Sunday, March 15, 2009

Adhere to Avoid Your Fear?

I was reading the program notes for Sequestered, and came across this mordant comment from Jeremy Menekseoglu:
To hell with nihilism, we're bokonists: Life is formed entirely of lies; but if we believe and adhere to these lies, we will live a happy life.
Here's Jeremy Menekseoglu, deep in character:

Bokokonism is a religion in Vonnegut's novel, Cat's Cradle, where adherents, for the sake of happiness, believe in things they know to be false.

It reminds me of some neo-Freudians, who think you should embrace your own (false but adaptive) defenses.

Can this really work? Suppose someone told you: "I'm an alcoholic, but I'm in denial." Or: "I will die someday, but I don't acknowledge that fact." How would you react?

I do think there's a time and place for not dwelling on negative possibilities. When you're learning to walk the high-wire, you might want to keep your eyes straight ahead.

You keep your eyes straight ahead
precisely because you know you'll be dead
if you look down
and fall to the ground.

No comments: