The self/ego/personality is a set of plans and patterns of response that we have built; it is the reaction we’ve planned for the-world-as-we-anticipate-it. The ego is not in itself a bad thing; the danger is to mistake it for the whole being. We are, in addition to the Logos that descended upon us some 90,000 years ago, also a social animal, and before even that we are an emotional animal, and before even that, we are .. alive, we are a beating heart, we are anima, animated, moving matter, flesh that protects itself.

A friendĀ gave me the thoughts that led me here.

And Stephen Dedalus, ash-plant in one hand,
amid the molten, airborne chunks of Hell
with dutiful old Virgil by the wrist,
said, "This way, good old father—right this way."

on the floor of hell

If I had the harsh and clacking verses
to match this miserable hole
on which every other rock weighs down,

I would press the juice from my concept
more fully, but, because I don't,
I will make myself speak, and not without fear;

because it is no task to take up in jest,
to describe the bottom of the whole universe,
nor one for a tongue that cries for mommy or daddy.

Inferno 32:1–9

I suppose the moment that most strikes me about Back to the Future is in the first few seconds after Marty travels back to 1955. The wide-open and undeveloped land on either side of the road emphasizes and signifies the thrill of this moment: power and freedom. In one moment, human genius has punctured the very walls of the universe. Marty, the benefactor, is almost God–and, better, he didn't even see it coming. The thrill of surprise apotheosis, you might call it.

But what I like most is the pristineness; that's another advantage of traveling to the past–no one could ever, ever, have seen you coming. For a moment, before your first interaction with a person, you are utterly free of responsibility.

“As therapists, we are among the first to dismiss any notion that people who are emotionally distressed and disturbed are somehow bad, We say, quite rightly, they are the products of their histories, of their experience, and it is this that makes them who they are and do what they do And yet how easily under pressure of the intransigence and intractability of suffering this slips into its opposite, judgement and even condemnation, as though people choose to be unhappy, to cut themselves, to starve. As though their suffering were a sign of moral failure.”