Monday, September 5, 2011

Readings: Before You Take Those Advil

We begin to live when we have conceived life as tragedy. ~ William Butler Yeats

Another passage from The Bridge to Nothingness by S. G. Shoham. This one deals with the positive aspects of pain:

Physical pain is the tool of the demiurgos* for guarding his “property” -- the body. Without the pain incidental to bodily injury, disease, and death, most human beings and many other creatures would probably take their own lives. The demiurgos thus controls built-in safety mechanisms to keep the inmates -- exiled particles of divinity -- incarcerated in their temporal prison, i.e. the body. Without pain souls would easily destroy their prison body and revert back to their origin in the Godhead. The demiurgal ananke, the coercive cosmic forces, as well as evolution, also avail themselves of pain in order to implement their aims. If one exceeds one’s moira, one’s fate in life, the Furies strike with a vengeance in order to push the deviants back into line. Those who do not fit the designs of evolution are wiped painfully yet unceremoniously out of history. Suffering and history are true phenomena, yet pain is also instrumental in jostling man out of his complacency in his demiurgal body and his fear of eternity (death). Man’s revolt against his demiurgal ananke and moira is thus prompted by pain and some suffering (though not too much) is also necessary for revelation and creativity.
*Demiurgos: The Gnostic evil entity, which by the Gnostic participant**bias is responsible for the creation of the world judged vile by the Gnostics***.

**Participation: The identification of ego with a person (persons), an object or a symbolic construct outside himself, and his striving to lose his separate identity by fusion with this other object or symbol.

***Gnosis: The dualistic creeds developed in the Middle East before and concomitant with Christianity, according to which Good and Evil have independent existence.