Monday, April 6, 2009

Down With Love...

Yet one more illusion broken down into scientific terms. We are firing neurons and chemical impulses. Love is a farce. Read this.

The best quote? "We were not built to be happy but to reproduce." Indeed.

This life is beginning to look more and more mundane all the time. I am so bored. Goddamit, where's those meds? Let's get this pill-induced happy going already. Re-insert me into the Matrix.

tall penguin


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a friend of Rahul's.
Do not get depressed yet, please, there are flaws in the logical jumps the article makes.
#1 Correlation does not = causation. Because drugs are present/released or brain areas activated during activity does not mean they cause them. Yes, the aminal studies showed causation but many animal studies have not been replicable in humans and in such complex social behaviors they may not be.
#2 the human displays an incredible ability to depart from their so-called biological destiny. People do give up addictions and do change their preferences. Yes, it takes a lot of effort but if biology was destiny then this would not be possible.
hang in there,

Eric said...

I've been thinking about your last couple blog entries quite a bit lately. I went through a similar rough patch toward the end of last year, having a hard time finding meaning, etc.

My girlfriend is currently reading Natalie Goldberg's Long Quiet Highway and it sounds like something you'd really enjoy. I would imagine you've probably already heard of Natalie but she's written a handful of really good books about writing and creativity with a strong Buddhist slant.

It might inspire you right now. Hang in there, from one XJW-artist-who-deals-with-occasional-bouts-of-nihilism to another.

tall penguin said...

Thank you both. Yes, I am struggling right now. A beautiful yet maddening struggle it is.

It's funny that whenever I post these raw, vulnerable posts (I don't know I'm capable of anything otherwise), I brace myself for someone to come on here and kick me while I'm down, to tell me I'm an idiot and that I need to pull it together. Some voices from my past never quite go away.

And if that happened, I know I could handle it. But here you are, virtual strangers to me, with your love and your kind words.

Thank you.

tall penguin said...

Goo, thank you for your comments. I often have a hard time assimilating new information. Needless to say, the last three years has been unending reams of new information and most of it confusing and disconcerting for me. I don't understand this world. And I don't know where to put it all. Thank you for putting some perspective on this article.

Eric, Nathalie Goldberg is one of my favorite authors, although it's been some time since I read her work. I read her books on writing when I was in my early twenties, when I still thought I'd be a writer one day.

I will check out Long, Quiet Highway. I could use some inspiration. Thanks.

Umlud said...

Even if love = farce, it isn't a good reason for defenestration.

Of course, I would counter that the quote has its own internal logic, and should (if I had any say in it) have read: "Biological fitness is not a function of happiness, but of reproductive success." (Duller, but closer to what I think the meaning of the sentence is trying to capture.)

Life is the epitome of mundane. However, it is what we do with life that gives it reason, hope, joy, love, happiness, sadness, anger, valor, courage, and - above all - a meaning beyond that of reproductive success and survival of the species.

It is the intellect, the spark that drives us to make a non-biological mark on the world, thus creating a whole meta-world of interactions that we otherwise recognize as society; something so integral to life that we cannot truly say that we are "alive" without it.

In that sense of it, the "Matrix" is social interaction distilled to the point that even interactions between people and the so-called "world" of the Matrix is governed by the non-natural as well as those that could transcend the rules of the programming. But I digress.

In the end, I go back to the tenets of "Chop wood, carry water." The mundane and the meaningful are held together; what is mundane has meaning, what has meaning is mundane. (The book by the same name is also a good read.)

huntingviolet said...

Well of COURSE love is a farce, but in comparison to what? Only what we have preconceived. Love has never assigned itself any greater meaning than it actually possesses. We are the ones who create the Great Lies of Everything. :o
Meh, this too shall pass.

Phil said...

Love isn't a farce. Love is love--a rose by any other name....and love has changed meaning over the centuries--we would be very foolish to think our current view is the only or correct one. And I think many of you under-estimate biology. Of course everything is a chemical reaction in the brain--everything. Goo is correct in that it doesn't necessarily mean that love isn't what you thought it was any more than negating the bible doesn't mean there isn't a God. Huntingviolet has a point in that we create meaning--that is what has elevated us above other species. In the end, we do live under too many expectations (set by society) and hence it is these expectations that are the cause of much unhappiness. Again, I'll go back to Ernest Becker's Denial of Death or even Percy Walker's Lost in the Cosmos--much of what we think where we'll find meaning doesn't live up to expectations--you have to make your own meaning--and this is what scares most people--they tend to like to be told and not have to make tough decisions on their own.

tall penguin said...

Umlud, I love that every time you post a comment I learn a new word. "Defenestration" is my new favorite!

huntingviolet, we are indeed the creators, of lies, of truth and everything in between.

Phil, I think my point, although muddled by my usual emotional over-reaction, is that biology should indeed not be underestimated.

And yes, I am coming to believe that meaning is self-created. Which makes life increasingly interesting to me.

I have played with my ideas of love quite consciously recently. With some intriguing results. If love is an illusion, I am content to wade deep into its waters and see myself in its reflection. It is what it is.