Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sleep

I read this article last night: http://www.themillions.com/2017/01/staring-into-the-soundless-dark-on-the-trouble-lurking-in-poets-bedrooms.html

It's not bad, although of course it is unsurprising that a modern academic would get to sex and death fairly quickly, as those were Freud's conclusions: thanatos and eros.

Without commenting too much on the specifics, I would submit that writers and poets have sleep problems because they BECOME poets and writers because they have large numbers of unprocessed emotions which drive them into the creative process.  They have demons, and demons they choose to keep, as Rilke famously commented.

The alternative is silence.  I myself of course have many sleep problems and many unprocessed emotions.  But I see where they come from.  They are not random.  They are not just an affliction from God which landed on me.  They have a source and they have an extinction.  Perhaps one day I will abandon this blog entirely.  Nothing will drive me to write.

And I think of societies which have disappeared in the mists of history, where all the children felt loved, where families were uniformly nurturing, where life had purpose, where the small things in life were cherished, and where people died without fear.  Some Native American tribes seem to have been like that (certainly not all: some were just like the imperialist West, merely less technologically sophisticated, and perhaps slightly less greedy, since there was less to steal).

And one has to ask: are the skyscrapers Ayn Rand admired so much really the acme of progress?  Is progress not more in how we feel about life, about one another, about death?  Is all success in techne really masked social mediocrity and failure?

Most science fiction writers focus on how technology will change our lives, for better or for worse.  It seems to me the more interesting question is how we perfect our society, so that all babies get the nurturing they need, children emerge into a coherent cultural order which is not confused, and which is rooted in genuine wisdom (rather than pious sounding platitudes, and stupid ideas repeated endlessly), where adults possess the emotional strength and maturity to use their freedom in personally and socially productive ways, and where we have learned that death is not the end, and nothing to be feared.

As Madison pointed out in one of the Federalist Papers, if we were all angels, we would need no government.  Is this not the obvious direction to go?  The alternative seems to be rule by demons who think they are angels because they see and feel nothing important, ever.

And what I would add is that there is no evidence that "equality", which is to say disindividuation, the repudiation of ideas of merit and individual moral progress, makes anyone happier, or happy, or for that matter, less miserable.  I think it was either Ford or Eisenhower who commented that prisons provide free healthcare, housing, and food.  What they also provide is an egalitarian environment.  Everybody gets the same size cell, and everyone gets the same amount of food.

The jail is in fact the perfect emblem of a totalitarian system, both in practice--witness how many risked and paid the price of death to escape countries like Vietnam, Cuba, and East Germany--and in theory, where the minds, too, must be chained.

Leftism is a mental illness.  There is no other way to view it.  The great emotional virtue of the egalitarian creed is that since we are NOT all equal, there is a continually replenishing supply of opportunities to feel anger and resentment which predated the political commitment--which were present due to emotional illness--but which are justified by it.  So often, I think we feel something first, then reach around for something to justify and mask it.  The alternative is investigating it honestly, and coming to the realization we are not who we thought we were, which makes many uncomfortable, and willing to fight hard.

No comments: