Aug 22, 2014

A Plea for Dionysian Consciousness by Samuel Bucker

Many philosophers concerning themselves with the notion of happiness, and the acquirement of such, have come to the general agreement that a personal emphasis on reason is vital. Reason allows us to soberly avoid negative emotions, as well as plan coming events that will prove beneficial. However, reason can lead us to unavoidable and unpleasant conclusions. The pursuit of Truth necessitates that we accepts certain unpleasantness, as well as incorporate propositions that may negate life. Reason gives us an appreciation of the meaningless of existence, but it doesn't provide an opportunity to move past this. In fact, reason raises this concern above all else. When reflecting on one's existence, one distorts the Truth out of the psychological and physiological inability to obtain pure, disinterested, objective truth. For this reason it can be recommended that one engage in his own truth making when analyzing his self. By using creative and artistic powers we can distort our own history to create one that facilitates the will to life. A distorted view of reality, the unreason, can bring joy to our lives and meaning to our existence that would be excluded with strict adherence to reason.

Being is, in reality, a connected series of has-beens. When we finally come to death we understand the termination of our being, and thus conclude that being is something that was. The past is our being. In this way, we have the power to alter our own beings through our interpretation of our personal history.

Nietzsche in his Birth of Tragedy states:

There is an ancient story that king Midas hunted in the forest a long time for the wise Silenus, the companion of Dionysus, without capturing him. When at last he fell into his hands, the king asked what was best of all and most desirable for man. Fixed and immovable, the demon remained silent till at last, forced by the king, he broke out with shrill laughter into these words: "Oh, wretched race of a day, children of chance and misery, why do ye compel me to say to you what it were most expedient for you not to hear? What is best of all is for ever beyond your reach : not to be born, not to be, to be nothing. The second best for you, however, is soon to die."
It is this predicament that reason leads us into: life is misery and we may as well end it as soon as possible. The pursuit of truth is taken as a moral commandment from society. Those who engage in lies are ostracized. But this is because the 'liar' is a liar in the relationship to society. The public liar is selfish and attempts to further his own ends at the expense of others through his lies. The liar is one who challenges the notions of truth held by society. But what is truth? If it is based on the ability to uphold correspondence with others, truth is simply a social construct that we must abide by - at the risk of being labelled a liar if we do not.  In one's personal, internal life - the life that does not affect others, at least not directly but only indirectly through the affects that it has on the person's will and behavior - he has the ability to alter his interpretation of his experience. Every time one recalls a memory this memory is recreated. A memory therefor is an inaccurate representation of the original perception of the experience he submitted to. These inaccuracies, or distortions, come from a multiplicity of factors - internal and external. Considering the fact that memory is wrong, why not alter the memory to personal benefit? If to recall a memory in one way leads to a affirmation of the will to life, why deny it in favour of an interpretation that leads to life's denial? I say we should be the artist of our own being. We should revel in the drunk interpretation and shutdown the sober, life denying one.

The pursuit of truth leaves us trapped between the two paradigms that purport to be its arbiters. Science rejects spirituality and leaves us to the dark abyss of existence. Religion, on the other hand, demands absolute resignation to an illogical doctrine. Only in the self itself are we to find an alternative; the creation of the 'truth' that leads to a life affirming state of being.

Human life without art is a mistake. An aesthetically void existence is one where man is a simple compound of needs that are to be satisfied. Once these needs are satisfied he is subjected to a perpetual state of boredom until new needs arise. Boredom is just the affirmation of the emptiness of life. Even our seemingly wholesome desire to birth a family is birthed from the stranglehold of necessity and desire to escape boredom. We have a psychological need to seek out sex, and are subjected to intense pleasures during copulation. If one were to have a sober view of sex and the subsequent birth of a new life, would they then engage in the activity? No, they do so because they are slaves of the passions. It is only when the will is brought to the forefront, and we interact with reality in some way, that we transcend an existence based on needs and escape the looming staticity of boredom. Art is the most direct way of interacting with reality; we shape reality without restriction. Music is the only art form void of reference. Reference ties us to reality. No-reference enables us to create our own, personal world. Music is the pure engagement of will in reality. By engaging with reality on our own terms, in contrast to simply doing what we must out of necessity due to the physiological inveigle of Perseverance, we give life meaning. We must make a symphony out of our history.

The pursuit of truth and commitment to reason commits one to accept a notion of the self and reality that is life denying. By artistically interpreting our lives and engaging our will in reality, we transcend doldrum and affirm life. Life is not a motion picture that we are to sit back and watch; and recall prior scenes with perfect clarity. We are to alter the course of our lives through engagement, and alter the recollection of the past to improve the whole. What is the pursuit of truth but the pursuit towards a better life?

Samuel Bucker
Fucked up on 'shrooms somewhere in the Central Okanagan
May 2014

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