Saturday, November 1, 2014

On the Futility of the Will and Exercise of Restraint




Resignation of life is the proper approach to an understanding of it.  I’ve said this before but it deserves reiteration.  Life is full of momentary pleasures that are uncertain and full of costs and sacrifices to one’s leisure, mental exploration and fundamental freedom.  Epicurus says that only the educated man is truly free, and to the extent that a man is educated intimately in the affairs and daily monotonies of life the more one will retreat from such a world into intellectual abstraction of it.  This is what all artists have done regardless of field and quality.
Life is a long bout that first-and-foremost if one is secure in food and shelter one tries his or her best to get through.  To distract one’s self or entertain one’s self, typically in ways that obliterates the self – as seen in more paltry and pedestrian pleasures.  The pursuit of pleasure is therefore undesirable, for being typically led by base desires it typically ends in either un-satisfaction and frustration or emotional discomfort or success and continuous maintenance of said success long-after the appeal and joys of such often detrimental joys can be had.  Heroin costs the same regardless how much one needs to have the desired effect, and it will only destroy one’s body and mind the more one pursues such line of action – this is a near perfect metaphor for all hedonistic and social pursuits on this Earth.  A waste of time, burdensome and ultimately unbecoming to anyone who wishes to become anything of consequence.
This is seen in the intellectual not valuing one’s family typically and only valuing other social relations to the extent that it could provide some gratification of the Ego – whether it does so or not depending on the success of one’s desires and endeavors.  The philosopher is not truly a part of this world but a silent monitor of it.  Being one of humanities greatest influences, but only decades or centuries after one’s passing.  While one lives, one is obliged to be fundamentally apart.  This “apartness” isn’t always felt, but is one of the most significant and memorable of feelings to anyone who have felt it of consequence.  That is to a degree or duration of time that it is of significance and is an indicator that one truly is unique and has a soul (or self) rather than merely going through a brief stage of being chemically unstable that is seen in adolescents.
Pain is an inevitable consequence of the intellectual yearning to have what he cannot.  The Cynics were some of the most brilliant of all philosophers to say that all (psychological I hope they meant) pain comes from wanting what one shouldn’t have.  A tad simplistic, and leaves many other forms of pain out (many of which likely indeed consequences of yearning for what shouldn’t or cannot have, or from ignorance of the fundamentals of good and ill) but there is a great grain of truth in such a sentiment.  Love touches the soul and creates a yearning for exterior beauty that is for most the greatest temptation and compulsion to interact in an emotionally intimate or meaningful way with the outside world.  The human intellect can only control the human condition to a certain point – something that the Stoics seemed to ignore.  We are largely slaves of our passions, as Schopenhauer and Spinoza acknowledge despite their metaphysical conclusions which I’ll assume the reader knows is absurd and will continue with the subject-matter at-hand.  Once the heart has been touched by beauty and compassion the mind is overwhelmed and surrenders; if not for this and for the baser forms of desire our species would not exist – but this has been covered by Schopenhauer and is self-evident.
What I truly wish to preach tonight is a firmness in resolution of resigning from Schopenhauer’s Will, from that yearning aspect of our humanity which craves what is unbecoming of true seeker of knowledge and wisdom.  For not only is it so that we should not ethically want what will corrupt the intellectual yearning for endeavor and significance, and instead leave one satisfied with the life of passions in the social sense which quickly mellows into a dull tranquil life of meaninglessness, but such is not desirable in the rational sense.  That is, though we clearly desire what we do, to have such a desire, and then clearly to act on said desires is not rational even if one is Intellectually Hedonistic (that is will perform any action or actions that are likely to create the greatest amount of pleasure divorced from notions of nobility and greatness) like Schopenhauer one clearly will prefer the life of the mind which is far-more self-contained, predictable and reliable than this external world full of fools, liars (in word and more-so in deed), un-earnest men and women, scoundrels, and those who are either masters or slaves (but very-often both at-least to some degree) in this world of social-relations, power struggles and those bound by the moment-to-moment whims of the heart with no connection to a mind or soul – and whose heart itself pumps only for the most base of cravings and is more likened then to the stomach and groin.
Some may say I exaggerate, or I’m simply intellectualizing my own dissatisfactions with my own life and my own personal predicaments; I respond that what I speak of has been sub-consciously felt or acknowledged if not consciously stated by all who have escaped for at-least some time or to some degree the drudgery of material slavery that was common in the ancient world and in much of the world today.  All who escape others in-favor of hobbies (another saving grace for mankind) at-least momentarily knows what I speak of.  To be totally independent and alone.  To create on one’s own instead of wasting one’s time stimulating the ego in the social sense either in platonic or romantic relations.  Even the most inane and simplistic of crafts in some ways surpasses endeavors that relays on others, for it both is dependable and depends solely on one’s self for the creative material it and the individual is capable of, while social endeavors often impede the mind and soul through the nature of social restraint that we see particularly in authoritarian relations (e.g. Church, Government, work, parental relations etc) but in any type of relation (particularly in non or anti-intellectual society) in any society save those few rare exceptions where the heart and mind open and one meets a kindred spirit in-which one creates a beautiful and unique moment in time with. 
An Anarchist society (that is to say a free society free from the deteriorating effects of Government, Capitalism, religion and all other power-based relations that destroy the mind and consequentially the self) would be able to increase the amount of earnestness, creativity and man-made and man-sustained (that is it exists within the individual) beauty in the world while decreasing stupidity, insincerity, and fear of the exposure of one’s “true-self” to the degree possible of a free and proper society of rational social management, distribution of resources and rational values, but there will always be some fundamental disconnect between you and I and to the extent I attempt to connect to that which I should  not (this differs by types of individuals but ultimately a continuous and reliable connection is unlikely and harmful to the self though in child-rearing is inevitable) a brief interruption in “I” in the sovereign (or Stoic) and intellectual sense of a self unrestrained by social dictates, desires and implicit compulsions; a self that first-and-foremost wishes to create and become unique (both assisting the other) rather than one that participates and becomes homogenous (once again in dual-support).  Anarchism is the solution to the extent that one is possible, but that does not mean that an “absolute” remedy towards such an existentialist and phenomenogical predicament is possible.  It isn’t.

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