Thursday, 21 January 2010

Clarification of Division

The last post about division being the basis of evil, is a little confused, I admit.

When one looks at the alternative to individual expression, it’s herd mentality, do nothing original, raise no objection to the status quo, to follow others blindly. Not the most attractive of ideas, nor realistic. It works as a successful meme for some if not most animals, but humans have evolved to question, to analyse, to adapt based on ideas, which are all examples of individuality. So, essentially human, and not much we can do about it unless you can drug a population to act as a herd of animals.

Under that assumption, the negative effects of individualism can’t be completely eradicated, but they can be mitigated. As Huxley points out, pride, hatred and anger, are individual expressions that deny others freedom, whereas greed and lust necessarily don’t.

With this in mind, one can reject the former set entirely from one’s self without the need for constant proof. With greed and lust however, it will take analysis and judgement at every instance on the part of the individual to determine whether they are denying another of any freedom.

Admirable, but is it realistic?

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The basis of evil

As if to confirm my previous rant about the evilness of individuality, Huxley comes along in the final pages of Eyeless in Gaza with the same sentiment:

“Evil is the accentuation of division; good, whatever makes for unity with other lives and other beings. Pride, hatred, anger – the essentially evil sentiments are essentially evil because they are all intensifications of the given reality of separateness, because they insist upon division and uniqueness, because they reject and deny other lives and beings. Lust and greed are also insistences upon uniqueness, but insistences which do not entail any negative awareness of others from whom the unique being is divided. Lust only says, ‘I must have pleasure’, not ‘You must have pain’. Greed in its pure state is merely a demand for my satisfaction, not for your exclusion from satisfaction. They are wrong in emphasizing the separate self; but less wrong than pride or hatred or anger, because their self-emphasis is not accompanied by denial of others.”

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Civilization and Sexuality

Taken from Aldous Huxley's Eyeless In Gaza, Anthony Beavis explains at a party in London in 1926, the correlation between sexuality and civilization. Much food for thought here:

"Civilzation and sexuality...there's a definite correlation. The higher the one, the intenser the other...

"Civilization means food and literature all round. Beefsteaks and fiction magazines for all. First class proteins for the body, fourth class love-stories for the spirit. And this in a safe urban world where there are no risks, no physical fatigues. In a town like this, for example, one can live for years at a time without being made aware that there's such a thing as nature.Everything's man-made and punctual and convenient. But people can have too much of convenience; they want excitement, they want risks and surprises. Where are they going to find them under our dispensation? In money-making, in politics, in occasional war, in sport, and finally in sex. But most people can't be speculators or active politicians, andwar's getting too much of a good thing; and the more elaborate and dangerous sports are only for the rich. So that sex is all that's left. As material civilization rises the intensity and importance of sexuality also rises. Must rise, inevitably."

Friday, 1 January 2010

In the name of vanity

What have we done with ourselves? We have destroyed the very heart of our being, in the pursuit of what noble cause exactly? What in the world could justify such a destruction?

The pursuit of specialist knowledge, the pursuit of personality, so unique on the surface at least, yet hollow as a rotten oak one hundred years old.

It’s ego that destroys anything good and beautiful. It’s ego that perpetuates misery. The unquestioning belief in the uniqueness of the individual, so strong, it’s practically a religion, or at the very least a cult of individuality.

That one is better than others, that one has the potential to be better than others, drives most of us on, into the jaws of vanity. The rest, into the fields of misery, lying fallow until sufficiently recovered, then ploughed through by another heartless machine.

All in the name of self discovery, career development, personal gain, and new experiences. And look how the world has changed, profoundly so, because of it. What a tidal wave of influence!

Happy new year, you bastards