Sometimes the only way forward is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. It’s to begin as near to zero as possible, nullifying anything and everything that is dispensable. If it can be discarded for even a split-moment, a man ought to experiment with its indefinite absence and live on with only what is essential. In certain allegories the rich man is the one who hoards and binds himself to a myriad of psychological artifacts: this host of arbitrary opinions and habits that we all inherit from our indoctrination into social life.
Morality, convention, and traditions are carried aplenty, along with a prejudice towards a multitude of ideas, that weigh on our fate as heavy as bricks. Yet nothing can be done, or should be tried, unless a man has some inkling of an identity outside of his usual self-image. For what he is now is often bound completely to a particular self-image, a persona with baggage, memory, and a composition of traits and features which reaffirm, reassure, and endlessly reverberate the validity of a man’s existence.
Without a self-image, what is he? Take away various forms of vanity that he often tucks under the rug of his immediate attention, and you typically have very little else to behold. Self-image is a story, completely dispensable, yet wholly unavoidable for the modern man. A beast lies underneath this layer of decoration, and beneath the beast lies the quintessential fairy dust that quivers for its mythical release. A man’s task in such a weaved web of dreams is to separate the wheat from the chaff; to always become less and never more.