but more than that, they have for long been a means to overlook my discontent, and for a moment, pretend to myself that I am more pleased with myself than I really am. No man likes to take a hard look at himself, because that often gives him a novel reason to be remarkably disappointed in his sickness, seeing that so little headway has been made, yet so much stagnation has taken place. And when man stops flowing, there is no longer any movement, any step forward, any breakthrough. He never fluctuates between the rising and the falling, he merely remains fixed in one place, his feet affixed firmly to the floor. Entrapped in a dead spirit, he becomes like a ghost that glides hopelessly through the embers of his own unborn self. How many are cut off, tricked and enmeshed by their own unhappiness, living chiefly to lodge their fears and lose track of their difficulties as they deliberately evade the menaces that they so heedfully must confront?

Cowardice and Ignorance

I’d like to think that most people have found some comfort and enjoyment living in resentment, pleased by feelings of discontent and apprehension. This is not, I believe, because they are truly fond of suffering the throbbing stabs of meaninglessness or despair [although they might be by their prejudice and wretchedness], but because they are, I believe, disinclined, reluctant and afraid of correcting their problems, of curing their sickness. They are, furthermore, sheltering themselves in weakness as they are unwilling to leave the haven of vanity and idleness, thinking to themselves that doing so will rid them of greater suffering. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sheltering yourself in weakness is the worse alternative, not the greater. The greater alternative would be to abandon your undeserving terrors and betray them before they destroy you. What have they been persuading you to sustain? A safe haven will not take you far, it will leave you trampled in darkness, where no light can enter, so that you are eternally doomed to the dullness of your own ignorance. You have then alienated yourself with the unexceptional.

The common people are not going to encourage you to depart from safety and security. They themselves have never dared to venture outside the confines of their own protection and refuge. And consider, it’s not in their best interest to encourage a road that they themselves weren’t brave enough to live through and master. The second-rate man is not only faint-hearted, but stupidly egocentric, to the point of dissenting and squabbling about things he knows very little about. Though they are cowards, such men make an effort to hide their timidity and resort to superficial wrangles and providence to give grounds for their weakness. They have themselves believe their situation is a preferable one, that everything is as it should and nothing ought to die. For long, they have repeatedly turned down reality, casting off the hideousness that frequents them. But such people lack interpretation and sight. So firm is their denial that they have, by impetuous and repeated refusal, wholly persuade and reassure themselves that their circumstance is far more perfect and lively than it is unsightly and ugly.

The Vanity of the Incompetent

I would like to think that we can learn something of some use from each and every man, but such weaklings, who by their nature have a liking for condescension and derision, are more vain than they are beneficial. And often, what they deem as useful ‘guidance’ is often impractical and ineffective to the man who knows something of competence. All men who’ve realised a higher influence know this; taking an incompetent man’s guidance too seriously is silly, especially if he hasn’t been immediately acquainted with the wisdom he’s expounding. Forgive any apparently derogatory overtones, but the inept man should not be the master of the capable, and the capable should not be foolish enough to take the inept too solemnly that they are led astray by following the counselling of their inferiors.

This is not to say that the inferior never have anything useful to teach, but the sensible man should be able to distinguish between effective criticism and ill-suited instruction. We don’t always know what’s good for us, and at that, for other people, but we can and always have the occasion to stand beside ourselves and closely ponder our vices, for our immorality is disposed to infer the good that we may lack and stand in need of. In a world so muddled in chaos, this is harder not easier to tackle, as what is inherently good for our innermost being has been purposely jumbled in falsehood to turn us away from our independence and keep us ignorant of our own prospective liberty.

Falsehood and the Unconscious

This calculated falsehood that we feed off always tends to our crutches, so while we are being tricked and misled, we are commanded by our fears and anxieties. In this way, we are eternally enslaved by our weaknesses, allowing external authorities who clearly aren’t us govern our decisions and decide our fate, before we promptly realise we have been suffering a delusion so terrible we can hardly apprehend its breadth. A culture so disturbed by mistaken impressions can’t possibly regulate itself, because it is still being restrained and contained by outside power, and whenever man is unconsciously checked, he is unknowing of his misapprehensions. As Jung would say, unless you bring the unconscious to the surface and become conscious of it, you will be governed by it and you will call it ‘God’s will’ or ‘destiny’.

