You know the feeling; you’ve read a damn-good book and then the film comes out. What do you do? Do you watch some chump mash up a perfect story or do you give it a chance?
That’s how I’m feeling about ‘High Rise.’ I love JGB’s book, and yes, I’ve bought the film on Blu ray. But, I haven’t watched it yet.
The story is compelling in the sense that the characters choose the hell they end up living in – Ballard’s ‘elective psychopathy’.
Maybe we all choose our own hell and rationalise it by claiming it is paradise. Whether we will to Certainty, to Negation, to Despair or to Sensation, those tentacles are wrapped around our ankles pulling us into the Sarlac’s pit.
All I know is that we can choose otherwise. And there is help there if we ask for it. The opposite of negation is mercy and mourning, the opposite of sensation is peace and a healthy heart, the opposite of despair is humility and trust, the opposite of certainty is doing what were supposed to do and not stopping when we take a beating for our troubles.
Evil is a poison, a disease, infectious and spreading.
I recommend the serum of the Mount.
… without a thought for tomorrow. We live, breathe, shop, play football, watch football, eat, sleep, make love, with either the faraway concept that one day we die and that is it, or the faraway concept that one day we die and there is so much more.
Each of us has to choose our own ludicrous.
Despair is a process, the eating away of belief in a meta-meaning until all that is left is us as kings and queens of a ruined kingdom of one. Maybe we are right to reject the possibility of life after death because hell, there is no proof! At death, we simply cease to be in the same way as before our birth we did not exist.
Belief and Faith are oft derided concepts, these days. Just because we believe something to be true does not make it so. People talk about the ‘leap of faith.’ But I don’t believe it is a leap; it is more of a step, a decision to set out on the road from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.
Who knows, we could be wrong. We might fall into a ditch along the way. The people who guide us could be charlatans.
But what is the alternative? A planet of reason consumed by consumerism, a world of warring certainties?
No thanks. I’ll make my choice, I’ll take my chances, I’ll fall over, curse my own stupidity and try again. But always believing in grace and mercy.
That’s my ludicrous.
Lewis’s ‘Screwtape’, Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and the Book of Job all take the point of view of Satan, the Enemy, and use it to reflect the point the author is looking to make.
The great difficulty with staring into the abyss is the point that Nietzsche makes, namely that the abyss can stare right back into us.
But then that is reality, we live that every day, choosing the Will to Love or the Will to Power. We choose to become a cancer cell, or one that is alive.
But existential prevarications are meaningless in the face of life’s stresses and strains aren’t they? Human beings evolved to become nature’s greatest killers because we faced down starvation and fearsome predators and took the Earth and all that is in it. Without the Will to Power we would have become extinct in the Rift Valley. Evil is our greatest good. Would we stand back and let our loved ones die, turn the other cheek, or would we fight back?
Where is God in all the suffering and pain?
And yet, what is our purpose amidst all of this? Is it to die fighting, to win the world like Thomas Shelby, or is it to die alive and loving?
Enough questions. For all is vanity and striving after the wind.