*What You Pretend to Be

June 21, 2007

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
Kurt Vonnegut

He wrote that in Mother Night in 1961. I’m sure at the time most everyone took that whole idea as a literary maneuver but now that The Secret is Out we should all be understanding that Kurt was right about this phenomenon.

I once read an angry slam against something the pet psychic from TV, Sonya Fitspatrick, had said about pretending when approaching animal communication for the first time. Gosh. It is kind of astonishing the rage that boiled up in this guy. He ranted on and on about how that statement proves that the whole pet psychic thing is a sham. It’s truly strange to watch someone bury themselves in their logic and anger that way. What chance does he have for meaning or happiness in his life if he can’t pretend something different from time to time. Of course there is no helping him. He has decided how things are and that’s just that. Period. End of story. That is a man pretending to be logical and it has got to be a hard life course. It’s no wonder his rage bubbles up so easily. My heart goes out to him. Glad though that it wasn’t up to him to invent the wheel.

I think I have always understood pretend. Quite consciously. I haven’t always understood how to use it to it’s best potential but even lost in hopeless muddles I have understood that I could pretend myself to a different life experience. It just depends on how strongly you hold the idea of reality being what you see rather than what you dream. For awhile I used a tag line, “life is but a dream, so let’s get lucid!” I may start using that again.

This whole thing just makes the logical people (the grown ups) CRAZY! Back in the 50’s a lot of women got shock treatments for this kind of blasphemy. My mother was one. Finally in the end she was driven crazy. It took me a long time and more than a little courage to become like my mother. Times are changing and I’m glad the secret is out even if the grown ups still rage.

“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
Anais Nin


12 Responses to “*What You Pretend to Be”

  1. suburbanlife Says:

    Yay! Great quotes – thanks! Pretending is a great way to try to enter another way of being, thinking, feeling, to try and perceive the world through maybe a different filter – it yields an opportunity to begin to understand “others”.

  2. scottfree2b Says:

    Hi suburbanlife! Good to see you again. Yeah, “others” 🙂

  3. Joan Christie Says:

    This concept of “pretend” is worrying me!
    I was capable of pretending or playing ‘make believe’,but to really ‘be’ and accept the sensitivity of ‘being’ must be crucial in communicating with animals…the other ‘beings’.

  4. scottfree2b Says:

    Hi Joan,

    Gosh. I didn’t mean to alarm anybody!

    Well of course you do “become”. But you start out any endeavor as a child pretending and grow into it. How many careers did we all try on before becoming the adults we have become. My friend Nick who I wrote about here in Old Friends Sometimes Turn Up Famous https://scottfree2b.wordpress.com/2007/06/29/old-friends-sometimes-turn-up-famous/ was still pretending his way to who he is today when I knew him. A blueprint of the worlds tallest building becomes a MOCK UP and finally a real building you can take the elevator to the top of.

    Animals of course are what they are and that is a great lesson to follow too. Unlike animals though, we can start today pretending a different tomorrow and it can “become”.

  5. […] on July 3rd, 2007. More about *What You Pretend to Be. In that post I got a comment that jogged this experience from […]

  6. Kate Says:

    I think i myself am a bit of a pretender. There are times when I pretended to be an active, outgoing person to attract similar people, and there are times when I want love and sympathy, I acted as if I am a shy and sensitive person. However, there’s another law which is Karma, so I am wondering what Karma will do to pretenders. There’s one thing, pretenders lack the stability that others have in their personal lives because they tend to switch to other roles when needed. Moreover, this pretending thing can have pros, however, there are foreseen and unforeseen cons. For e.g., when people successfully pretend to be successful people, they will have both true friends and enemies, which sometimes are quite hard to control. (while I am writing this, I do not know what kind of person I am pretending here) ^ ^

  7. Trish Scott Says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to weigh in on the point :).

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