Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lord Henry says : "Do Everything"

Philosophy in Literature. That's one of my summer courses. In The Picture of Dorian Gray Lord Henry attempts to convince Dorian of the value of his youth. He explains that Dorian should realize his nature perfectly, put all thoughts to form, express all dreams and so on because when it's over, it's over.

Even now as I'm recalled to battle at Summoner's Rift I wonder about the mess of desires I have and if it's possible to entertain every plan of mine. It seems just as likely that I will sit idly between them all till the day I die. That's a horrible thought. I'm sure Lord Henry had the best intentions, that he believed in man and the self-correction in our species to carry out increasingly greater wills. But it's just as true that a host of our people get lost along the way to that pinnacle . . . I was going to continue on that line but it's too depressing. Rather I'll reconsider the other warning about the poison of desires not attended to, or temptations not yielded to. That the mine festers with the things we deny ourselves and we are left aggrandizing them in their darkest forms because of it. It's as if a secondary life is lived in the potential, in the subconscious and this greatly affects our behavior since the mind is interpreting information from everywhere at once. So what happens when duty and desire come into conflict? Ideally you kill 2 birds with one stone but if its the choice between the varying forms of indulgence - what Lord Henry never distinguishes from self-development but rather seems wrapped up in it - the obvious danger is the idea that all people will fall to base rather than evolved forms of inclination. At least that's my reading of it. So does that mean I've somehow come to accept the weakness over the strength of man as a truth? Am I one of these fatalists that believe man's nature is something to be located, battled and defeated?

For all the stories scattered in my head and in my library of worn notebooks that were never worked out, revised and displayed, for all the insights into organization and initiative for businesses I've been apart of but never were expressed, for all the good people have seen in me but the little I've actually applied for the revolution it might inspire, yeah my experiences have reinforced the idea that self-control is important. Maybe that's the point of accepting all aspects of the leaning motive. Maybe following natural inclination creates the experiences needed to learn lessons you wouldn't have accepted anywhere else. But at what price? Time? Decades? And then with the random finality of tomorrow looming over us all I find it jarring how easy it is to be petty. Humans do not own as a race the complete perspective of life and effort as values in themselves. These things are only useful to a cause for acquisition of some thing or another. I probably wouldn't be so stressed out about investment in my own creativity if it didn't represent such a huge course change in my existence. I've built up this drama around it that is more overwhelming than the joy of it. So now I truly wonder about the impartiality or non-existence sought after in the meditation practiced in various belief systems. Perhaps it is easier to accomplish things when they no longer serve the ego or the individual nature and it's base purposes. But how can anything truly be blessed by the highest energy of a human being if he is not partial to it, not passionate at all? What can we or should we sacrifice for the power needed to do what we truly want or intend to do?

Proven capability is a big deal to me. Beyond writing or making films I'd like to have a family one day. But I don't see the point in fathering a child I can't provide accurate guidance to. I know the future is always in question but still experience counts for a lot if it's positive; an affirmation of practice toward a universally desirable outcome. But it almost means like I have to force certain things and then nothing comes naturally and I've probably made it a crime for myself to demand moderation to the point where moderation itself is this ghastly grail of self-remonstrance: WRITE FOREVER TILL YOU DIE! DO NOT SLEEP! NOT LOVE ANYTHING ELSE! CREATE! IT IS YOUR SOUL PURPOSE! YOUR DUTY TO THE UNIVERSE! NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! IT IS THE KEY TO ITSELF AND A VALIDATION OF YOUR EXISTANCE!

Yikes. On some level I believe these things too but going with this adds an awful lot of fright to putting the video games away. It's like I'm going up on the cross. I've dug a nasty pit for myself that turned writing and the investment of this very personal time into something nasty. But I'm starting to imagine a way for it not to be. If this experience justifies the causality that comes as a result of yielding to impulses then perhaps Lord Henry was right. That makes me wonder though, especially since its such a huge topic in class right now, what freedom really is. It seems like the only thing we are free to do is trust ourselves. The rest is a roller coaster ride.

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