Monday, 8 February 2016

Daimonax Continued

See here.

"'We have ended every conflict, to the very conflict of man with his own soul...'"
-Poul Anderson, Past Times (New York, 1984), p. 137.

Is that bad? Does Daimonax want permanent inner conflict?

"'...we have mastered the planets...'" (ibid.)

Mastered them? Each planet is a whole world. We will never fully know and understand this one planet that we live on.

"'...the stars are too distant...'" (ibid.)

Are they too distant to reach? They are never too distant to observe and study. We live in the midst of the cosmos.

"'...were the God not so good as to make possible the parachronion, what would be left for us?'" (ibid.)

But, to use theistic language, he has made possible exploration of other histories.

"'Our leashing of the purely animal within us is simply another taboo.'" (p. 138)

Then acknowledge and integrate animality instead of merely "leashing" it.

"'We may love as we please, but not hate as we please. So are we more free than men in Westfall?'" (ibid.)

Does he want to hate?

"'We do not allow ourselves a single unthinking, merely felt impulse.'" (ibid.)

Why not? Then start feeling. I thought that Iason did feel passionate but was misdirecting his passion by abusing a minor.

"'By excluding danger and hardship, by eliminating distinctions between men, we leave no hope of victory.'" (ibid.)

Two issues here. Explorers can face hardship and danger without reintroducing social distinctions.

He says that they have become pure individuals, thus reducing their obligations to a single negative: not to compel other individuals. But they clearly do cooperate and function as a society.

He complains that the state takes care of each need and hurt. Is it bad that needs and hurts are taken care of? Of course, the problem here is the word "state." That makes it sound like something alienated and oppressive instead of just members of society making arrangements to take care of each other.

"'Where is the loyalty unto death?'" (ibid.)

Does he want situations where people have to risk death?

"'Where is the intimacy of an entire shared lifetime?'" (ibid.)

What is preventing this?

"'We play at ceremonies, but because we know that they are arbitrary gestures, where is their value?'" (ibid.)

They do not know this because it is not true. Ceremonies are a way of affirmation and celebration. It is not necessary to believe that they have any supernatural basis.

Of the Westfallers, he says that:

"'Their problems are real; hence their successes are real.'" (ibid.)

But how have the Eutopians stopped having real problems? Iason has certainly found his experiences in America and Westfall problematic.

"'They believe in their rites.'" (p. 139)

Does that mean that they invest their rites with a superstitious meaning? It is possible to understand the value of rites, as I think happens in some meditation groups.

I attended a talk on the causes of sectarianism in the Middle East. To demonstrate that sectarian hostility is not a permanent feature of religious traditions, the speaker quoted a Jesuit missionary of about 1850 who complained that Christians and Muslims interacted socially and attended each others' festivals. Thus, then there was diversity without divisiveness.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think we will ALWAYS have social distinctions, if you mean civil, financial, professional, political, military, etc., rankings of all kinds. Because human beings are different from one other in all kinds of ways, both good and bad. That inevitably means social distinctions will happen.


Paul Shackley said...

So, in that sense, the Eutopians cannot have done away with social distinctions?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor ,Paul!

Exactly! For instance, the "Eutopians" still have some kind of STATE. That alone implies some kind of structure and organization with higher and lower ranks. And Daimonax is Iason's leader or superior in the interuniversal exploration organization, ANOTHER "social distinction." And mention is made of Iason meeting a "philosopher" on returning to Eutopia (still another distinction!).