No longer wanting to be everything. This is human integrity– the hatred of salvation.
I wonder if this is what I opted for when I renounced what I thought to have been my “westernisation” in favour of my African roots — (actually, in truth, probably just in favour of my childhood innocence of perspective).
It seems to me that the desire to “be everything” is what makes people poisonous, unteachable. You are in the process of teaching them and they already want to BE you, and they are asserting arrogantly that you are not to consider yourself better than them, and that they need no knowledge for they already have all the knowledge there is, and your teaching them is diminishing them in their own eyes (making them seem like they are less than “everything”.)
Now I understand why everything in the contemporary world seems as if it is floating — identities always in suspension. It is because people are trying to work out their own individual salvations, defined as “not what I am, but what I deserve to be.” In other words, “I deserve to be saved from the pressure of material reality by becoming ‘everything’ (ie.disembodied spirit), which is my true essence anyway”. But this is really a very negative attitude (although it seems like the exact opposite), since, if everyone is doing this “everything”, then this produces people in narcissistic bubbles (and, logically, it produces solipsism), because nobody is treated as if their identities were material and in the present. (This abstraction from the present justifies treating others as means to and end, and social darwinism which ignores the immorality of hurting real, material people.)
By seeing yourself as ‘everything’ -(even if this is framed aspirationally, as “potentially”)- you negate the other person’s current existence. So, this desire to be everything produces, actually, the negation of everything. People culturally learn to dissociate from anything which is not already part of themselves emotionally and intellectually.
On the other hand, to deny that one is “everything”, and to accept not being everything, allows you to acknowledge another person’s presence, even through they may be very different from you. This seems to be the much more spiritual approach, underlying Bataille’s concept of immanence.