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The Tree of Egoism

The Tree of Egoism
Mixed media on paper. 2002. 22" 30"

It sometimes happens that a person knows something for a very long time, sometimes even for his whole life. Then suddenly, at one moment, he understands it. He suddenly UNDERSTANDS something he has never doubted. One day it comes to him. He claps his forehead with the hand and thinks: "What a fool I have been. I had always known it but understood it only now." Often we don't think of what we know for sure. The easiest and most banal example is our health. Everybody knows that you cannot buy it for money and cannot rejuvenate. Nobody argues. How many of those who know UNDERSTAND this? Answer the question: what is bigger, a micro world or a macro world? The more you think, the less obvious is the answer. And if you are a philosopher: god save us from listening to your endless answer in full. There are moments in childhood, when you suddenly understand some things that seem obvious. Adults stop thinking about it. For example, you suddenly keenly feel that every person around you in the street has a surname, he has a name and this is some sort of absolutely illusory reality because you cannot touch the surname or biography, experience, or profession. In the third grade, I once came home from school and sat thinking, looking out of the window at these buildings that had been built in the tsar years in one social society and now are in an absolutely different one. After many years, when the Soviet Union collapsed, I recalled this feeling that sometime before I perceived this pre-soviet capitalist building as a socialist one and now I have to apprehend it again as capitalist. All the fun and all the absurdity is that the house hasn't changed. Some absurdity, some non-material heresy around us has been changing. Because of this heresy the house could be burnt, exploded, destroyed. But it remained intact by a miracle, which cannot be said about its inhabitants. Society is like a tree and people are its fruits. The structure remains, while fruits and leaves change. The difference is that a society, unlike a tree, can consider itself a pear-tree, then it will decide to be a cherry-tree, then transform into an apple-tree. One of its branches announces itself to be a lemon-tree; the other considers the whole tree to be peach-tree and is ready to struggle for it till the last leaf. The life of states in the world is like living in a huge apartment with shared facilities. This man is a fisherman, the other is a hunter, these have a honeymoon, others divorce, this fool is sawing a bough he is sitting on and another is watching, one is ready to attack, the other to defend. The depth of the drama in the life of every person is directly proportional to the gulf between what he is in reality and what he is forced to be.