Friday, 6 July 2012

The Natural Joy of Being


Sometimes when I reflect on the main difference between me and the majority I conclude that the nub of the issue is how at home in life most people appear to be. It seems that no matter what happens, no matter what vicissitudes must be endured, no matter how many disasters are threatened and befall, most humans take a natural pleasure in the mere state of being itself. Regardless of everything, most are glad to be alive; being is identified with goodness and death is most definitely not a consummation devoutly to be wished. (Not that I’ve ever particularly desired death, just a different form of being.) Perhaps a neologism is required: Ontophilia, a love of being. (Just googled this and discovered that the word has already been coined. Darn). 

Although I do appreciate the good things of life (sunshine, friendship, music and so on), and I’ve tried to train myself to be grateful for them rather than succumb to absolute despair, I am sad to report that the sheer natural joy in being that the majority possess, which enables them to frolic in the fields of life no matter how many wolves are lurking, does not appear to be a strong feature of my constitution. I’m too sceptical, too suspicious, too conscious of the misery and suffering of the world (I mean in an abstract sense; I’m no saint), and well aware that disaster can strike at any moment.  So I am sad to report that I am no ontophiliac; my loss, no doubt.

38 comments:

  1. Existence is the one thing that can't be desired until you've already got it. :)

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    1. Hey, we are seeing writers rise here: good sentence, Todd!

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    2. Todd, one of the greatest lines I've ever seen in the blogosphere (or anywhere else for the matter). Kudos!

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  2. I think the fear of death has a large influence on most people, even if they don't particularly enjoy life. The drive to survive is very strong, even though in reality it is sometimes completely irrational.

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    1. Suicide expert Thomas Joiner of Florida St. Univ. definitely says the survival instinct is very very strong. Even if we don't like life, that instinct is strong enough to prevent a lot of people from going that extra step.

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    2. There´s no need to become an expert to realize that, really.

      We (ALL) do not suicide because our instincts don´t let us, regardless of the many excuses people give to this.

      Cheers

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    3. I can't find your full email on your blog, Shadow. It looks like it was cut off. Mind sharing?

      On a related note to my request for Raf's email ;) ...

      To whom it may concern,
      Sometimes I don't want to comment or respond to everything because I start to feel like I'm spreading thin and watering down my responses. Or I'm worn out. But, I want all of you antinatal bloggers out there to know that I read your posts and truly value your desire to make your voices heard. It may be hard to believe this, but I think the fact that there are few or no responses to certain antinatal blogs out there has little or nothing to do with the content or how some of us might personally feel about the writers themselves (how many of us have personally met?). I think it's related to the natural tendency some of us have, to settle into a comfortable little corner where we feel safe. The views are familiar and great things are not expected. That's why I don't have my own blog. Too much work and I'm too lazy :P But think about for a moment, there are actually antinatal blogs out there that aren't yet inundated with regulars. It seems more blogs are popping up each day. That means the message is spreading and more people are actually thinking about the ethical ramifications of procreation. I, for one, think that's a good thing! I will TRY to make myself more seen out there, but again... I am so damn lazy and there is lots required of me outside of the world wide web. My apologies to anyone who might mistakenly think I'm playing favorites.

      Karl,

      I gotta say that I know where you're coming from. I don't necessarily want to cease to exist altogether either. Heck, it seems I have no choice in the matter. I don't even know what's real anymore. Am I a spirit in bondage? Am I a soul locked inside of a corpse, or am I 100% corpse and everything that is "me" dissolves when this body dies? All I can clearly impart to anyone is that I hate this place and it's restricting, cannibalistic nature. Nature is red in fang and claw. Parasites. Decay. Predation. Indentured servitude. No Omnipresent "Sky Daddy" (term thanks to the insensitive athiests out there) exists that I can see. This stuff doesn't work for me. I feel alone and hopeless too. I wish my God was real... but I've never felt It's comfort in this living hell. The arrogance of most individuals frustrates me to no end. *sigh*

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    4. Ditto to what Garrett said. Just want to add that I feel some posts do stand on their own and would not need me flapping my gums saying something inane. Only when something could be added does my "mouth" open.

      Let it be known that the Watchers are still in the Darkness.

      On slightly unrelated news, Shadow's current picture looks straight out of Lovecraft.

