"People who intentionally become famous – I mean people who, after a little taste of fame, want more and more of it – are, and I honestly believe this, deeply psychologically ill." -- Sally Rooney
To sacrifice all that has to be sacrificied. To give up all that has to be given up.
To spend all the time that has to be spent building a brand, spinning the story.
All of that wanting comes from a lack.
Think about it. If your life is perfect, why would you invest so much time and effort to get validation, recognizion, adoration?
All of the striving comes from a sense of lack. It seems to me that most famous people are famous because they feel a deep sense of lack. They need to prove themselves. They have an ax to grind. They want revenge. They want to 'show them.'
It seems that people who become famous politicians, cult leaders, mega stars have a gaping hole inside them. A bottomless pit that can't be filled.
Suicide and drug addiction are over-represented among the famous.
Of course there are some people that get famous against their will. But they are the exception rather than the rule.
It seems to me that Sally Rooney is right.
I grew up wanting to become a rock star. I wanted validation and adoration. I wanted to be admired. I wanted revenge on my high school bullies. I wanted to prove to the world.
All of this was coming from a deep sense of lack. I felt that bottomless pit inside me that seemingly could never be filled. Not by candy, not by drugs and alcohol, not by achievements or stuff.
That hole is still there sometimes. I feel its empty space as a black hole with an insane gravitational pull. But now it doesn't scare me so much. At times, when my mindfulness is strong, I can just let myself feel it. I feel the ache vividly, like a broken heart or a ribcage made of steel wool. It's uncomfortable, but it's not forever. In fact, the feelings are always in flux.
That hole; the craving, the wanting -- is partly built into us by evolution. So that we keep going, so that we pro-create. It's there so that we're not too dazzled by the achingly beautiful world: the sprakle of a raindrop, the vibrant green of a leaf. The soft shapes of the clouds against the backdrop of the warmest blue sky.
We need to eat and sleep to keep enjoying. We probably need shelter.
But beyond that, we don't need much else. There's such an insane abundance built into everything anyway.
Those who've realized this, and stabilized that insight, are at peace.
For myself, I've had the insight, I've seen through the illusion, the smoke and mirrors, but my insight isn't stable. Yet. I keep forgetting. I keep getting sucked into the drama of the illusion. I find myself wanting, craving. Tricking myself into thinking that a new jumper or a new business opportunity will make a real difference. I need more practice. To see clearly, to stabilize.
There are many people in this world who have stabilized this insight. I believe their numbers are growing. They are content, at peace. At ease.
They can enjoy the stuff of the world. The textures and shapes. The sparkles.
But they don't need anything.
Therefore they are unlikely to constantly be posting on social media, for example. They are unlikely to churn out selfies, content, hawking expensive courses etc. So you may want to proceed with caution, and not necessarily trust social media gurus.
They don't need to feel adored or loved. They don't need luxury.
They understand that they are the stuff the universe is made of. They are love.