A lucid view of the darkest situation is already, in itself, an act of optimism.
Indeed, it implies that this situation is thinkable-, that is to say, we have not
lost our way in it as though in a dark forest, and we can on the contrary
detach ourselves from it, at least in mind, and keep it under observation; we
can therefore go beyond it and resolve what to do against it, even if our
decisions are desperate. (Sartre).
Commitments are lies we tell ourselves; subtle promises that we will follow through, make good on our word, that we will be what we say we are, what we lay claim to being, which are impossible for us to keep. It is impossible because we act and in acting we always fall short. I commit myself to living a certain form of life and fail to do so because the circumstances of my living forbid it. I am a drug addict who commits herself to living the clean life and I relapse more than once. What does a drug do? It produces certain neurophysiological effects that are translated into phenomenal states, specific finite existential. Already, even before the needle pierces the dermis and lances into the vein, prior to the discharge of the barrel and the transformation of the circulatory system into an opiate delivery system, the ritual of the preparation of the charge has opened me up to the heroin Universe. I have kids in the next room I need to look after and a partner I swore to I’d stay clean: but there is a craving and a situation and an availability, a friend with a certain smile and a street I knew I shouldn’t have walked down, a bad day and an easy rationalisation, it hardly matters. The commitments I’ve made disappear. I take the charge and the entire reference of commitment vanishes.