Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Can’t Get This Quote Out of My Head

“There’s no such thing as life without bloodshed. I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.”

Cormac McCarthy, author of “All the Pretty Horses.”

Does this get to you? Do you disagree?

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posted July 27, 2006 at 3:18 pm

If we can’t improve ourselves what the hell are we doing down here? We might as well have stayed on the other side, our true home. I hope to God I’m not the same person I am now in 6 months, one year, for that matter, even tomorrow. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with who I am now, but how boring to not even strive to be more. Sure we all go through “desert periods” of stasis and rest, but in general I desire to continually grow in knowledge and love, and evolve during this incarnation as much as I can.>

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posted July 27, 2006 at 9:40 pm

I believe that what McCarthy is saying is true for now. People who don t fight for their freedom and are unwilling to die for it pay the ultimate price the corruption and death of their souls due to their inability to freely express themselves and worship God in the way that they need to. It is terrible and extremely sad that our world is this way now. Until everyone is ready to give up violence and war, the countries who offer their citizens religious tolerance, multiculturalism, freedom of speech and equal rights need to help the citizens of rest of the world gain their freedom. We will only be able to live in harmony and lay down our weapons when we are all free. Until then, if the free don t fight, genocides and holocausts will continue to occur until only one culture and one religion under one dictatorship is left. I believe that we, humans, have the ability to eventually get there. After our survival needs are met, we all want freedom. We just need to fight our tendency to bully and subjugate others who are less powerful. I pray and hope that violence and war is eradicated in my life time. It will most likely take violence and war to accomplish this.>

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posted July 29, 2006 at 3:21 am

I can understand why this quote would get anyone’s attention. It’s very in-your-face and seductive. But consider what he is and isn’t saying. McCarthy says believing in our own evolution and future harmony is enslavement, demanding our freedom and our souls. And how does this happen? He never says. Why does it happen? He never says. He just denounces the belief. By his way of thinking, living a free and full life is dependent upon disbelief. Really? I believe we can and will improve/evolve. I believe in a future that transcends the limitations of our current reality. My life is full. My life is free. And my freedom is multi-dimensional: like Viktor Frankl, I can give up my freedom without surrendering my soul. I too can choose my attitude in any given circumstance, perhaps the greatest freedom. So in reading McCarthy’s quote, I consider the source. As such, there’s little to recommend him as an expert on the human condition or one living an exemplary life. His life’s work exalts violence, yet he pleads ignorance when asked to explain why. He’s lauded as a literary lion, his critics denounced as blind to his genius. He fashions the life of a recluse yet has his ego massaged as the informal writer-in-residence at the Santa Fe Institute. I cannot believe that this man, who lives exclusively in his head, who has carefully crafted his public persona and who brokers violence and death has any insight into the mystery or majesty of life, of what we’re capable. If anyone is enslaved, it is those who fail to see beyond the status quo. A vacuous life indeed.>

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