After I was diagnosed, I confided to some close friends that I was psychopathic. I respected them enough and felt that they deserved an explanation for many of the peculiarities of those friendships. In general, they were accepting but wanted assurance that I would not play games with them. However, I think it was one response that intrigued me the most. It was from a very close friend who had gotten to know me quite well over the years. I asked him if he saw my revelation coming.
It isn’t really a surprise. I think we all knew that you had stage four cancer of the soul.
I know he was saying such in jest, but it really resonated with me. It resonated because it reminded me how much humanity strives to equate humanity with “goodness”. We speak of souls as being the unique and core components of those we meet. We think of them as being inherently good with “damaged” souls belonging to the damned. The religious and philosophical connotations are easily apparent. Those that are not good are relegated to second class status and they are believed to be inhuman in many ways. My friend did not mean such, but his statement clearly reflects how much others believe that to be amoral (or immoral) is to be fundamentally broken.
If souls exist and are part of the human condition, then I prefer my souls as I do my lungs: with a hint of tar and blackness. There is a certain vanilla flavor that comes with the pious and the strictly moral and empathic. They are so concerned for the well-being of others that they lose sight of their own strengths and their own individuality. They become lost to the larger mass of society, because their actions are demanded and expected by that larger mass.
I may have a cancerous soul in the eyes of others, but I will never lose my individuality. I am not concerned about what others would think of my unmasked self. I am only concerned that I am able to remain free to be me. Yes, I may have a radically different set of proclivities than most, but that is simply another area in which my individuality is present. The “goodness” of my soul means nothing in this life. Black and burned, diseased or not, we all have an obligation to ourselves to remain true to ourselves. It just may be abhorrent to the eyes of others.