Saturday, September 24, 2011
Happiness or Nothingness
Dimitri Hamlin, an ontalogical anarchist, wrote a piece in the Huffpo. Arianna Huffington even suggested to him the title of the piece: Is That All There Is?
This is his conclusion:
Nothing is the positive yet indeterminate impression on the horizon, just before becoming something definite. It is nothing and it is not-nothing. Together with the present, it is the future and it is the past. It is the pure potential and freedom to experience -- the initial "I can" of intentional consciousness that provides for my participation and correspondence with wonder.
I think the world is interesting because I actually care about the possibility of nothing.
Singing, "Is that all?" the chorus calls for us to recognize the continually conspicuous presence of an absence. Disappointment is not so much the problem now if we believe in nothing; because nothing, by definition, actually exceeds all possible expectation: "wherefore it is right that What Is be not unfulfilled; for it is not lacking: if it were, it would lack everything." (Parmenides, fr. 8.33) I think that sometimes we mistake things for their absence and for this, in the end I trust, there will always be more to say about nothing.
Maybe Queen said what he's trying to say better in Bohemian Rhapsody: "Nothing really matters, nothing really matters at all."
Interesting ideas, even compelling to many, but there is nothing more like Hell on Earth that a state of anarchy. Anarchic societies are fear zones. Women must be protected at all costs or they will be kidnapped or raped or sold into slavery. They can't leave the house without protection or being covered from head to foot so no one knows what they look like, their shape or age. Men walk around carrying machine guns ready to shoot at anyone who looks funny at them. Homes are forts built for protection. There is only the law of the gun. But what the hell, there will always be something to say about nothing, because nothing really matters.
Compare this to "Persuit of Happiness."
Definition here: Happiness as meant by Greek thought and used by Thomas Jefferson means contentment, fulfillment, completeness, not just having a good time.
This is closer to Maslow's top on the pyramid: Self Actualization
Happiness is something, not nothing. Happiness is something to strive for, work for, appreciate what you've done, learn from your mistakes, regret the harm you've done to others.
To look back and see that you did SOMETHING in and with your life. You loved a woman or many, you had the joy and despair of being a parent, you worked not just for money to live on, but your labor mattered, you were part of manufacturing products, repaired stuff, grew and harvested plants, nursed the ill, taught children, raised children, kept a clean house, bounced grandchildren on your knee before your knee replacement.
When you have done SOMETHING with your life there is accomplishment, pride, fulfillment, sorrow, pain, regret, completeness, contentment: HAPPINESS.
All of these are emotions some are even opposites, you've loved and hated sometimes the same person at the same time, your feeling good, you feel sorrow, anger, laughter. When you do something you feel something. You feel.
The only emotion anarchy satisfies is greed, selfishness, fear and numbness concerning others. A great philosophy for serial killers, rapists, theives, drug dealers, corporations. Whenever this philosophy is prevalent society is ruled by tyrants, dictators, secret police, and fear.