Huxley: Ape and Essence, finish
notes & response:
-The statement, “Do unto others as you do unto you,” should include plants, animals, and things as well as human beings.
-An ethical transaction is one where you would agree to be on either side of the equation. If not, it would most likely be unethical.
-“But re-member your history. If you want solidarity, you’ve got to have either an external enemy or an oppressed minority.”
-“But don’t you ever stop to think what they must feel?”
-“Conscience, custom — the first makes cowards,
Makes saints of us sometimes, makes human beings.
The other makes Patriots, Papists, Protestants,
Makes Babbitts, Sadists, Swedes or Slovaks,
Makes killers of Kulaks, chlorinators of Jews,
Makes all who mangle, for lofty motives,
Quivering flesh, without qualm or question
To mar their certainty of Supreme Service.”
– 1) Fear of death
2) Shunted into the UNC
3) Return of the Repressed
4) Acted out as the need for victory, safety, security
-“Consider the birds. What a delicacy in their love-making, what old-world chivalry! For although the hormones produced within the body of the breeding hen predispose her to sexual emotion, their effect is neither so intense nor of so brief a duration as that of the ovarian hormones in the blood of female mammals during oestrus. Moreover, for obvious reasons, the cock bird is in no position to enforce his desires upon an unwilling hen. Hence the prevalence among male birds of bright plumage and of an instinct for courtship. And hence the conspicuous absence of these charming things among male mammals. For where, as in the mammals, the female’s amorous de-sires and her attractiveness to the male sex are wholly determined by chemical means, what need is there of masculine beauty of the niceties of preliminary court-ship?”
-“It is natural for a man to be a crazy animal; he must live a crazy life because of his fear of death.”
-We don’t really need Satan, just that moment of Consciousness along the timeline of moments where secrets unfold.
-What’s the God term in World State?…Stability.
-Perhaps consciousness is the thing that makes us human—I would tend to agree, adding to that the ability to experience emotion (and again, not knowing all of its truth, if there is any to it).
-“‘See where she stands, a mortal shape indued
With love and life and light and deity,
And motion which may change, but never die,
An image of some bright Eternity,
A shadow of some golden dream; a Splendor
Leaving the third sphere pilotless; a tender
Reflection of the eternal Moon of Love. . .'”
-Human beings are not entirely rational beings, they’re expecting a pay off.
-“Men do what they must and call it by the best words that they can.”—Emerson
-“The pursuit of immortality makes the world a more morbid place—What a beautiful irony.”
-Explore your allegiances, their significance, the way you attempt your superiority.
The chivalrous seem to have all but died in this generation. Desire and instinct have taken precedence and they deter from the individual’s ambition to charm, either in courtship or in daily existence. Is this further driven by man’s death anxiety, therefore resulting in the “crazy” pursuit of his animal instincts, knowing that it’s the only way to live in a world so consumed by this fear? Perhaps the answer is not to deify stability but instead to push the boundaries of what it means to live [Dissolve the self, dissolve the body, dissolve, dissolve, dissolve…dissolution thus the solution?]. Consciousness keeps us far from being content, allowing man to fully understand what it means to be human with emotive experience. Though this may not be rational, there’s beauty and simplicity to awareness, despite its lack of charm sometimes. If, then, desire and instinct can be applied to this understanding of consciousness, perhaps it will reveal its own charm.