Sunday, March 01, 2009

SISYPHUS SHRUGGED


Life begins as an instinctual pursuit of pleasure and the satisfacion of curiosity. As soon on the heels of birth as civilization can manage, this freeborn adventure must struggle against unpleasant limits on where its pursuits lead it. The limits are justified by being for the child’s own good.

As an infant, “their own good,” means for the convenience of the parent; sleeping all night and tiny, tidy rabbit pellets in the assbag, please.

As a toddler, “their own good,” means safety from the dangers inherent in the artificial prosthetic devices their parents cannot live without; seat belts for trips to the mall.

As a precocious preschooler, “for their own good,” means getting ready to enter the world of the big people; not aping parents’ language and behavior; the initiation of the public persona’s façade replacing self-reliance and self-respect by maintenance of favor and accumulation of rewarded toys.

During public education, “for their own good,” means preparing to succeed in the world of the big people; maintaining favor and buying your own accumulation of toys as status.

At all stages of life the individual is inundated with demands for behavior not only acceptable to but supportive of a civilization that mutates human babies and environments into fitting its myth as deeply as it has yet learned to do. All sense of right and wrong is based on benefit to the system being enforced regardless of the effect on the natural world to which it insanely refuses to adapt, making enemies, criminals and victims of not only its opposers, but of indifferent nonparticipating indigenous people assumed to be within its jurisdiction as well.

It was into such a culture our hero, Steve Adore, was born. As an infant the only comfort through the night was a diaper full of nice warm shit. As a toddler he shot his father with his unattended, loaded pistol. As a preschooler he entertained friends with stand up comedy mocking grownups. In school he was called "Sissy" and "Pussy" because he was interested in neither the debate nor football teams, but rather in collecting various wasp, bee and hornet’s nests that seemed to fit a pattern he'd detected. In college his nickname became "Sissy-Puss" until a mythology major redubbed him Sisyphus, which stuck with him through graduation and five years into a life waged from a cubicle.

At which point, Sisyphus finally caught on. He and everyone he knew labored every day on projects that abetted civilization’s war on nature by either conquering, taming and exploiting it or repairing the faulty armor of culture's myth of human exceptionality by sealing its gaping loopholes by demonizing nature's viciousness, euphemistically referred to as "progress" against the anarchy of entropy. There was no way Sisyphus or any quantity of men would ever be able to roll that boulder far enough up the hill against the gravity of nature’s constant change to establish civilization permanently as master of all it surveyed. So he shrugged.

He walked off the job, into the woods and began eating the weeds and grubs he’d noted all the other earthlings always have. After overcoming withdrawal from TV, air conditioning and automobiles, his diet developed into the healthiest it could ever have been back in the city, his beer gut and manicured nails became things of the past and he settled in for a life of daily ecstasy in the dance of life offered freely by his rediscovered host, his mother, nature. Steve Adore reverted from pointless laborer against his better instincts back to the lover of the symbiosis they led him to share with the other parts of the body Earth is.

5 comments:

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

"I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society." -- Albert Einstein

There are great benefits derived from existing in a society, rather than a state of nature.

Of course, absent a society and its educated forms we would not even be having this conversation. Nor would you be having another conversation, without learning a language first.

Yodood said...

I couldn't agree more with all you said, Mahakal / מהכאל , I am all for a society of kindred spirits small enough for all to know each other personally and large enough to contain the skills to achieve self sufficient symbiosis with nature to exist freely. The primary flaw of western, and most other civilizations is that they are based on human exceptionality, the root cause of Einstein's perception of alienation of man from society.

Mahakal / מהכאל said...

It doesn't work very well to limit society to those you know personally. You need to be able to depend on larger structures, people working in many different ways. Einstein did not favor such a radical downsizing of society, to the contrary he advocated large scale planning for the benefit of the society as opposed to the narrow interests of a small subset who are regarded as "owners."

It is this fiction of ownership, and particularly ownership of natural land and resources uncreated by any human hand, to the deprivation of all other users, which is the root of the alienation you perceive. You cannot lay your head down to rest without the permission of some "land lord" or owner, unless you are fortunate to be in such a class yourself.

Yodood said...

Thank you, Mahakal / מהכאל. Somehow your mentioning the downside to limiting society to those you know personally aspect of the small, tribal, self-sustaining, societies of kindred spirits I've been proposing, sparked an idea of how to express the connection to the larger society you suggest is more important.

I have written often about seeing my consciousness as the gestalt of the individual consciousnesses of my cells rather than the irrational, ego serving myth that I am commanding and getting obedience from parts of my body I have yet to even acknowledge exist, much less understand enough to operate consciously.

It fits in with the idea of, not exactly dissolving nations' top down, concrete rigidness over too many people to expect justice for all, but to effect a sort of emulsion where the essence of national intelligence remains, but now its actions are the result of its tribal societies free to offer what it feels is the best way to live symbiotically. Infrastructure of any large area spanning many tribes could still be handled locally by agreement between all tribes affected. I see this as the outline for developing the most intelligent solution to the disaster of man's irresponsibility for his actions hidden in god-excused mobs and majorities that threaten his existence of life on earth for his insane refusal to adapt to nature.

raki said...

I have used this pic here
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=6662031&l=de3d59145c&id=628222326