Derek Mali, Aesthetic Realism consultant and actor, writes:
When I first read Eli Siegel’s essay “The Ordinary Doom,” I was astounded—I felt, “This describes me!” Though I hadn’t met him, I felt he wrote the essay with me in mind. In it, Mr. Siegel explains the loneliness people take for granted—that they walk around with every day, and may not even know they have—the feeling we’re not known, not understood, not expressed. He saw the cause of this painful separation and explained it so clearly that anyone who reads this essay feels deeply understood, the way I did. The comprehension of self that’s in “The Ordinary Doom” and in the study of Aesthetic Realism stopped that feeling of isolation in me. It can do this for everyone! The essay begins:
If we judge from history, we are doomed not to show our feelings; not to have them known. There have been many, many persons who have lived rather long lives, and who have been in many conversations; who yet did not show what was in their minds, what feelings they truly had. When people can’t show their emotion, they are disappointed and resentful. So disappointment and resentment have been big things in social history; which means the history of individuals.
There are three large reasons, which are in close relation, for people’s not having shown their feelings. The first is, feelings are hard to know; we don’t know a feeling just because we have it. The second is, there is a kind of triumph or satisfaction in not showing the feelings we may know–in making them our own secret property. The third is, people have not been adequately interested in seeing, thoroughly, how we felt. >>Read more