The unconscious is representative of everything you are heedlessly oblivious to. But, curiously, if you listen closely, it will tell you something. It may not tell you what you want to hear, but it will tell you something far more significant than anything you would want to hear, anyway. However, unconsciousness could be likened to being deaf to your own inward music, as you are recurrently distracted and drawn away by outside noise, the clamours of inferiority, idiocy, shame, fragility. As a wise saying goes, when you speak, it is silent; when you are silent, it speaks. In other words, when you have cultivated a quietness, a peacefulness away from the commotion of degeneracy, you are able to attend to and hear the harmonic melodies of divinity; they bring you back to balance, they bring you back in line with your innermost workings. Here, beautiful things are nourished and grown. Here, aversions are conquered and sharp torments are transcended. Here, you are granted the occasion to become a truly exceptional man.

Truth and Being Exceptional

What does it mean to be exceptional? It means what it intimates; to be the anomaly, the deviation from the flock of sheep, the striving wolf, the ‘sigma’ that stands beyond the crowd, the unusual and singular inconsistency among the density of lowliness that permeates culture. If you are still wondering where ‘meaning’ stems from, you have clear hints to your answer. You can’t, as a matter of fact, extract or recognise meaning when you are too volatile, deranged and unhinged by the disorder shared by the public. This is why it is generally advisable to segregate yourself and make yourself conversant in silence, so that meaning can crystallise and incentive materialise. Then, and only then, can you think clearly about your pursuit and direction. The striving wolf did not polish his weakness and develop his strength by conforming to peasants, or comforting himself with lies in an attempt to run away from himself. Rather, he departed from the pack and ventured alone, with the sole intention of enriching his character and ennobling his grand mission.

Coming upon the truth, he found out for himself that there is no greater and more meaningful battle than the struggle to swallow his loneliness and learn the manlike art of self-sustenance. A man must be able to both keep things alive and carry the weight of his burdens, he is both the shelter and the tower of strength and protection. If man isn’t nourishing his power and feeding his family, he is both stripping them of comfort and welfare, as well as enfeebling his strength and fostering a contemptible impotence that knocks down his virtues. How often does man disfigure his own strength in an attempt to gratify those he cares for, only to later realise, or perhaps not, that in doing so he makes them scorn him for compromise? If a man is to remain unassailable, he must refrain from compromising the very goods he knows are his own and are by nature resolute and inflexible. If he undermines his virtues in this way, he corrupts his character; by twisting and bending to make others happy, he stripped himself of the vigour that enforces respect, fortifies security, and makes him impenetrable.

Providership and Responsibility

There is no such thing as a man who is respected for his vulnerability, for no man or woman wants to lay his/her trust in the hands of a man who is exposed to danger. Such a man is not dependable as he is not incorruptible, as any firm man is. A corruptible man is not respectable and is, for that reason, unreliable. Reliability stems from man’s ability to furnish himself and others with security, dependence, surrender. If he himself is searching for these comforts in other men or at that, women, he is clearly ill-adapted to supply them to those who expect it of him. The commanding man sacrifices his own comfort for providership. He understands that having others depend on him demands that he is well-equipped to caution himself against the need to lean on others in quivering fear, always caving in and capitulating his role, thereby dispensing with his burdens and making them rest on those who are not firm enough to shoulder them.

A man assumes authority with the knowledge that there are burdens that only he has the capacity to master, should he take responsibility of his duties with a firm hand. But not the coward; not only will he shun responsibility, he will corrupt those he loves by his incapacity to own up to his fundamental role. Then, he hopelessly wonders why his woman regards him with contempt, or why his children have grown so hostile to his authority. A coward becomes like a woman, ever avoidant and antagonistic to everything he should be. In truth, he’s incapacitated, powerless and subject to needy behaviour. Even with all his harmlessness and tolerance, in spite of shared belief, he is not a good, upright man. He is sinful because he has not owned up to his obligations, he has broken faith with his loved ones by failing to be the tower of strength that always dignifies and exalts his own fabric and blood. Man has a chief obligation in life, and that is to take heed and take lead, if he fails at both, he is rendered deficient to fulfil his role as a man worthy of reliance, submission, respect.

In Closing

Be the wolf, then, the man who stands beyond the fray, who looks down upon his descendants and honours his lineage, who amid the turmoil and filth that charges culture, remains unperturbed and purposive, ever changing and growing, taking novel shapes and bracing those who rest on him without betraying his people or mislaying his faith. Honour is singular, the exception, be brave enough to loosen yourself from the ties of herd mentality and gaze upon the summit that stands before you; there your great promise lies, your higher nobility, your deepest most far-reaching significance and worth. In the grand scheme of things, life is rather short-lived, but by our willingness to deepen our experience, we can make our stay ever more unforgettable, even eternal by the weight of our legacy.


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