ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

Essays from my younger days

Updated on August 4, 2017

Profound words from an ancient sage

Here is an essay I wrote on 6th December 1972 – nearly forty years ago. At the time I called it ‘Self.’


Ali ibn Hazm (994 – 1064 AD) said “No man is moved to act, or resolves to speak a single word, who does not hope by means of this action or word to release anxiety from his spirit.”

Profound words.

I am writing this essay to myself. It isn’t the first time I’ve written thus. But it is the first time that I have intended from the very outset to be as honest as I possibly can.

Without being really conscious of it, I have been and still am, trying to relieve a feeling of anxiety by engaging in a certain line of activity. I have been concerned with what I call ‘Self Improvement.’ I’ve accepted that I am dissatisfied with myself; that I must progress in some way. But I have given very thought to the feeling as to why I must progress.

Our innate urge 'to become'

It appears inherent, this dissatisfaction most of us seem to have. But I must get back to the object of this essay: myself.

The years have found me seeking along various paths, searching for ‘Self Improvement.’ An urge to become a great artist, then a great writer, scholar, mystic, wise man and orator, and always the emphasis was – and still is – on being great. And yet knowing full well that, although I have talent in all of these fields - though more in some than in others - I am far from being great. And possible – no, likely – do not have the qualities for greatness

(Even here I’m too frightened to say I haven’t got them)

Somewhere deep inside of me I must feel terribly small and insignificant.

Our fears begin early

I was the third and smallest child in a family of five children; an older brother and sister; younger brother and sister – is this it? Unloving Mum? Father? Is this it? Insecurity as a child? Foster parents? Frequent moves and upheavals? Is this it? None of these things seems to be the cause.

I feared my father. This I know. I remember being caught in some wrongdoing and being taken home to my father by the ear. I cried piteously outside my home, pleading for the young man, who had caught me, not to tell my father. Yes, I feared Dad all right

Few of us escape the 'need for approval'

I fear the contempt of my colleagues. Fear that I may seem inadequate, cowardly, and inept. These things I recognize in myself. The need for the approval of my colleagues and friends is also know to me.

However I do not, in all sincerity, know why I feel that way.

I know that I like to be the centre of attention – if things are going right. Once again that need for approval. I know that as a young person, I was very capable of giving and accepting love and tenderness. Yet as I grew older I had such tendencies of ‘softness’ conditioned out of me. Or, more than likely, repressed into me.

I wanted to be regarded as tough and worldly-wise.

From somewhere in my adolescence I began to fear physical violence. Perhaps because of my small stature. And yet I would fight with courage (possibly borne of desperation) and win almost every physical battle I was involved in. Once again, maybe I couldn’t stand to lose.

And yet…

And yet, what?

I will consider my present worldly ambition to become a great (and once again that word) interesting (to gain approval perhaps?) moving (to be able to give and receive love, perhaps?) and effective (caused by feeling of inadequacy perhaps?) orator, who will dedicate his great gift to help to relieve suffering and to promote joy.

Why this last? “To help relieve suffering and promote joy?”

To justify my power-seeking action!

I’m stumped. I can know myself – or so it seems – no further with this written discourse. The subconscious will reveal nothing more to the conscious mind. I’ll have to try another day.

Or perhaps I’ll try by prayer.

I worry that people may think I am religious, pious; worried about my image as a discerning and unemotional thinker. I cringe in shame that people who know me may find out about the insecurity of my grip on what I believe to be the truth.

Anxiety: a conflict between reason and desire? Emotion and feeling on the one hand, reason and subconscious desire on the other.

I wonder…


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)