Saturday, June 21, 2008

For Fortunes sake.

The greatest failure of humanity is our unnerving arrogance in the presence of existence. Hubris as our ancient Greek ancestors called it. Is it that spark of confidence that strikes off a lucky break then grows and multiplies as we mount yet another successful enterprise upon yet another? The loftier one ascends into this egocentric addiction the more intense and solid seems the emotion. Icarus being the patron of blind ambition. The obvious and more clear example is that of a gambler. Unlike most peoples heart felt desire to win the lottery and be set free from a life of toil. The gambler thinks he/she is looking for that one big break, but is actually addicted to pleasure of winning. But it ends up being the emotional high which is coveted not the actual end that he/she is after. Ups are only good when they arise out of lows and lows are a necessary agent of evil to get oneself back up. Gambling is an exaggerated example of the emotional pattern of every humans day to day life. You stub your toe, you find ten bucks, you miss your bus, you run perfectly on time. The Romans gave this power to a goddess her name was Fortuna. Since life runs on relatively uncontrollable terms, we attribute positive and negative values to these experiences. Which only makes sense to us since the events cause both these reactions in us. Pain and suffering are bad; joy, happiness (painless experiences) are good. This is of course elementary. Yet why do we see certain things as good and others as bad? It would seem that other than physical pain, we are taught as children what is considered proper and what is wrong. Anthropology has shown us that these conceptions often differ from one culture to another. Which is of no surprise since cultures evolve from many different roots and are nurtured by a variety of influences. If this is so, then why are we so obsessed with universal ideals and morals (or more appropriately put"as being right")? If we all evolved separately in small tribal units, with differing languages and customs, how have we come to this point of assumed norms of behavior and custom? Well the answer is easy and painful, we are insecure with our place in the Universe thus desire to assimilate everything or destroy it. Making everything like us or extermination. We of course have some semblance of understanding ourselves and if everybody was like us we'd have no misunderstanding or confusion. Fear has driven humanity to all ends of the earth not wind, not oil. Since the beginning of recorded time we have killed and stolen from those who are different from us. The ten commandments were not proposed to ancient Hebrews as a Universal law but rather a tribal law. Meant to be practiced among themselves. When they entered the promised land they did not find that "Thou shalt not kill" applied to those who were already living there. Until the establishment of city states and then empires, universality was none existent. Your family was your tribe and your tribe was all you had to survive with. The ancient act of "prima nocturne", the practise of giving the first night of coitus with the bride to the Lord of the land (which was legalized rape) thus interbreeding with conquered people and never letting them forget that they were not free. This is but one example, the most popular have always been genocide or selling the conquered into slavery. Of course the conquerors must always have good Fortuna at their sides or they'd be the losers. Since the beginning of time we have either destroyed or been destroyed by other tribes (groups). It is the evolution of how one cultural pattern sucks up others and forces them to be like themselves. "Vae Victus" which means "Woe to the Vanquished", is a Roman saying and we as most of the world have copied their example ever since they ruled the Mediterranean. They too suffered from hubris, probably the greatest case on record and they eventually lost the favor of Fortuna and where overwhelmed by their enemies. Such an immense drama is the story of humanity. "Dog eat dog", destroy or be destroyed. The new role played by Fortuna in her modern day incarnation is of Justice, blindfolded and holding out a balance. We must be careful not to lose her good will, but of course justice has two sides and we can never be guaranteed of her favorable out come, unless we stack the deck...oh I mean the bench. I suppose that is what the state controlled media is all about. If the rabble ever woke up and saw what nonesense is being peddled as reality, there would be revolutions. But only food riots ever wake up the people. So let's wait and see how the future looks.


Ryan Garou said...

Yep. Similar to your gambling analogy, I think a lot of people simply get drawn into "reward addiction", where they hit upon a means of generating material profits somehow, then go on devote their time and energy to sustaining and increasing those returns, willfully blinding themselves to the external costs.

Oh, and do you have any difficulties with running into things with your hat pulled down that low? :P

Craig said...

Only in the dark.