I think that’s what we’re all most terrified about: that we’ll just die and disappear and we’ll leave no trace.
It is a point I have often discussed with therapists and psychiatrists. Destruction. They have tried to explain my need to destroy and hurt as a form of envy, a manifestation of powerlessness even. I have always denied this. They never understood me when I said destruction is simply another form of creation. Because it somewhat bothers me that the people I confide in make me feel like I don’t make sense, I want to share my ideas with you, hoping to get some variation in the opinions.
Like the quote I put on top of this post says, I believe the “meaning” of life, or at least the goal we humans all have , consciously or not, is to leave traces. We are all looking for immortality in some way, whether that is by pushing the boundaries of medical science, creating a magnificent work of art, trying to change politics or simply reproducing. Who wants to be forgotten? No one, I think. Some people are happy to be remembered by their family and friends. Some require the attention of a worldwide audience. Some others believe there is a higher power that will remember them no matter what. It all comes down to the same, and sadly it all has but one conclusion. We, as individuals, all disappear in the cracks of history in time. No matter what and how we were. Our individuality is a mere vanity, and hoping to preserve it is an idle hope.
No. What is remembered then, if it is not our personality? What we have done. What we have changed. What we have created. And now comes my point. a creation isn’t remembered for it’s nature alone, but for the influence it had on others. Others that live longer than us, that pas to the influence it had on them to more others, who in their turn will pass it further, and so on.
To destroy is in a way to create, because a destructive act can and will have as much influence on others as a creative act of equal magnitude. A lovely and most memorable example of this is 9/11. When those towers were built, they were an act of creation, they influenced many lives if only by their prominence in the city skyline. When they were destroyed, their destruction was an act of equal magnitude, leaving a scar on not only a city but a whole nation, changing beliefs, ideologies and general demeanor worldwide. Even in my native language (dutch) we have an expression translated as “An 11th September Excuse” meaning you use a disaster as a reason for not being able to do something. That may sound stupid, but think of it like this. The act of destruction that was 9/11 penetrated everything, giving cause to the creation of so many new things, inspiring, frightening and warning people worldwide.
I am not saying this to support terrorism or weird religious beliefs or anything. I just want to illustrate the creative power of destruction.
Destroying something can be beautiful. Destroying something is like an amazing, worldwide human experiment, showing how powerful an idea can be, how much influence a single act can have. When your life is short and you don’t have the talent or power to literally create something that will influence others, you can create through destruction something that will be equally amazing. Equally memorable.