III: The Existence of the Orphan
Endeavor to Doubt
We cannot avoid the inevitability of doubt on our journey through the A of O. As you self reflect, it may be helpful to distinguish between the true insights versus the self-deceptions that arise in your process.
How can we integrate the attributes of such an unreal character into the very real parameters and practicalities of our everyday lives? Perhaps the Orphan should be considered to be an impossible ideal rather than an achievable goal? As we peer into the faces of Orphans are we in fact masochistically forcing a suffering upon ourselves: the unrequited desire of an impossible ideal?
Numerous contradictory forces in today’s culture encourage us on the one hand to adopt identities resembling Orphanhood whilst demanding on the other hand that we seek lifestyles incompatible to such consciousnesses. We are expected to be staunchly independent but are guided through life from one emotional attachment to another. Even though most paths are already so well trodden, there still remains a pressure to pave one’s own. The preciousness of children’s expressiveness and vulnerability are impressed upon us as an ideal, but our integrity is undermined when we operate without a cloyed and phlegmatic sophistication. Adaptability is held in high regard while the search for self-knowledge seems to require familiarity and consistency.
Many of us struggle with a divided self to accommodate time, place and others. We can be nostalgic for people we were in the past, and distracted by those we want to become. Why are we unable to see all these as part of the same personage? We search for an absolute identity, and then undermine it with conditions. We aim to know our most “true” selves. But what is a truth that can be replaced when variables shift?
These voices of dissent introduce a dangerous degree of judgment and moral assessment into our discussion. Lingering too long on the rights and wrongs of your experience with the A of O focuses comprehension within the parameters of success or failure. The Agency of the Orphan is anathema to evaluation. The Orphan is the simultaneity of oppositions: existing as both fixed and mutable, adult and child, assimilated and apart.
The Orphan is an ideal, but a true engagement with the A of O is not without degrees of accomplishment. The fact that we can conjure and attach to the Orphan suggests a set of tools that we already embody. You must learn how to identify and utilize these tools. You must learn about your A of O in order to drown out the sanctimonious voices with the lighthearted touch of a self-governing child.