[personal profile] lhexa
A comment else-journal.

A world in which a person can walk on water is an interesting one, but a world in which the symbol of walking on water can have as big an effect on humanity as the actual deed would is an incredible one. This is a world in which it is precisely symbols that have the power of miracles.

Maybe people yearn for a grander world. But maybe what they yearn for is the grandeur of this world, present but occluded. Or, because I really feel like I'm not articulating the thought well: one can feel meant for a better world, and one day discover that this better world is the one you already live in.

Date: 2011-06-14 08:15 pm (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
I think that more than a grander world, I would want a world that is Other in just the right way -- a world that is congruent to me in the sense of my creatures.

True, it would be very nice to have economy go away into that realm of utopia so I could focus on my ideas. But in the choice between this world, exactly alike but with that barrier removed, and a world different enough that it would fit me... well, I would have to think long and hard about it.

Yet there is something to what you say. It may be that present conditions hide the true wealth of the current world (even though those conditions are, in a sense, part of that world). And perhaps, as Tangy mentions, we use fiction to show those fantastic aspects that would otherwise be hidden. But then I would say that the problem resides in that which constrains our perception or limits us so that those aspects seem hidden in the first place.

Date: 2011-06-23 06:24 am (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
The decision whether or not to abandon this world is an important one, even if the decision only takes place in one's fantasies. It is an arrogant person who offers advice on that decision, who claims to know the right choice.

True. It depends on whether the real world fits you. Congruence is a relative thing: a matter of both you and the thing you're interfacing with; and if I were to recommend, or worse, to force everybody else to go to my world instead of the current one, I'd be doing just the same error I see in others and try to distance myself from here (just with the signs flipped, as it were).

Thus, I'm not saying everybody should go to a world that is Not This, or that they should just go there to go to something that is different - but that for me, I can think of such worlds that would fit me much better.

For my part: I'm in love with this world, and find that I am easily provoked by offhand condemnations of it. Even granting the value of some ways of turning away from the world, I think you will find me speaking of such turnings more often in criticism than in praise.

Perhaps it is not so much the world as the people in it. I've experienced politics, I've experienced people who value power above truth, and I've experienced that (possibly particularly Norwegian?) variant of the tall poppy syndrome, Jante. But I don't think that's the whole of it, either; even in things that aren't malicious, others are so very different: interests that are not mine, and dynamics that aren't mine, either.

I suppose what I'm saying is to agree with you in a sense: to turn away just to turn away? One shouldn't do that. But to turn away to seek something that fits better? That's a different matter.

Date: 2011-07-17 03:58 pm (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
One says that the world is cutthroat if humanity is so, or many other things, but humanity is not the world.

True enough, but humanity does have a way of imposing itself on oneself. The only alternative that separates the two completely is to interact with humanity on one's own terms alone, which requires a significant amount of dedication and effort (surviving on your own, and so on).

There is a type of inner transformation which feels like a transformation of the outside world. It is difficult to describe.

I think I can understand, at least if I tug it to extremes. We feel things like purpose and interest in doing things; although these things are not part of the world proper, they seem to be (things are interesting or they aren't, for instance). Changing yourself could make things that you'd otherwise not spend a thought on draw a lot of attention. The world doesn't, properly speaking, "reveal" itself to you, it's rather that you see what you didn't before.

It would of course be best if I could realign myself, or if I could keep those parts of the world that I do like, and bring my focus to those parts while handling the rest, for I can't easily go to that other world. But such realignment shouldn't be so extensive that I no longer recognize myself. Thus, yearning persists: it's part of me, but I can't reach the place it yearns for (except possibly through my imagination).

Date: 2011-07-18 02:27 pm (UTC)
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davv
That's an interesting way to put it! If I had said it, it would have been vanity. :P

I was thinking of the sense of individualist anarchists (and Thoreau, perhaps), and of hermits. I don't think vanity would figure into that :) If anything, excessive belief in one's own abilities would make it harder to be self-sufficient, which I think one would have to be to interact with humanity on one's own terms alone.

What I have to add is that such a transformation, from my experience and those related by others, cannot be designed to produce a specific outcome.

Not of an outer design, no, but it might be possible to focus on those parts of oneself that is conducive to dealing with society. If one has a weak point, one might still be able to train it, as it were. If personality doesn't want to give (or one would have to betray one's sense of self and identity to "align"), though, the next follows...

I think it could just as easily produce less alignment, which seems to manifest as asceticism and a hermetic life. More, I can't say that alignment is consistently worthwhile: there are people who would benefit from less inner alignment: for instance, some who unknowingly sacrifice much in order to adapt to humanity, or who demand that all others do the same.

I wouldn't call that realignment, either. If one forces oneself into humanity despite not feeling it as right, there's a tension. If the realignment was proper and actually worked, there would be no (or little) tension, and so it isn't. I agree about the latter, too: some changes to fit society can come with too high a price.



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