From one of my favorite books…
The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others–the living–are those who have pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and and Later.
But the edge is still Out There. Or maybe it’s In. The association of motorcycles and LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means of to an end, to the place of definitions.
Here’s what I have learned about edges: They are neither as dramatic or cool as Thompson makes them out to be. I think he’s totally right, they can be really scary. The only people that can tell you about them have crossed a chasm that makes it impossible to ever relate to The Way Things Were.
But if you go around associating them with motorcycles and cliffs and Capital Letters, you’re going to miss all the little ones that are right there in front of you. And you’ll forget all the others you already had the balls to cross and didn’t even know about.
Have you ever taken or would you ever take a hallucinogenic drug?
Nice post, man. I think I see what you’re saying.
I’ve found that if I associate The Edge as a single tremendous chasm that follows something like a Motorcycle or LSD trip I miss the personal ones that develop my character. I’ll find myself wasting my thoughts psyching myself up for an unimaginable trial that never comes.
Deciding not to read The Book or write The Paper but to read a chapter or write a paragraph sets myself up for calmly facing something and learning from it.
Sort of. It would be a mistake to imply that they require big bold moves–that only really ballsy people can do. That’s just story telling and reality isn’t like stories at all.
Changing how you feel about your job doesn’t need to require some Jerry Maguire moment. (Of course sometimes it does, but not always)
You’re misreading the admittedly inchoate ramblings of Thompson. He’s not talking about the little edges, areas slightly past one’s comfort zone whose exploration facilitates personal growth. He’s referring to The Edge, a line that is far different from any others in that it has to be crossed in an extreme and profound way. Like pushing yourself past the point of all inhibitions, and creating an experience that doesn’t just modify one’s perspective as much as radically change, distort or shift it completely.
I understand the quote. But my point is that even though the changes are radical and irreversible, they don’t often feel that way when you first make them.
Very few people become a Hell’s Angel in some big burst of glory where they fight their boss, drop LSD and ride off into the sunset. Hoo-Ah, for example, makes the moment he quits very dramatic and climactic. That’s great. But don’t think you haven’t done something equally as profound simply because it makes poor copy.
I can make dropping out of school sound like the ballsiest move in the world. In reality, I made a few phone calls, thought about it, filled out a form and it happened. The rest is just Window Dressing.