07 October, 2002

Relative Adventures

Which is worse: to be hurt by another, or to hurt another yourself?

A long time ago, when I was still quite young, my friends and I would play this game we called "The Adventure". Each of my friends would choose a character of their own and play as that character, while I would play the role of all other characters in the adventure, and I would come up with situations and events that I could put the characters through, just to see how everything would turn out. It was quite a lot like D&D; I know that now, but back then I was unaware of such things.

Of course, unlike D&D, where you play whilst sitting, "The Adventure" was played outside. We each had our favorite sticks, and we would do mock battles with them. We weren't very safe about it, either; I can recall hitting as hard as I could when hitting certain areas of the body, though I backed off quite a bit when aiming for more sensitive areas.

After I had played the Adventure for well over a year, I started to get the idea to write it all down. To basically put in book form what my friends and I had been playing all that time. I started working on that book probably when I was ten or eleven years old. It was a fun project for me to spend my time on, but it never really went anywhere. Writing on such a specific topic took too much out of me, I guess... I never could write more than one chapter at a time.

There were a lot of fun, interesting twists in that story, but there is one in particular that I am reminded of now. Two of the good characters, named Red and Raistlin, actually turned out to be an evil characters in the end. But the weird thing was that they were so similar on the outside, yet the inner motivation was so very different...

Both had been deceiving everyone else from the very beginning. Both had done so for their own personal gain. Both had hurt good characters in multiple ways to further their own ends. Both were trusted completely by the rest of the good guys.

But Red was evil, and Raistlin was... well, ... I guess you'd have to call him evil too. But he had a conscience. He sabotaged the good guy's plans just like Red, and he murdered a few good guys, just like Red, but in the end, he felt bad about it all. In the end, he regretted what he had done, even as he knew that what he had done was what he really wanted to do.

Is it right to call Raistlin misguided, then?

And how would you describe Red, who never regretted any of it? Isn't it logical to state that Red was more intelligent about it all because he did not let mere moral standards get in his way?

Indeed, whose moral standards are absolute? If all things are relative, then how can it be said that one's personal moral feelings on a subject is more correct than another?

And if this is so, then Raistlin was a flawed character... How is it that he thought he wanted one thing, but then regretted it afterward? And worse, even afterward, he still agreed that he had done what he had wanted to do, despite his regrets?


I wish I could play "The Adventure" again. I wish I could recapture my old spirit. I wish I could just let Raistlin take one further step... I wish I could get Raistlin to choose a higher moral standard, regardless of the relativeness of his own.

I wish this because I see myself in Raistlin. I see myself as lost.

By Phoenix G. Graves (aka Gregory S. Cochran)

A monopoly of memories that you'll never forget,
You won't need a picture, so don't take a pose.
A past of pain that you'd like to forget,
The monopoly of memories that you'll always regret.
Don't reminisce on matters of morality.
You won't enjoy bliss, the past is a pain you'll never forget,
You'll always come back,
Back to the road of reality,
Back to the past of memories that you'll always regret.
If you forget where you've been,
You're going down and there is no coming back.
This time I mean it, how can you be sure?
There is no coming back...
Take the time to forget,
Get lost!
Down your road to the end
There is no coming back my friend.
Get lost!
Into my forever,
Forever less than the emptiness.
Get lost... get outta my head
Before I make us both dead.
There is no coming back this time.
Down the road of memories
Forever less than the emptiness...
You're lost.

I hate relativity. It ruins the beauty of absoluteness. And yet, it somehow manages to retain its own kind of beauty, a beauty that shows that absolute truth lies beneath the mask of relativity.


I still hate it, though.

Is true love possible? Or are the petty feelings I know all that exists? Is it only those who negotiate that get along in their old age? Or is the mystical couple that everyone always hears about but never sees really possible?

Is it possible for me to find another that is right for me? Or is that term undefinable? Can I even say the word 'right' and have it truly mean something? Or again, is it all relative? 

I am so weird...

Once, someone who was completely baffled at why I overanalyze so much asked, "How is it that you can stand to ask so much about such minor things?"

My reply: "How is it that you can stand to ask so little about so very many things?"

Is it truly just a given for me, or do I have reasoning behind it?


I hate sigh-ing.

I hate thinking so much on a topic that I either give up on it or else I starve to death.

I hate not knowing.

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
-Ayn Rand

If only this were true, then life would be as I wished it.

But it's not.

And that is what makes so sad, I think...

That is what makes me more depressed than anything else. Not that I have no true friends. That I can deal with. But that I can't have true friends.


C'est la vie.

"Deal with it, Eric. Otherwise nothing will ever get done," my inner consciousness tells me.

"But --"

"No! No buts. Just deal with it. Either live or don't. It's your decision. But either way, deal with it.

And so I deal with it.

That is why I am in college now. It is why I tutor high school kids for money. It is why I deliberately stay till late at night in the computer lab just to help someone else on their homework. It is why I read Ender's Game when I feel too horrible to keep going.

I'm dealing with it.

But even though I deal with it like this on the outside, my inside is still confused. My inner feelings are still there, and are undealt with. But no one sees them, so who cares? Must I fix what I only I notice? Does this revert back to the question of whose viewpoint is most important?

God, I hate relativity.


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