This article is not so much based upon logic as it is on observing my environment and applying abstract thinking. I recently finished the novel “The picture of Dorian Grey” by Oscar Wilde (for lo, the great heretic of the 19th century literature!) and it struck a cord within my psyche.
To explain simply, the concept of the novel is immortality without the fall backs of the effects of vice (eg. those who excessively drink develop leathery skin, those who smoke excessively large amounts of marijuana develop a spacey demeanor, etc.). Dorian Grey, a strapping young lad, is presented to Lord Henry who is friends with a poor artist under the name of Basil.
As with all great artists (Basil), they love the archetypes and the illogical more often than not. This is not to say that they lack the ability to apply logic and reason, but rather they believe such a method of life is rather dull and lacking in superstition (emotional validation). To emphasize, regardless of your spirituality and method of worship (yes, even you atheists worship something: science. Worship here meaning paying homage to and applying yourself through it’s guidelines). This is where philosophy and religion intersect and the coin becomes two sided, ours is a reality of extremes and dualism, thus to deny any side on basis of a “wrong” or “right” nature is rather black and white thinking and limiting.
Oh the extremes that humanity seems to find itself in at junctures in time, and the irony arises where the zealots (Social Justice Warriors) claim moral superiority and the moral relativists (pseudo-intellectuals) claim intellectual superiority. It isn’t that simple. As with most Left hand path philosophies, sometimes things DON’T have to make complete and utter logical sense; Or even feeling sense. Sometimes the ‘right’ is ‘wrong’ and the ‘wrong’ is ‘right’, or hell even ‘right’ can be ‘maybe’ (relativism). However also one can take a limited binary true/false method to understanding but once again it is a limited vehicle as it ignores the duality of man. Note my obvious almost black-white tendency here, which I believe due to cultural influence and my Christian background growing up, makes me susceptible to falling into such faulty reasoning. We can not ignore our biological imperatives of tribalism, conformity, and desire to ego-preserve.
Moving on to the novel itself “The Picture of Dorian Grey”, Wilde does an amazing job of unearthing the mechanical nature of the 19th century in that it “knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing”. Many humans logically know what something is worth, but fewer still emotionally know what makes it valuable within itself (intrinsic). For he wished to add a Dionysian element back to society which he deems to be lacking, if much can be gleaned from Lord Henry’s character. For that is what Lord Henry represents, a bitter reasoner who has snapped. For him youth and beauty are the ideals and that modern man is deluded into thinking a knowledgeable account of “if this, then this, therefore this” is sufficient to explain the human condition. He has jumped from logic to emotion it seems, then again I am speculating as this article is more a brainstorm more-so than a deductive argument.
Of course heresy! How dare he attack the modern narrative of the science! Of materialism! Of the exploitation of suppressed desires! Woe are we! For indeed we need the irrational and the Wilde! For all that it has brought us, it has also taken away.
This brings me to the point that I want to discuss: the irrational initiation rites of the human being. What is the point of schooling institutions and such, if they deny any form of cultural emotional initiation? Where is the imagery which makes us happy and connected? Where is wonder and the awe? We dress up like puppets and march from point A to point B and are told that we are “adults” on a logical level, however we are not given that rite that sparks the wonder of being ‘adult’. Something as simple as dosing a man into a basin of water for symbolic cleansing is massive, what do we get? A paper and some bullshit processed propaganda of what ‘ought to be’ speech, please. Although I agree that we live in a world obsessed with Globalization (which quite honestly goes against the humans desire for tribal association) but it is being approached from a logical perspective rather than an emotional level.
It is within my speculation that the systematic unhealthy destruction between relationships within motion pictures as well as the false superficial ‘bro cult’ are a pathetic excuse to apply some sort of divide-conquer tactic that plays upon emotional desire (that of competitiveness, and fighting, and false community where we all act like “machos” and put one another down for being human). I am not opposed to locker-room banter between males, in fact I embrace it, but I still despise bro culture as it’s image based opposed to bonding based; and this superficial logical (pretending to be emotional) imagery helps the system delude the human spirit. Without a spirit a horse is broken, what of man? Where is the true emotional ties? We are a culture of logical emotion, where association seems to be more of image than actual understanding.
Logic will only get you so far in creativity and thought, it is a limited system and the ancients knew this. The Dark ages was a representation of the rejection of logic in favor of emotions, while our modern era is the rejection of emotion for logic. Hilarious really, when you think about it. Such it was with Dorian Grey as he tried to rationalize his shitty amoral behavior and ignore the ugliness of his soul, falsely assuming he could apply reason to suppress his emotions.
I paraphrase Dorian’s comments within the book:
“Oh I only wish to gaze upon the beauty!” -Ignores his prowling of opium dens and the likes, ignores the fact of that which he does is rather not beautiful, why not say “Oh I wish to gaze upon beauty and ugliness! For therein lies understanding!”
“I can rationalize away the murder of Basil!” – Kills Basil for calling him wicked, even though he loves the man greatly. In his desire to ignore logic he regressed into animalistic emotions (you defy me? DIE!).
“I can rationalize my artistic objectification of Sybil! For now since she no longer acts well I have lost the ability to love the concept of love!” -He loved the idea of her, not her.
Comment: Now that I have looked at the article I wrote completely on the fly last night I have realized the following. This article is pure sarcasm and a mockery of the English discipline in it’s modern format. What if the arts in the current mode of the world is a series of intellectual shit tests deemed to find out who is stupid enough to embrace the inconsistencies and those who aren’t? Interesting…