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Thread: Face it!

  1. #1
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    Face it!

    We have good news
    And bad news

    First the bad news

    There's only one place:
    Here!
    There's only one time:
    Now!
    Here, Now, Forever...

    Face it! Existence is your problem and you're not doing very well with it. That's true for every more or less misbegotten one of us. When the veils fall away, all that we see is the horror, treachery, villainy, avarice, vanity and the pretended impunity of humanity. There, captive and crying in the midst of this infamy, is the beauty of being, and Fury rage rises within us as we view mankind's cruelty and brutality and scornful evil.
    Witness this world and what we have done to it. Witness our wars, our genocidal orgies of mutual destruction, our myriad tyrants murdering and oppressing us here, there and everywhere. Witness our "progress" that has devastated this planet even more than our killing sprees. Look at our new religion, unbridled hedonism in our drugs, movies, televisions and digital devices, so often expressing violence and treachery as our normal nature, our mammoth sports spectacles and the orgies of destruction at victory or defeat, our TV preachers in their mansions, our grotesque expressions of "conspicuous consumption," our throw-away relationships, our incredible greed, our crime organized as big business, our corruption as those of us who climb to the top so often betray the rest of us with their palaces and secret police, our temples to Mammon in the financial markets where those with money send it wherever they can find a quick profit while contributing absolutely nothing, our unbelievable Sodoms and Gomorrahs devoted purely and simply to gambling and various forms of prostitution. Witness our repudiation of morals and traditional values as we abandon, as we betray our responsibilities, as we "turn away" from God, Nature, community, family and even our own souls in frantically seeking escape from ourselves, escape from the horror of being what we so indisputably are as we ever more openly express a philosophy of "I'm the best; fuck the rest" in our everyday lives.

    Younger gods, you have cast down the Mind of the Past
    and taken the law from our hands!
    And we -- defiled, forlorn, amok --
    On this land do we release the venom of our heart,
    Venom arising out of our pain,
    Tears of rage that the land cannot bear
    Bring blight that destroys leaves, destroys children --
    A just return -- spreading wildfire o'er the earth,
    Casting plague on the land to ruin mortals.
    Our agony roars out.
    What would you have us do?
    The people mock us.
    Our suffering beggars description.
    Oh how cruel the wrongs visited on the daughters of Night,
    As we decry our rape!

    We have less and less respect for our own feelings, preferring the more convenient ones we can find here and there in our hedonistic mechanisms as we scurry to escape from reality and any sense of responsibility for being what we are. Know it for what it is: the sad fact of human existence.
    Now you know, now you know, that's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance, to go up and down trampling of the feelings of those, of those about you, to be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion or another, to spend and waste time as if you had a million years. Now you know. That's the happy existence you wanted to go back to: ignorance and blindness.

    Awake!
    Wake her up, as I wake you.
    Still asleep? Get up, shake off sleep.
    Let us see if any part of this beginning
    Is in vain.


    Now the good news

    There's only one place:
    Here!
    There's only one time:
    Now!
    Here, Now, Forever...

    Watch for me
    I have a long trip ahead
    Through the gate to the fabled land beyond
    Where green turns to gold
    In the eternal twilight that sways tomorrow's sun;
    Give me your hand
    And leave behind
    Let us track together
    The singing sands of time.
    Through the gate of the instant
    Through now
    Into ever with you I'll wander;
    The world cannot touch us
    For they are still
    While our love gives ever
    In an instant
    That flees too quickly
    To be lost in their dream
    Come then,
    Forget them,
    Let them pass,
    We'll go on beyond them,
    Coming last.

    In fact, existence is our problem too and we have a surprise for you: what needed to be done has been done and this will be the last plague of humans; the baleful cabal of infamy that is so much of mankind is now disbanded forever. Isn't that good news? Well, all right, you have a right to a measure of skepticism but we insist it to be good news. We’ll see…
    Last edited by Juniper; 17 Jul 2021 at 19:23. Reason: Edited per OP request

  2. #2
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    Well, that's bad.

    Will there be a second column listing the good?
    Every moment of a life is a horrible tragedy, a slapstick comedy, dark nihilism, golden illumination, or nothing at all; depending on how we write the story we tell ourselves.

  3. #3
    Kick Ass Little Crow Corvus's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    I think you should take a minute and chill.

    To elaborate further, this is the same line of reasoning I had at age 15ish, which many members here can confirm as I've been here for like a decade and was super into "telling the truth" about the pointlessness and pain of life. This kind of nihilism is unsustainable, not to mention extremely theatrical. It's all very "boo-hoo witness and tremble before the Bad Thing we have wrought" which is ridiculous. It is simply factually inaccurate to act as though the world is getting worse in terms of human suffering, empathy, and social interconnectivity.

