Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Miserabilia II

So there was this program just now on BBC2 about happiness – in scientific terms, and how to achieve it with scientific techniques based on said statistical data and psychological research. This is quite an interesting approach, but it lacks the very essence it is fighting against, the governing law of Miserabilia (MB). As Schopenhauer said, “The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.” And clearly whatever you do, these things will always remain there – no matter how much you try to relieve the pain, and occupy yourself so as to avoid boredom. Instead, you get this amoeboid multiplication, where the trials for relieving pain become pain themselves, and the occupations you put yourself in to avoid boredom, become boring. So it is quite a vicious circle, and a down-going. That is indeed the slow death.

Just watching this program was depressing, and it was about finding happiness! It was so depressing as the basic message that comes out of it is the opposite that it is venturing to transmit – it unwillingly and unwittingly reinforces the law of Miserabilia. That means, that whatever you do, however much you try you will still be miserable!

Science as Religion
The scientists at the program used various techniques to promote happiness in one of Britain’s statistically unhappy towns, Slough. Some of these psychologists/sociologists – almost seemed to be preaching the concept/state of happiness. This preaching almost, dare I say, had a religious quality to it signifying a sociological shift that has been on exponential rise ever since the 80s – socio-psychological science is establishing itself as a new religious organisation, based on ‘fact’ which is itself based on scientific research and statistical data. Since the advent of time, science has always falsely taken itself too seriously and regimentally, almost dogmatically which reinforces this religious aspect. The dogmatic nature of the concept of Happiness is what eventually diminishes its very point – as anything dogmatic is usually explained inadequately and pedantically – presenting itself as an unexplainable natural fact, and usually not based on clear logical form. For example, dictating that suicide is a bad thing is purely dogmatic for there is no clear explanation to why it is wrong to take one’s life – and usually refers back to traditionally religious influences translated into modern science.

Happiness is also a dogma itself in this sense, as it does not really exist – it is merely the temporary absence of misery. Moments of euphoria and good spirits are short memory and chemically induced states that can be simulated with various legal (and illegal) drugs. Excess use of these medicine lead to the very opposite though, showing how one follows the other, or how one always governs and perhaps, allows the other.

Statistical Inadequecies
Statistical data, of the kind presented by the scientists are not very convincing. People tend to lie to themselves on this matter, or even submerge themselves in a state of faux-happiness, general numbness or even histrionic avoidance. To get valid statistical data one must analyse each individual extensively, something that questionnaires cannot simply cover. According to MB, “misery is embedded within human existence” hence instead of looking for evidence and statistical data, science should focus more on the obvious and tangible, that is misery and pain. It is indeed the driving force, yet science embodies this obscene optimism influenced by dogmatic ‘faith’ and ‘hope’.

Scientific Ceremonies
In the program they used various scientific techniques to promote happiness in a small community that had a very ceremonial almost paganistic reflection. Singing publicly was one technique, promoting large groups of people and community consciousness is another technique proved to bring good results. Being in nature, dancing and tree-hugging supposedly helps. Scientists also believe that the greatest reason for unhappiness is the fear of death – so psychological therapy is used that aims to accustoming people with death and how it is a natural process while promoting a feeling of euphoria and gratefulness for being ‘alive’. Others introduce basic rules like smiling everyday and doing good deeds, having conversations with friends and partners and having a good laugh. Still, these techniques have a main flaw – they only work at a very superficial level whereas there is always an underlying MB factor that fuels the need for happiness. In fact one of the major contributing factors of MB is the mere struggle for that unattainable, idealistic happiness.

Trivial Triviality
Just like love, happiness is a trivial term manufactured by mankind to name the unreachable, the impossible, an ideal condition that can never be but is always sought for. And there lies the great tragedy of mankind that leads to its eventual downfall. That need for the impossible, the opposite, the unnatural, the ideal, the fatalistic, indeed the dogmatic. This need is what fuels life, it is its purpose. Without it one would have no reason to live – so we basically structure our whole lives around something that will never be or never was. A myth that keeps you going, just like love, God, wisdom, infinity etc.

Miserabilia vs. Triviality
The Miserabilia Law, takes things from a different perspective. Instead of promoting obscene lying towards one’s self and promising imaginary utopias – it suggests honesty and acceptance. It is ok to be miserable – there’s nothing you can do about it. You will never be happy, satisfied or content – that is just a fact of life. Accepting one’s MB will lead to a more calm, tolerant existence that is prepared for death, pain and misery, recognizing them as its natural necessary processes that aim for survival and spiritual growth. Indeed, there is a direct correlation of knowledge and happiness; the more knowledge and intelligence one obtains the more unhappy one is. This makes absolute sense – as knowledge grows so does the realisation of the MB factor. So one might say that yes, ignorance is bliss, but who in their right mind would choose ignorance over knowledge, despite the negative side effects?

Miserable-friendly society
MB promotes thirst for knowledge, thinking and logic and it aims to diminish trivial terms such as love, happiness, feeling, God, unless they are presented in an ironic context. The final form of advanced MB is therefore cynicism in its purest form, a power far much greater than the temporary trivial states of happiness and/or the obsessive compulsive behaviour for attaining happiness. In an MB society, suicide is widely accepted and promoted as a form of cleansing and rebirth. Suicide, though, in a fully regimented MB society is seen as an obstacle to the true purpose of life, that of knowledge and logic – and would therefore be avoided unless knowledge reaches a threshold of pure MB saturation. The state provides with leaflets and information on suicide, and government funded suicide centres are established where one can get suicide insurance and services. Suicide professionals prepare the applicants for a safe death, and arrange family group sessions where the applicant can explain and present his case. The applicant may then have the choice of euthanasia executed by himself or by a third party of his choice or a caring professional. Post-humous group sessions may also be arranged in cases of more applicants within a family. To maintain a stable work force, MB societies widely promote cloning, where an applicant might clone oneself or a partner. The clone receives equal rights as the applicant, and together they obtain a social contract with tax relief. Clone_parent relationships are introduced, where one can have a literally physical relationship with oneself, one learning from another, in a divide and conquer kind of strategy. A gloomy, purple society, with neon bats flying in the streets, and where the sun never rises. Large white statues cast shadows across the landscape and the buildings are all post-modern. All people are grumpy and perfectionists, but with a killer fashion sense. How fab!

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