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The Broken Mirror

It is always a world of a difference if you see yourself at the other end of the table. It is only then that you begin to understand.

A very close friend of mine is going through what I went through at exactly the same time last year. This is no mere assimilation or empty comparison but the presence of a very strong cohesion between his experiences and mine. I think he is on the verge of a crisis, very near to that fall. What scares me is that I know that when you fall from that precipitous height, you never are able to recover completely and everything will change.

Of course I cannot say that I know what he is going through completely. Or better yet, I cannot say that I can feel what he has been feeling. He is more easily overcome by emotions and lives by them and would perhaps take them to their conclusion. At the height of it, even though such emotions would push me to the edge, I still held on to reason as best as I could or as best as I thought I could. If he would take emotions to their conclusions, I took reason to its limits until they gave way. What I do imagine is not what he is feeling but what he is thinking. A man who is pushed to a corner can only think of two things: fight or flight, survival or escape. The only emotion is a fear so strong that it leads to paranoia and suspicion of everyone. Thus you experience yourself all alone in front of a universe that no longer speaks of a meaning.

And for those who are not accustomed to such fear, they hide that behind a facade of strong will and self-assertion much like how a man defends himself when he is in danger. Fear pushes you to the limit when all it takes is a slight step to fall or a terrifying leap to fight back. And this is the danger. And its inevitability is what is frightening because for him, everything leads to that final decision. Nothing can be said or done, pro or contra, which will not tempt him to decide. There is no reflexivity in this situation; so you can't just talk your way out of it. One can only buy time; but for him, there is no more time as time shall be decided upon by his act. Sadly, we all would have to wait for the crisis to come. It is only after that break that any hope of healing can be done.

So you see, this leaves me in a tight fix. I'm being brought to the situation to see how I can help. It looks different from this side. Actually, it is more difficult; for when you are on that edge you do not care about anybody else but yourself. But now, you care more about the other than you care about yourself.

I have been brought in to these situations numerous times before. Some friends call me the priest. But this time I am not so sure with how to proceed. It feels like going to an exorcism.


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