    I sense a kind of forlorn nostalgia here for a bygone past that, probably, never actually existed. The climate crisis is a legitimate concern, but let's also awknowledge how responsible a handful of people and conglomerates are in comparison to the vast vast majority of humanity. Despite this there have been great strides in government support for sustainability. This is surely a dire concern, but it is the height of privilege, and cowardice, to see an ongoing broken thing and decide to quit rather than attempt to fix it.

    One argument which has been made is developing countries contribute disproportionately toward climate change and environmental degradation. This is a complicated premise, and the truth hinges on how developed one considers China, but is essentially swinging low since developed countries, with their resources have a responsibility to be more responsible. Developing countries of the "global south" argue that they are trying to utilize the easiest path to wealth which modern western countries would be hypocrites to deny them. The point here being that modernization demonstrably improves quality of life for the average person, indirectly through improvements to economics, infrastructure, and society, as well as directly through greater and more diverse food availability, medical assistance, and general safety.

    Quality of life overall has improved dramatically compared to the historic human. People are more literate, relatively more free, relatively more educated, and live longer, healthier, relatively more happy lives in a world where extreme poverty is relatively lower, and these things are all still improving. We live in a world which is amazingly relatively more peaceful than the vast majority of human existence. I've elaborated at length here and here about how overpopulation is not really a strong concern based on available demographic data.

    Have you considered taking to some young people, or activism, or joining a community garden even? Almost everyone I know is extremely concerned about the climate crisis and many of them are making every effort in their lives to improve the world. A friend stopped by yesterday with a big box of fresh vegetables from a community gardening initiative we bought into; the three of us pay $10 and get a few pounds of vegetables and the organization donates vegetables to families in need.

    I feel this misanthropic nihilism is a generational thing. It's something my dad, born in the 1960s, made into his entire personality and it's something I've observed in many older unhappy working class people. Make no mistake, young people are nihilistic too, but often significantly more optimistic about it. We are keenly aware of the enormous challenges which face the modern world and the future of humanity, that is our future. We endeavor to do something about it and even if we fail we will have tried, and in trying we will have stood together in love and strength and told an insurmountable force that we will not back down.

    I'm not sure where you get this idea that everyone is mindlessly staring into screens and becoming horrid asocial gremlins. We communicate now more than ever and talking in person somewhat less doesn't invalidate that. I tried to find a source for this, but it's a pain because phones and internet have been such a hot button for decades and google doesn't know what I'm looking for. For comparison though, I talk to maybe... a dozen people or so per day online or through text? My roommate's dad plays bridge online with friends every Tuesday, I have three seperate scheduled days I "hang out" online with friends playing games, watching movies, or just talking. The internet and phone communication is not breaking us apart, but provides a powerful tool for brining us together.

    This glorification of the past has put on blinders. Did you think people talked more in the past? That we just were more friendly? With the far more blatant racism, homophobia, and general bigotry that this would encourage us to just read out and get all touchy feely? If people want to ignore others they've always had the choice, for example there's many photos of old timey people on transit or restaurants where every single person has their head buried in the same newsprint. Compare now where I have literally more information at my fingertips than the entirety of Alexandria and I have literally billions of potential new friends I don't even need to be on the same continent with.

    I'm going to end off by clarifying traditional values can bugger off. I'm a queer person and a witch. I have a number of privileges I will readily awknowledge as a white American mostly male- presenting person, but traditional values have done little except hurt me and my communities. I dislike these made up rules that appeal to our division (only associate with the right kind of people, ethnic quarters, class stratification), which deny our humanity (Jews will not replace us, slave laws, islamophobia, asian hate, Irish need not apply), and contribute to generational, institutional structures that prevent social improvement.

    I'll also fully admit to hedonism, I don't consider enjoying things to be a moral failing. I think of very few things to be a moral failing actually. I firmly believe people can enjoy the products of modern life with the cognizance that they must also be vigilant and aware of it's impact. If you want to rant about conspicuous consumption, direct it toward something useful and realize it's hardly a product of modern civilization. There are legitimate issues which arise from modern life, but for the most part they're issues we've always had that are stretched in new ways.

    The world is not a bad place. It doesn't need to be, it *shouldn't* be, and it won't be. Even if the collective humanity burns down the world there will still be kind hearted people huddled in the ashes willing to extend a hand. If humans are to go extinct, we'll go out as we came in, gathered around one another in the night, laughing, crying, sharing what we have. The world will go on.

