Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The 'Outsider'

The 'Outsider' or 'genius' represents the type of human being who is in the evolutionary vanguard of the species: the 'Outsider' is what all human beings will one day be like--probably, as Erich Fromm said, thousands of years from now. The 'Outsider' literally is THAT far ahead of the rest of the human race, in terms of his emotional and intellectual development. And it is for this reason, then, that the 'Outsider' is such the social misfit that he now is--why he hates his fellow human beings so much; because to him, they scarcely even seem 'human', and because he is unfortunately born much too soon, in comparison to the level of development and awareness that the rest of humanity are still trapped at. Their frequent blind, slavish dependence upon primitive animal emotion and fear-based taboo strike him as not only unworthy of a so-called 'rational', 'mature', 'adult' human population, but still more characteristic of the LESSER ANIMALS than even a human CHILD.

The 'Outsider' represents the hopes and (subconscious) aspirations and strivings of the entire human race--indeed, of all life on this planet--the inexorable, unconscious pushing of all life to attain ever greater and greater levels of sentience, or awareness. So to the human race, he is (or SHOULD be) invaluable, priceless, in the same sense in which people like Socrates, Jesus, or even Einstein are usually thought of (mostly AFTER their deaths).

But alas, more often than not, the very opposite is in fact the case regarding the 'Outsider' and his relations with his peer society: more often than not, he finds himself shunned, hated, and persecuted, because he is in fact significantly different from his neighbours. His contemporaries can no more comprehend his mind and awareness of things than our primitive cave-man ancestors could have comprehended the conversation of even an ordinary assembly-line worker, or a 'sanitation specialist' of today's average world.

So, from the point of view of the 'history' which is to be written by the future, the 'Outsider' or 'genius' is very valuable, but from the point of view of his peer culture, he is usually just the opposite: an object of fear, mistrust, scorn, derision, and sometimes fury. To the living 'Outsider' alive in the present, his condition seems to him very often as one of unending MISERY, unless by some miracle he is able to come to truly know himself, and thus understand exactly what is going on.

9 May, 2000, from an earlier train of thought of around 1998.


Compared with the short span of time they live, men of great intellect are like huge buildings, standing on a small plot of ground. The size of the building cannot be seen by anyone, just in front of it; nor, for an analogous reason, can the greatness of a genius be estimated while he lives. But when a century has passed, the world recognizes it and wishes him back again.

Arthur Schopenhauer, from Reputation.