Security: The Worst Enemy of Mankind*?

by msabaye

For quite a while now, I have been looking for genius. In anything. And I have failed to find it. What is it with this age? Why can we not create great stories, films, plays, etc.? I don't mean best-sellers, I mean a reflection of our time, this barren age of human creativity. What am I saying? I suppose the proof of the pudding is in the eating. But what about the future generations? How would they know what we thought, how we felt, how we lived?

I was listening to The Current on CBC. There was an interview with a doctor who believed, or liked to believe, we could all live long lives without disease. Prevention is the key, he said. Or something close to that. Don't stress your body because stress leads to inflammation and that potentially leads to cancer. Eat everyday at the same time, don't make your body stress over "when will I be fed?"

The whole world is full of this, this stress over no stress. Imagine a world of absolute calm, what does it mean? Where would it lead us? To a state of absolute vegetation, I think. We have come a long way from apes not by trying not to worry but by marching forward, by taking risks, by losing every now and then. What leads us to creation is a state of uneasiness, unhappiness, a sense of something not being right, something beyond our limited box of individual existence. I remember Tennessee Williams saying that security is the worst enemy of mankind*. Man is meant to struggle... And he struggled and through his sense of uneasiness, he managed to create legends for us to contemplate, to wonder at, to aspire to.

There is nothing wrong with trying to live a healthy life, but there is a sense that if we eat well, exercise, and avoid smoking and ... , we will have a great life. Well, take a look at the lives of people like Tennessee Williams and tell me what they missed? What is more determined than a cat on a hot tin roof? as he put it.


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حافظ هم با تنسی ویلیامز هم عقیده بود!


از خلاف آمد عادت بطلب کام که من

كسب جمعيت از آن زلف پريشان كردم


Self, not Nafs; Heart, not Belly; Fire, not Heat

by Joubin on

"What leads us to creation is a state of uneasiness, unhappiness, a sense of something not being right, something beyond our limited box of individual existence. "

The world is full of miserable, unhappy, people.  If your hypothesis was correct, we would be up to our ears in "creative" work.

Great creative humans have a very strong sense of self and purpose.  

To the outsider, considering their external (worldly) condition, they may appear to fit the bill of being "miserable, and unhappy [etc.]", but make no mistake about it: internally they are fully aware of who they are, and why they are here, and what is the purpose of their 'being'.  That is what gives the strength to move forward, and to continue to create.  

We live in an age where most have come to misplace the ego for the self.  They desire to live here (!) forever and so they heed the good doctor's advice.

It is in fact the belly of the beast that you feed when you feast.  A cat on a hot tin roof is discomfited by the senses; the genius is driven by the fire that drives galaxies in motion.  And it is not at all a comfortable position to be in and it is indeed a cross to bear, and certainly not for everyone, for:

"This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men.   - Ludwig Van Beethoven  

Think Clearly, Speak Straight, and Act Decisively.  Only then will you be an Iranian.