Thursday, September 11, 2008

Passion

The strange problem of human passion is that it inexorably limits us. The first way that they do this is not something that can be helped. Humans have a limited amount of time, and we can only choose to like or indulge in so many things, and we must sacrifice the possibility of indulging in other things we might like just as much or even more. The second way that they limit us is by us wanting them so much, which is both the fault of us and the things we are passionate toward. The best example of these are drugs because they actually create a profound addiction most times, requiring you to continue them or face great pain (of course, there is pain involved in taking them, often, yet people continue to indulge), and additionally having to have the resources in people and money to indulge in them. Every single thing that one feels compelled to do thus limits oneself.

There is a third way that they limit us, but that is more the result of how we act upon our passions than the passions themselves, and that is that for things that we like or love, we find something else anathema, or are merely indifferent to the other options we could harbor passion toward.

So this begs the question of whether it is better to try and indulge in as many passions as possible, to do it in a fairly limited nature, or to not care about having passions at all? There is no simple answer. Every approach is very legitimate because of these limits. While experiencing the passion feels great, the aftereffects are often awful and substantial: eating, working out, headbanging, and sex (getting disgustingly sweaty during) all portend problems with their joys. A simple solution of these is to only indulge in them in a limited manner, which might make the disparity between positive and negative greater, favoring the positive, but it also means not getting as much of an amount of either. Lastly, not having any passions in general, while it might seem similar to laziness which I despise, is actually a little different in that one might be focusing on just completely avoiding the negative effects while still living to the best of their ability otherwise (kind of symptomatic of the 'caged bird' situation). While the last seems the least fun approach, and I certainly could never tolerate it even if dilapidated by age, it is defensible.

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