Monday, February 09, 2015

Grand Delusions

Being human comes with enough problems—many of our own making—without allowing hubris to extend the range of those problems to include assumed/implied responsibility for things over which we have absolutely not the remotest influence or control. This hubris is, in fact, a form of delusional theism. I, alas, tend to be prone to it. 

Toddlers and very young children naturally assume they are omnipotent and the center of the universe, since for the first few years of their lives, they don't really have any reason to think otherwise. All that really matters is themselves and what they want. Most are soon dissuaded from this notion by the harshness of reality, but some few manage to cling to them and survive. Again, I am one, and the jury is still out as to whether this is a curse or a blessing.

As one for whom large areas of emotional development more or less ground to a halt at around age five, I have always sincerely felt, down somewhere in the core of my being, that I am indeed the center of the universe. But with grand delusions comes grand responsibilities. Therefore, when something—anything—goes wrong, I can't escape the feeling that I must somehow be responsible for it. And as I became more and more aware of the world around me, this assumption has extended far beyond what directly effects my daily life. My theistic delusions have expanded to encompass just about everything that happens, anywhere, any time.

I've frequently addressed, in these blogs, the universal—and exponentially increasing—frustration caused by the sense—the knowledge—of lack of control over our own lives and destiny. That control has been usurped by the very technology and bureaucracies we humans created to serve us and make our lives easier. Unfortunately, as we became more and more dependent on these technologies, they, like Frankenstein’s monster, have gotten totally out of control. Things we designed to embrace us have tightened their hold to the point where we cannot breath, and we cannot escape. 

Oddly, I do not feel responsible for either technology or bureaucracy; only for their effects, over which I, like everyone else, am maddeningly powerless. Surely someone who is the center of the universe should be able to do something.

Conversely and perversely, while I'm happy to feel responsible for all that's wrong in the world, I am incapable of taking credit for all that goes well...for all the acts of love and kindness and self sacrifice and nobility that occur every day. And why is that, you may ask—as I have? Simple: because (and again here we have strong echoes of arrested emotional development) love and kindness and self sacrifice and nobility are the way the world should be, with no intervention from anyone. Always. That it is not, when I so want and expect it to be, must somehow be my fault.

I guess it all boils down to this: considering all the trouble and unhappiness and problems there are in the world—and not counting those which we create for ourselves as individuals—surely someone must be responsible. As center of the universe, why not me?

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (, which is also available as an audiobook (

1 comment:

Kage Alan said...

So then, theoretically, when someone uses a particular cuss, we should change it to "DorienGreydammit!"? Oh, the news coverage you'd get!