    Human existence is not the problem. We are a product of the divine earth as much as any other creature. Our possession of reason means we have a greater responsibility, which I agree that we as a collective are failing. We are a species in our infancy and a child who breaks something isn't thrown from a cliff, they're reprimanded and told to do better. Ive almost certainly missed some point, but I'm tired of typing. If the world is so awful, then do something about it.
    “They moaned and squealed, and pressed their snouts to the earth. We are sorry, we are sorry.
    Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”
    -Madeline Miller, Circe

  4. #4
    Silver Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    I think you should take a minute and chill.

    To elaborate further, this is the same line of reasoning I had at age 15ish, which many members here can confirm as I've been here for like a decade and was super into "telling the truth" about the pointlessness and pain of life. This kind of nihilism is unsustainable, not to mention extremely theatrical. It's all very "boo-hoo witness and tremble before the Bad Thing we have wrought" which is ridiculous. It is simply factually inaccurate to act as though the world is getting worse in terms of human suffering, empathy, and social interconnectivity.

    I sense a kind of forlorn nostalgia here for a bygone past that, probably, never actually existed. The climate crisis is a legitimate concern, but let's also awknowledge how responsible a handful of people and conglomerates are in comparison to the vast vast majority of humanity. Despite this there have been great strides in government support for sustainability. This is surely a dire concern, but it is the height of privilege, and cowardice, to see an ongoing broken thing and decide to quit rather than attempt to fix it.

    One argument which has been made is developing countries contribute disproportionately toward climate change and environmental degradation. This is a complicated premise, and the truth hinges on how developed one considers China, but is essentially swinging low since developed countries, with their resources have a responsibility to be more responsible. Developing countries of the "global south" argue that they are trying to utilize the easiest path to wealth which modern western countries would be hypocrites to deny them. The point here being that modernization demonstrably improves quality of life for the average person, indirectly through improvements to economics, infrastructure, and society, as well as directly through greater and more diverse food availability, medical assistance, and general safety.

    Quality of life overall has improved dramatically compared to the historic human. People are more literate, relatively more free, relatively more educated, and live longer, healthier, relatively more happy lives in a world where extreme poverty is relatively lower, and these things are all still improving. We live in a world which is amazingly relatively more peaceful than the vast majority of human existence. I've elaborated at length here and here about how overpopulation is not really a strong concern based on available demographic data.

    Have you considered taking to some young people, or activism, or joining a community garden even? Almost everyone I know is extremely concerned about the climate crisis and many of them are making every effort in their lives to improve the world. A friend stopped by yesterday with a big box of fresh vegetables from a community gardening initiative we bought into; the three of us pay $10 and get a few pounds of vegetables and the organization donates vegetables to families in need.

    I feel this misanthropic nihilism is a generational thing. It's something my dad, born in the 1960s, made into his entire personality and it's something I've observed in many older unhappy working class people. Make no mistake, young people are nihilistic too, but often significantly more optimistic about it. We are keenly aware of the enormous challenges which face the modern world and the future of humanity, that is our future. We endeavor to do something about it and even if we fail we will have tried, and in trying we will have stood together in love and strength and told an insurmountable force that we will not back down.

    I'm not sure where you get this idea that everyone is mindlessly staring into screens and becoming horrid asocial gremlins. We communicate now more than ever and talking in person somewhat less doesn't invalidate that. I tried to find a source for this, but it's a pain because phones and internet have been such a hot button for decades and google doesn't know what I'm looking for. For comparison though, I talk to maybe... a dozen people or so per day online or through text? My roommate's dad plays bridge online with friends every Tuesday, I have three seperate scheduled days I "hang out" online with friends playing games, watching movies, or just talking. The internet and phone communication is not breaking us apart, but provides a powerful tool for brining us together.

    This glorification of the past has put on blinders. Did you think people talked more in the past? That we just were more friendly? With the far more blatant racism, homophobia, and general bigotry that this would encourage us to just read out and get all touchy feely? If people want to ignore others they've always had the choice, for example there's many photos of old timey people on transit or restaurants where every single person has their head buried in the same newsprint. Compare now where I have literally more information at my fingertips than the entirety of Alexandria and I have literally billions of potential new friends I don't even need to be on the same continent with.

    I'm going to end off by clarifying traditional values can bugger off. I'm a queer person and a witch. I have a number of privileges I will readily awknowledge as a white American mostly male- presenting person, but traditional values have done little except hurt me and my communities. I dislike these made up rules that appeal to our division (only associate with the right kind of people, ethnic quarters, class stratification), which deny our humanity (Jews will not replace us, slave laws, islamophobia, asian hate, Irish need not apply), and contribute to generational, institutional structures that prevent social improvement.

