Last kiss from Neptune – Neptune in aspect to Venus   Leave a comment

Natural hedonistic narcissism is simply the pleasure we get in eating cream cakes, sex etc. all animals have a natural hedonistic narcissism. Pleasure feels good and we want more and like to have a little bit more pleasure than the next man or the last cookie in the box. Humanity and hedonism have a long complex history, pleasure has been seen as the most important aspect of life and also simple sensual pleasure for Utilitarians is often relegated to lower quality pleasure beneath aesthetics etc, however Michel Onfray disagrees, “In opposition to the ascetic ideal advocated by the dominant school of thought, hedonism suggests identifying the highest good with your own pleasure and that of others; the one must never be indulged at the expense of sacrificing the other. Obtaining this balance – my pleasure at the same time as the pleasure of others – presumes that we approach the subject from different angles – political, ethical, aesthetic, erotic, bioethical, pedagogical, historiographical..”

Hedonism is the simplest form of narcissism doing what gives us pleasure thus it has often been frowned upon as well as encouraged in different cultures.  Zizek states: “in order to have a life full of happiness and pleasures, you should avoid dangerous excesses, be fit, live a healthy life, not harass others… so everything is prohibited if it is not deprived of its substance, and you end up leading a totally regulated life.”  He calls this, “coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol… And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex, the Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare, the contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics, up to today’s tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of Other deprived of its Otherness (the idealized Other who dances fascinating dances and has an ecologically sound holistic approach to reality, while features like wife beating remain out of sight…)? Along the same lines, what the Politically Correct tolerance is giving us is a decaffeinated belief: a belief which does not hurt anyone and does not fully commit even ourselves.”

Our hedonism is permitted only if it is ‘safe hedonism’ as in ‘safe sex’ – we are allowed as much safe hedonism as we desire as long as we don’t partake of the dangerous hedonism of the thrill seeker.  This is part of our living in what is coined a ‘pathologically narcissistic’ society.  In the West our society is a consumerist one where before we all indulged our hedonistic narcissism in moderation or suffered the consequences, we no longer are expected to restrain our hedonism, corporations will do it for us by removing the caffeine, alcohol and the STDs.  The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a psychological test in delayed gratification of children the follow up experiment  of the 2012 study at the University of Rochester (with a smaller N= 28) altered the experiment by dividing children into two groups: one group was given a broken promise before the marshmallow test was conducted (the unreliable tester group), and the second group had a fulfilled promise before their marshmallow test (the reliable tester group). The reliable tester group waited up to four times longer (12 min) than the unreliable tester group for the second marshmallow to appear.  Our indulgent consumerist society is linked to our failed social and political systems, we lack the trust in the system to believe there is any benefit to curtailing our natural hedonism.

Man is not a palm-tree that he should be complete (or, self sufficient).
(onipa nye abe na ne ho ahyia ne ho)

The right arm washes the left arm and the left arm washes the right arm.
(wo nsa nifa hohorow benkum, na benkum nso hohorow nifa)

Your neighbor’s situation is [potentially] your situation.
(Wo yonko da ne wo da)

African ethics are social ethics in which it is recognised that individuals cannot thrive on their own, they need the social structure of their community. The individual is not the priority the good of the community working together is. In this way it focuses on our duty to each other as we can only function in working together for a common good. This duty to each other is an opposite to the belief to the rights of the individual in Western society, there are no rights as an individual – the individual does not have the right to your help but you have a duty to realise you may also be in a position where you require help and should show compassion and empathy.

Human Rights are ethical ideals and as such there is no automatic ‘right’ to them, you cannot prevent a famine because you have a right to food.  We have a duty towards humanity and each other and the social structure we live in makes it much harder for us to do this as a community than 100 years ago when people lived next door to their parents, grandparents aunts, uncles and cousins much more frequently than we do now.  This means that we necessarily became more dependent on funding the state to fulfil that role that was once fulfilled by our communities. However the state cannot fully meet the duties we have towards each other and is often unreliable in that it follows prescribed rules rather than adapting to the needs of the individual at the same time the individual has been told they have a ‘right’ – so there is a dynamic tension between the two.

Human Rights developed out of the blood bath of the 20th century and were created in recognition of our duty to humanity.  Yet they failed to take the full lesson of the century into account, the belief that wealthy nations were more democratic failed to take into full account their wealth came from suppressing the rights of other nations and abuse of power – the rights of the West came at the expense of the third world.  In this is the crux of having ‘human rights’ their fulfilment is often at the expense of others.  At the same time the West has abused the idea of having a duty to our fellow humans, using duty as a reason for invading other countries and stripping them of their assets.

Zizek exemplifies our inability to fully embrace the idea of duty in his Starbucks analogy, “What Starbucks enables you, is to be a consumerist, without any bad conscience, because the price for the countermeasure, for fighting consumerism, is already included into the price of a commodity. Like, you pay a little bit more, and you’re not just a consumerist, but you do also your duty towards the environment, the poor, starving people in Africa, and so on and so on.” Starbucks becomes the state taking a small percentage of what is paid and donating it for you so that you have no duty to fulfil to your fellow man etc. our hedonism is fuelled by our disappointment in the state yet it fuels the state and recreates its failing ideology.


Posted March 12, 2015 by neptune's Aura Astrology in Last Kiss from Neptune

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