After watching Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, I was reminded of one of the most memorable lines in The Lord of the Rings:
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
Each generation in the modern era has faced the specters of busyness, materialism and deciding what is truly important. Arguably, at no other time in history, have societal forces have been so powerful in telling us how to live and what to become. It’s as if we’ve given up in finding out what we are truly meant to be. We’ve abandoned our intellectual ability to make our own decisions. Then one day, we wake up, wonder where it has gone, and wish we’d set out and found our own story, not someone else’s.
H.P. Lovecraft is one of the legendary masters of the horror genre – before horror spiraled into shock and gore. His stories were atmospheric and creepy, in way, expanding on Edgar Allen Poe. On the surface, they seemed to be tales of good vs. evil, but on closer inspection, we find a dismal, fatalistic view of existence.
Lovecraft subscribed to cosmicism, which author Mike Duran quotes as being, “The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence…” Continue reading
Categories: Books, Uncategorized
Tags: atheism, chance, cosmicism, Darwinism, H. P. Lovecraft, horror, materialism, Mike Duran, naturalism, theism
Think not forever of yourselves, O chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground. – Peacemaker, Founder of the Iroquois Confederacy
In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion…Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation. – The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law
There are a variety of quotes like these, often rewritten as some variation of, “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation…” These quotes are often used in discussion of environmental issues, but they are a fundamental concept of foresight that should be applied to much of our thinking. This is something our politicians rarely do — they’re only concerned in what they can say or do (or appear to do) to get them through the next election cycle.