It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Fictitious Animal

page: 1
18

log in

join
share:
+1 more 
posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:20 PM
link   

THE


FICTITIOUS


ANIMAL



Aaah, I see Virgil has brought us another wanderer. Let me be the first to say “Welcome to the city of Dis”. I see your curiosity has brought you to the Sixth Circle of Inferno, living proof of God’s sublime stupidity. Here resides those who were put to the flames on a mere technicality. You find yourself amidst great and eloquent human beings. Behold! Gaze upon gentle Epicurus, a once elegant, generous and equanimous soul, as he burns in his sarcophagus for eternity, in the same manner they burned his books. Witness them all burn, all of them, and at the same time, understand that God’s stupidity is really man’s stupidity. It is with this sadness that I remain here, a perpetual witness to their martyrdom. I, like you, am not dead, but nonetheless find myself among these souls, unwilling to turn my gaze from their cinders. I am here on my own accord, a willing witness to this crime. And you, all unarmed and nonchalant, may perhaps buckle beneath the burden of your own meditations upon these horrors. You do not seek the minotaur, for you are ill-equipped for such a task. No; you seek the wrongly condemned so as to bear witness to their eternal suffering. You’ve found the right place. In due time, perhaps you’ll find yourself on an empty black shore along the lake of fire with the rest of us cold nominalist apostates who made the swim. And perhaps, like me, you will need a friend now more than ever, for it seems we are all stuck in this lonely circle together. Perhaps.

Dry off, my friend. Sit by the tomb-fires. Tales will be told.

If you’ve made it this far, you have undoubtedly come to understand that humans are the only species of beings who can think of things that do not exist. Our earliest artifacts are humanoid figures with feline heads, an animal that has yet made entrance into the fossil record. Humanoids with feline heads have never existed, yet we have statues of these beings as if we were able to observe them in waking life. Such are all gods. And Diogenes was right to deface the currency—“all was base metal with lying superscription”.

Yes, we are the only animal that can speak about things that do not exist, and in doing so, we are the only animal who stamps real things with lying and symbolic superscription—this is how our language differs from, say, the green monkey’s; or the comical parrot, who can be taught to say anything Plato can say. But the parrot, it seems, is unable to think about things that do not exist, and cannot formulate ideas that have no reference to anything in the world. This is the reason we have come to dominate the planet. We are the fictitious animal.

We sapiens are the last extant species of human beings, a once insignificant species among other human species that has come to dominate the world. Imagine an earth where we still walked side-by-side with our human brothers, the Neanderthal, Erectus and Denisovans. What would the culture be like? What would the religions be like? Would man still be the measure of all things? Would we still consider ourselves fallen angels sculpted in the image of God? Probably. However, such speculation is useless, as we have long forgotten whatever relationship we once had with them, and worse, by what methods we made them go extinct. Whatever hope there is to find an oral history on such matters were likely lost to genocide within our own species. Nonetheless, the universality of language in modern sapiens might shows that we had the trait of language long before we expanded to the far reaches of the globe, and thus, may have condemned our neanderthal brothers and sisters with the same condemnation we inflict to this day—inspiring hate for things that do not exist, and taking it out on things that do.

The next time you get the opportunity, try to convince our cousin the chimpanzee to accept a cheque for millions of bananas over one actual banana. As you try to hand him your slip of paper, your promise, your contract, and all the while, threaten him with eternal damnation if he doesn’t accept your gift, watch as he laughs in your face. He isn’t smart enough to understand, right? Yet, if the average city-dweller and our nimble friend the chimpanzee were lost in a dark wood, I would bet all my bananas that the chimp would survive longer.

What is the difference between God and the state? What is the difference between religion and politics? What is the difference between the judge and the priest? The President and the Pope? What is the difference between a nation and a congregation? A slave and a consumer? What is the difference between divine and natural law? The Big Bang and the first cause? What is the difference between the cross and the almighty dollar? Superficially, a few different symbols and semantics here and there—underneath, nothing. Whether “natural” or “divine”, whether theist or humanist, whether scientific or not, whether right or wrong, these inventions have served the same historical function—providing a set of legitimacy and stability to the human order for the sake of cooperation, marked with fictitious authorities and decrees from nowhere outside the human mind. Gossip has propelled the species, my curious friend. Story-tellers and story-listeners. Language.




posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:20 PM
link   
Every God changes and morphs with the language, for our Gods are language, and for that is the only place a God has ever remained. Seek elsewhere and nothing of the sort can be found. Open a book; there they are. The same is found in money, the symbol we stamp on our metals and paper is more valuable than what it is stamped upon. Why not stamp everything with those symbols? Those here on the sixth circle of Dante’s Inferno knew this all too well, but those that think of things that do not exist outside their minds have forgotten things that do, and henceforth threw these saints to the pyres for pointing out the obvious. If these clear-eyed people were around today and not engulfed in flames, they would speak similarly about your nations, your vocations, your economies, and the lies you live out on a day to day basis. But unfortunately for them, and perhaps us, like the writings of Epicurus, Lucretius, and Kesakambali, such temperament has survived only in fragments or not at all, barely surviving the torches and flames of roving mobs. Blasphemy is still a crime in the world, and as such, so is truth.

