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September 2019
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Aerden [userpic]
Thinking and Writing

Writing: I did some more thinking about the dark fantasty story while lying in bed this morning.

I decided that I wanted my deity, the Dark One, (I know; terribly imaginative name), to be the only true deity on this world. It was born with the planet, made out of star stuff, and somehow acquired intelligence--don't ask me how. All other deities arising in the cultures of this world are essentially mythical things whose creations were fueled by the needs of the people of those cultures.

So I was lying in bed this morning, and it occurred to me that the Dark One does not like Ilviak, who is the most evil deity I have ever created. I was relieved by that realization. Then I asked myself what the differences between the Dark One and Ilviak are.

I know what Ilviak wants--human misery on an intimate level. Ilviak is no megalomaniac; it messes with one person at a time. I know from what I have written already that the Dark One is not like that at all. It does not want human misery, and it feels great loyalty to its own people. Yes, it's more interested in world domination than Ilviak is, but the Dark One is patient and willing to grow with its people. It is content to start out small and work its way up. It has a very long-term agenda.

So I figured out that what motivates the Dark One is enlightened self-interest, though self-centered self-interest from the masses will satisfy it to a large degree. Enlightened self-interest is what the Dark One demands from its priests, and it is why the deity has few priests. Most among the Dark One's chosen people can never quite make it to the enlightened level.

But I have said in this journal that this story is about love. Love is supposed to be, by its nature, more concerned with benefit to others than with benefit to the person who loves. Or is it? Ayn Rand believed that there was no such thing as true altruism.

I don't know if I agree with her. I can certainly see her point, and maybe it is often true. But I would hate to think that everyone in the world is so shallow that our best joy in life can be quantified as us stroking our own egos by being kind to others or by sacrificing things for others. To me, that would make existence empty and soulless.

"Your payment to me is my pleasure in your intelligent enjoyment of my music." - to paraphrase a character in The Fountainhead.

I suppose that's not exactly an empty way of looking at it, but...to me, it does lose something. Or am I just being dishonest with myself?

So I'm left wondering if this story really is about love. If it's not about love, I'm not sure what it is about.

Quizzage: LMAO!!! Nabbed from kathrynthegr8:

<td align="center"> As it turns out, aerden is aroused by ...


'What crazy thing are you aroused by?' at QuizUniverse.com</td>

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "O Virga, ac diadema" - Hildegard of Bingen

I would say love can easily be enlightened self-interest. Think about it--what's more of a self-interest than someone who can hold you, make you feel good, take care of you, cherish you, and all you've got to do as do those things back? In the end, those are easy things to do. So you find out what they like and give them what they want so you can get what you want. Can't be much more Machievellian than that.

No, the violent/fear side of Machievellianism isn't really useful in love. But then again, Machievelli talks about how love is the best way to keep people in line. Fear is the easiest. And love isn't permissiveness. Permissiveness is perceived as weakness, and that kills a leader, a ruler, or a lover.

Can you tell I'm a Machievellian? :p

Ayn Rand is just a bitter old cynic, or possibly a minion of your Dark One. There's a theory of love supported by psychology that basically describes intimacy as admitting someone else into your self-concept: the people you love really are a part of you, which is why you share their joy and pain. Acting for their benefit is sort of selfish, in this view, but not Rand's cold transactional selfishness, because through caring for others you are enlarged.

Altruism, or at least ingroup altruism, is also a beneficial meme, if you want to look at it like that--it enhances the survival potential of carriers at the group level, and when coupled with a reciprocity meme, at the individual level as well. It's not totally pointless.