What I realized in that moment was that the lights of the city, the electric light, has formed a kind of dome over the cities where we live. And it is a protective dome, a protective shield, that shields us from full awareness of how deep and infinite space is. So we sit in our cities, and our electric lights have blanked out the sky, for us, and we no longer have first-hand experience of the existential terror that is available to you at any point in time if you just try and spend one night outside on the beach or in the forest.
The route to thinking about, caring for, and contributing to, the happiness of other people, is found by first loving oneself. Continuous, inward-facing self-hatred helps no one.
That’s my paraphrase of John’s sentiment from Roderick on the Line episode 60, at about 1:08:00. He points specifically to the northwest during the grunge era. But that form of self-reflection continues to this day inside of chronic self-deprecants, of which I have too often been one.
… all around me there are people who have never learned to endure dissatisfaction and I do not admire them.
– John Roderick. Roderick on the Line, episode 54.