The populous has always been idealists, and idealism has prevailed. The populous strives for what exists only in their heads—success, status, wealth, country, money—at the expense of everything around them, reality be damned. Rarely has a war been waged for the sake of resources. To get the people behind it, a story is all one needs. The justification? Purely rhetorical. It is with this knowledge that one finds the most powerful of men are the greatest of storytellers. They are the tongue-gilded seducers whose power is in direct proportion to how well they can keep up their lie.

This plague of stories has yet to reach its final conclusion, and has even gone so far as to merely wound its ancient enemy materialism, the doctrine of prevalence in the world, so as to poison it, to degenerate it, weaken it, turn it, along with every other material and sensual thing, into a vice. So now, even the word “materialism” feels sour on our tongues.

What now? My pessimism tells me it is far too late. Anyone who challenges the prevailing stories falls to its most avid listeners, for which there are many. Perhaps there is an even mightier story-teller out there somewhere who can convince even them. Perhaps they are more mighty than anyone who burns here among the tombs. Perhaps.

But quick, the scent of the minotaur grows stronger. You best leave this place for the night, lest he confuses you with the violent ones and tears you apart. Leave now, your exit is paramount. Head out from where you came through the gates of Dis, and retrace yours and Virgil’s steps through the harrowing circles of Inferno. Or, if you are tired of travelling through non-existent realms, simply open your eyes, and return to your own story, knowing that you were never anywhere else.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:30 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

You seem to have reached the apogee of an aporia.

Bravo, sir, that was a wonderful read. You really took me there. I hope I can find my way out.




posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:29 PM
link   
I think I can grasp the theme of this OP. We're living meaningless lives striving for more money?



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:56 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I don't mean to be a philosopher, but isn't your story fictitious. Or is the story not because it originated inside your head? In that case, artists don't live in a fictitious world exploring themselves? Following this logic, why do some artists find themselves in the sixth circle of hell. Is it because of material desire hidden deep within them?



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:56 PM
link   
double post
edit on Sat Sep 27 2014 by DontTreadOnMe because: per member request



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 09:42 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Nice update on reality. How many times have Hollywood produced a terrific film and a few years later the Film hit Media headlines as 'Breaking News'?



posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 09:40 AM
link   
a reply to: Bybyots

Notice how the title was formatted, good Bybots. I think I stole that idea from you.



posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 09:52 AM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It's beautiful in every way, I was especially impressed with the formatting.

That was really powerful, man. I smelt the smoke from the fire and felt cold and greasy. You had me looking over my shoulder for the Minotaur. I was simultaneously grateful for your writing, grateful for the P&M forum and really grateful for the humanities classes that allowed me to understand what I was reading.

I was the grateful dead. Thanks for the trip to Dis.




posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 09:59 AM
link   
a reply to: Bybyots

A simple Dante's Inferno reference never hurt anyone. I'm grateful you liked it, friend. Thanks.



posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 10:06 AM
link   
I shall join the applause!

I had a growing di-ease recently, with religion, with deities, with seekers of light who reject the dark; with those whose loftiest concerns are how to detach themselves from this world, from the senses, from dark and evil matter and their own animal impulsions. I often feel that it is they who make the hellish parts of the world, so they can point at it and say, "SEE? Told ya!"

Yet I try to refrain from preaching for the flesh (though I think some saw behind my attempts, like a blouse just a tiny bit transparent).

So this was cathartic to read. And fun.

edit on 27-9-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 10:13 AM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Well,

I was in a weird place to begin with when I came to your thread. I had been reading about Nietzsche and Orpheus and caves and had been trying to understand Derrida (that had been going on for a couple of hours as I get really spun out on Derrida-stuff) and then I found your trhead.

One of those rare web-moments, better than any movie.




posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 02:31 PM
link   
This was a wonderful and challenging read.


I'm only 16 and reading this I had to read a couple times to even hope to grasp an understanding.
I had fun reading.

One point is that I wish there were more people who could stand up to some of these world problems. To say enough is enough. But they have a blind, a cover, over their eyes and they're sucked into the material world. Only wanting money and wanting the new phone upgrade. Kids in my school don't even care about the world - just gossip about homecoming or prom. Whenever a teacher tries to bring up problems in the world from the news, I'm the only one to answer. No one knows about the world today it seems like in my generation. About the problems.

That's what I got from this. What struck me the most.

Loved the challenge to!
I felt so tiny posting to you


-Cosmic



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 03:11 PM
link   
I really enjoyed reading it. We humans do like are story's, problem with modern people we have of gotten lost in the fictitious story's of things. We just need to show comment to the story of life.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 05:06 PM
link   
a reply to: Cosmicspirit

Good insights, friend.

I agree. However, I would argue that they are not sucked into the material world, but are avoiding it in favour of an idealistic world (materialism vs. idealism is a thousands of years old philosophical debate), where most people strive for the non-existent, for instance, wealth, status, popularity, country, god, freedom etc. These are ideas, with no real existence outside of our skulls. Most of us hate to admit this, and as I tried to show, people have been put to the flames for speaking in such ways. My main point of the thread was that human beings are the only animals that can think about things that don't exist. We willingly participate in a fiction, and attempt to live it out—and as we can see, destroy the world and each other in the process.

It's not quite immediately apparent as of yet, but language is the sole contributing factor to humanities success as a species.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it.




top topics



 
18

log in

join