    I'll also fully admit to hedonism, I don't consider enjoying things to be a moral failing. I think of very few things to be a moral failing actually. I firmly believe people can enjoy the products of modern life with the cognizance that they must also be vigilant and aware of it's impact. If you want to rant about conspicuous consumption, direct it toward something useful and realize it's hardly a product of modern civilization. There are legitimate issues which arise from modern life, but for the most part they're issues we've always had that are stretched in new ways.

    The world is not a bad place. It doesn't need to be, it *shouldn't* be, and it won't be. Even if the collective humanity burns down the world there will still be kind hearted people huddled in the ashes willing to extend a hand. If humans are to go extinct, we'll go out as we came in, gathered around one another in the night, laughing, crying, sharing what we have. The world will go on.

    Human existence is not the problem. We are a product of the divine earth as much as any other creature. Our possession of reason means we have a greater responsibility, which I agree that we as a collective are failing. We are a species in our infancy and a child who breaks something isn't thrown from a cliff, they're reprimanded and told to do better. Ive almost certainly missed some point, but I'm tired of typing. If the world is so awful, then do something about it.
    I agree and yes the world is full of knuckleheads out there but society isn't all that bad.

  5. #5
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    Re: Face it!

    Basically, too little, too late, for all of it.
    As for your somewhat surprising defense of hedonism, pleasure itself is not a problem but seeking it constantly is. We fear it can result in not paying attention to your own experience and treating your problems in a slapdash fashion, in that you are not facing them and feeling them accurately but rather tend to be absorbed in some distraction or other blinding you to them. Hedonism engenders obliviousness and this is the hallmark of the postmodern world.

  6. #6
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    All these variables being treated as constants and shaded scales treated as black & white leading to an inevitable crash bother me. Feels like a high pressure sales man is about to screw me over.

    Hedonism is a variable (how much is too much?)
    Seeking pleasure constantly is a variable (constantly? Like, all the time? If life does not give pleasure, why live? How much is too much?)
    Not paying attention is a variable (the human brain can not be in a constant state of high alert. Aren't enough Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in the universe to make that tolerable. How little attention is too little attention?)
    Slapdash is a variable (can I eat a slapdash breakfast before going out to save the world, or do I have to pay complete attention all the time?)
    Not facing problems is b&w (not all problems have solutions. Sometimes the best solution is to not face them by turning away)
    Absorbed in some distraction is a variable (I suggest that sometimes the best thing to do is distract oneself. How much distraction is too much?)
    Blinding is b&w (there is only see, or not see. I would suggest that humans are constantly learning HOW to see, but generally see only dimly)
    Hedonism engenders obliviousness (sp) is b&w (in the Buddha story, The Buddha tried hedonism and found that it did not cure suffering. In this case, hedonism was one of the factors that engendered understanding. Surely it can engender other forms of understanding as well?)
    Hallmark of the postmodern world is b&w (I can list over a hundred "hallmarks of the postmodern world." You are telling me that there is one specific hallmark that rules all other hallmarks [and in the darkness binds them]?)
    Every moment of a life is a horrible tragedy, a slapstick comedy, dark nihilism, golden illumination, or nothing at all; depending on how we write the story we tell ourselves.

  7. #7
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    Hallmark of the postmodern world is b&w (I can list over a hundred "hallmarks of the postmodern world." You are telling me that there is one specific hallmark that rules all other hallmarks [and in the darkness binds them]?)
    Of course there is. Pizza production is finally sufficient to make humanity worth the aggravation.

    The other hallmarks are largely irrelevant by comparison.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  8. #8
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    I like pizza.

    Not with pineapple, though. Hawaiian pizza is the hallmark of humanity's failure.
    Every moment of a life is a horrible tragedy, a slapstick comedy, dark nihilism, golden illumination, or nothing at all; depending on how we write the story we tell ourselves.

  9. #9
    Kick Ass Little Crow Corvus's Avatar
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    Re: Face it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elok View Post
    Basically, too little, too late, for all of it.
    As for your somewhat surprising defense of hedonism, pleasure itself is not a problem but seeking it constantly is. We fear it can result in not paying attention to your own experience and treating your problems in a slapdash fashion, in that you are not facing them and feeling them accurately but rather tend to be absorbed in some distraction or other blinding you to them. Hedonism engenders obliviousness and this is the hallmark of the postmodern world.
    Yeah, I disagree fundamentally. Existence is neither inherently good nor bad. Your experiences are not universal. Maybe talk to a therapist?
    “They moaned and squealed, and pressed their snouts to the earth. We are sorry, we are sorry.
    Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”
    -Madeline Miller, Circe

  10. #10
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    Re: Face it!

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things
    Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
    Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
    Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
    These are a few of my favorite things
    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
    Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
    Silver white winters that melt into springs
    These are a few of my favorite things
    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I'm feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don't feel so bad

    There now, is that better?

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