I was pondering today while doing the ironing the whole “do what thou wilt” philosophy that Aleister Crowley advocated and how it has morphed into the current zeitgeist. Do your own thing, do what you want, all these are the principals that underlying current culture.
At face value they may appear to offer happiness, joy and pleasure. But do they actually deliver?
This school of thought gives rise to an uncontrolled appetite. And by appetite, I don’t merely mean for food.
Everyone has their own passion and individuality. Some may be power hungry, others have an uncontrollable sexual appetite and others still may go after narcotics. These and more offer something that promises to fulfil desires and passions within us.
But do they really offer fulfilment?
Alexander the Great came to mind, the man conquered the know world and then got depressed cause there was nothing left to conquer. Maybe that’s why he drank so much alcohol and ended up killing himself from it? Either way, his achievement didn’t satisfy him.
Then you have people like Ted Bundy, his sexual appetite drove him to greater and greater extremes to achieve the pleasure he desired. The horrible atrocities he committed ended getting him on death row.
Do your own thing sounds attractive and good, But it will never lead to true happiness.
And while pondering on this my mind lead me to consider the holga camera.
The camera is a fixed shutter speed, fixed aperture, fixed focal length, the focusing is a joke( 1 dude, 3 dudes or some mountains). Yet somehow with all these parameters unchangeable it is far more pleasurable to shoot with, and while it may not take precisely the picture you want it does create beautiful works of art.
Now I know this analogy is very limited in its application, but that’s just how my mind works.
I like rules, processes and order. They don’t give licence to uncontrolled appetite, nor do they promise something they can not offer.
Most of the time, if we do our own thing, we make a bitter mess of it anyhow. When it does turn out as desired we are still not satisfied and go on searching for something more to fulfil us.
Anyhow, that’s my ponderings and rant.
Shabbat Shalom people.