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    5. Garrett, I feel your pain, man. It's a tormenting existence. On the one hand, you can have experiences of genuine human kindness and selflessness, enjoy art and music, occassionally be awed by natural beauty and so on and yet fundamentally one is tortured by life, by the greed, shallowness and callousness of humanity, the shitty and joyless social strucures we've erected to imprision ourselves and, of course, the aching void within. One hopes for....who knows what?

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    6. Shadow, I too can't find your email address, an would like to write to you. I know I'm just an "Anonymous", but actually a regular reader and commenter.

      Karl, I wish I could whole heartedly wish death. Or life. Whatever, just to know it for sure one way or another, as being "hung" like this forever confused no knowing what to do, I feel is more painful that either of the choices if they were taken with determination.

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    7. Can only offer my wholehearted agreement, anonymous. It's the 'in-between' position that a killer. Torn and rent by conflicting emotions. Just awful. That's why Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' will always be an emblematic play for me, the waiting, the futile hoping, the anger, the dismay, the irresolution.....

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    8. Garret:

      Thanks for your support. I know you found the e-mail by now, so.

      As for your comment - awesome. Really, this post here should be framed because of the sheer amount of a grade comments. Yours were perfect. I too, don´t even know what´s real sometimes. All I know is that this world sucks. The rest is debatable.

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    9. Artas,

      "Let it be known that the Watchers are still in the Darkness."

      No more comments!

      And yeah to H.P style on the pic. Since you recognized it, that means it´s close to what I intended it to be.

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    10. Anon,

      Not to worry, I fixed the e-mail, it´s in my profile. And you are an anonymous, but not just an anonymous. Every Anon has a history, a path. Feel free to write to me, as I cherish the friendship that arises from the proximity of A.N´s thoughts.

      Cheers

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  3. Interesting observation! I sometimes ask people what they are living for and often the answer is some kind of nonsense - e.g. children, relatives etc ... Only once the answer that it felt good to be living was given. It is entirely possible that many individuals enjoy the state of being in a way that is similar to high of a drug addict. What amazes me is that otherwise intellectually capable individuals are unable to think through the question of existence, honestly assess whether life is worth living and decide whether procreation is justified. I am personally acquainted with some individuals who genuinely agreed with AN and still proceeded with procreation. It is not that they changed their position, but found some 'exception' that applies to their 'unique' situation. What I find the most outrageous is that someone who would not normally be allowed to drink, smoke or be elected to public office because of their age is freely allowed to decide whether to procreate or not.

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    1. "What I find the most outrageous is that someone who would not normally be allowed to drink, smoke or be elected to public office because of their age is freely allowed to decide whether to procreate or not."

      Oh boy... how I wish there was a test in virtue to one to have a kid...

      But humanity would try to corrupt it, as it did with anything else...

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    2. Shadow,
      I do not think that formal regulations can result in any constructive tests. I was thinking more about social pressure or more precisely lack of it. Never ever disapproval is expressed.

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    3. Yeah, I know... I was just... expanding on the argument..

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    4. As a friend of mine once said, 'There isn't a human being on the planet who doesn't have a natural gift for self-justification'.

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    1. This was me in another account!
      A+ piece man!

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  5. I'm not so sure "joy" best describes the lust for life. And what is joy, anyway?

    Ordinary people are in denial about many things, they're foggy minded, their thinking is largely not rational or logical.

    Most people will always have dreams and hopes (glamours), regardless of the severity of the hardships there are in their existances. Glamours are all those dearly held mental images of romance or a cute little family or a cosy little home, status and power, the vain fame of the world... and even a tragical personal story is glamorized. It's simply a sign of a consciousness that hasn't reach maturity, nothing more. People are in love with their glamours, and their glamours is what gives them the lust for life.

    I've been there done that for many years, and was intensely miserable in the process (glamours are generally hard to make come true, and even when they seem to do, one starts noticing the imperfections of reality compared to the dearly held fantasy or else problems and hardships crop up and spoil it or if not that then one eventually gets bored and moves on to another glamour).

    Away with all that frenzy of stimulation of the worldly ways! I would say that what matters most for me on a personal level now, is peace of mind. I no longer have that "joy" and thrill of living, because I no longer find it of value anymore. There's never a shortage of things wanting a share of your attention span, but I see it as just noise now and choose to tune it out, that excess simulation and interaction with other individuals and the world.

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    1. Strong post. 'Ordinary people are in denial about many things, they're foggy minded, their thinking is largely not rational or logical'. This is what I find very interesting. In my view, people are very rational, logical and smart, excerpt when it comes to getting outside of their glamor space. For example, a woman may be very smart and extremely creative to marry a rich man, divorce him and get a huge divorce settlement and at the same time fail to recognize futility of procreation.

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    2. A "motherf*******" example! =)

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    3. Wise words, Anonymous 1. People can be clever when acting in their 'self-interest' (a phrase I've always hated); but when asked to justify their self-interest, ambitions, desires etc they flounder.

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    4. Away with all that frenzy of stimulation of the worldly ways! I would say that what matters most for me on a personal level now, is peace of mind. I no longer have that "joy" and thrill of living, because I no longer find it of value anymore. There's never a shortage of things wanting a share of your attention span, but I see it as just noise now and choose to tune it out, that excess simulation and interaction with other individuals and the world.

      This is precisely what keeps people not only distracted, but also inhibited from truly thinking independently. They are so hooked on feel-good emotionalisms or the prospect thereof that they live for that. Those who left behind excitement-seeking and such can tell you that you think much more clearly than before -- that includes me.

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  6. The Natural Joy of Being...seems like a title to mock the tritest of those "motivational" books written by millionaire Christians... Perhaps "The Unbearable Filth of the Soul" would be more like it.

    Also, I've been doing a bit of reading on CERN and the confirmation of evidence for what appears to be the Higgs Boson. It's funny how it is always referred to as the "God Particle." It should be called the Devil Particle (Nethescurial Particle?). This creation is flawed and any thing that enables its continuation should be labelled as malignant. Especially something so basic as the Devil Particle.

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    1. Artashata,
      'God particle' is a term that the media came up with, otherwise how would you explain to the public what billions of euros were spent for. In a big picture this discovery is meanigless for the same reason that life is. Within a game called science this is an interesting milestone. Higgs is absolutely harmless compared to individuals who 'know what they are doing'

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    2. Concerning the Higgs Boson particle, I thing this quote from Steven Weinberg, an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics, says it all: 'The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless.'

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    3. I agree with Artas, we could name it Nethescurial particle, and would made a lot of sense. I will, matter of fact, try to draw a "nethescurial". Must be interesting.

      For all those that don´t know yet, you can look up in the web, and maybe find it uploaded somewhere.

      And yeah, the more is comprehensible, the more is pointless (and malignantly useless, to use another of Ligotti´s sentences).

      Cheers!

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    4. Anyone getting too excited about the discovery of the Higgs-Boson is merely demonstrating total philosophical shallowness and idiocy.

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    5. Pointless.

      Speaking of which - as a few of you may remember, I actually calculated how much time it would take for the Stelliferous (star-forming) Era to seem like a lighting flash compared to one year. The bottom line is that in the great expanse of time, even the current, immensely long star-existing era will seem like a lightning flash on long enough scales.

      Stelleferous Era est'd duration is 100 trillion years (10^14). Assuming a lightning flash is 50 milliseconds and 31,558,149 seconds in a year, then that is about 630 billion lightning flashes per year. Multiply (6.3 x 10^8) by (10^14) produces 6.3 x 10^22 years. That is the amount of time to the stellar era what a year is to a lightning flash.

      Think about that one - intense sensation to the senses for a tiny while, then gone forever.

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  7. Higgs is an atheist, who hates the term God particle. In a few years or less, scientists will probably posit a new "ultimate particle". Our basic protons, neutrons, and electrons are Nethescurial enough!

    On a side note, I so wish Tom Ligotti had a blog. I'd pay to sign up.

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    1. He does post very, very occassionally as 'Yellow Jester' on Thomas Ligotti Online. He's been very quiet on all fronts lately, though. I suspect he's said everything he feels the need to say and has now assumed an attitude of dignified silence.

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  8. > Not that I’ve ever particularly desired death, just a different form of being

    Are you a transhumanist then? Personally, what I find off-putting (beside the suffering and meaninglessness of existence) is school and work (not that I work -- civil disobedience and all that) -- I never went to uni as I lack the necessary qualifications (dropped out), so no idea if that would have been a better experience.

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    1. No, not a transhumanist, although I recognise a certain nobility in their aims I lack any faith in humanity (or transhumanity, for that matter).

      Yeah, work sucks. As for university, best years of my life, no doubt about it. I'd recommend it to anyone. Go there and stay there; it's the best bet.

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