> Hmm..." /> > Hmm..." />

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Re: Adam: inspiration

Posted by Elizabeth on November 18, 1999, at 12:45:10

In reply to Re: Adam: inspiration, posted by Adam on November 18, 1999, at 2:50:49

> > Why should *anything* tell people how they "ought" to feel?
> >
> I think you may be reading more into that than I intended it to mean. I never meant to imply
> that anything "should" tell people how they ought to feel.

Oh yeah, I know. I was just sort of throwing a "gotcha" at you. :-) In all seriousness, you do make a good point.

> > Hmm...the same claim has been made of depression. (e.g., what if Dostoevsky, Salinger, Mozart, etc., had been on Prozac?). Does that make depression a good thing that shouldn't be eliminated? (And how do we know that depression, or religion, is required for inspiration?)
> Are you implying that religion should be eliminated?

That's a matter of opinion.

> I guess as far as depression goes, (don't hold
> me to textbook definitions, here) I don't think it should be eliminated completely. The relentless
> despair that ruins lives and drives people to self-destruction, sure. But nobody wants a Brave New World,
> either.

Have you ever read the Hedonistic Imperative web site? (http://www.hedweb.com/hedab.htm) It presents a differing viewpoint. (I can't decide what I think of it.)

> The idea of life without affect is what made Huxley's vision so frightening, and I think some
> amount of depression is necessary to appreciate joy.

I don't mean "sadness" by "depression." Surely a lack of depression is not a lack of affect!

> I'm not at all implying that you thus need religion
> to appreciate science, just that faith has not been entirely without value.

I dunno, I sometimes think I wouldn't appreciate science nearly as much if it weren't for all the anti-science folks in the world.

> > (For that matter, speaking of Dostoevsky, it's been hypothesized that his apparent mood disorder may have been related to temporal lobe epilepsy. Does that make epilepsy a good thing?)
> Who would suggest such a thing? Of course not. I love Dostoevsky's work, but I would gladly give it up
> if it meant he didn't have to suffer. I think the closest I ever got to true love was with a woman who
> had TLE. She was brilliant, beautiful, could draw a perfect likeness of me in about three seconds, and had
> an extremely impressive creative talent. (No harsh speculation about how I let her go...it's complicated).

It always is, no?

> Anywhow, I don't know in what way TLE influenced her talents, controlled by Tegretol as it was, but I would
> hazard a guess that Dostoyevsky might still have been dark and brilliant without it.

So, what about all those other depressed artists (without the confound of a possible seizure disorder)? Would they not have been dark and brilliant without their suffering, too?

> > I don't think faith is required to be inspired, either. I've found at least two of the classes I've taken deeply inspiring (Allan Hobson's sleep class, and a course of my dad's that I sat in on).
> >
> I think these things are wonderful, and I envy your talents and a father who must be quite an intellectual.
> (what does he teach?)

I'm not sure what department his courses would be listed under (he's a "university professor," though his training is in philosophy and history of science).
http://www.bgsm.edu/graduate/bulletin/page91.html should have the course descriptions - just search the page for "Shapere."

> Again, the intent was not to rule out the possibility of inspiration in the absence
> of faith. Isn't a little nostalgic hyperbole OK once in a while?

Oh, I *guess* so! :-)

> It may very well be that faith just isn't
> worth the trouble it's caused, but I'm not prepared to make that judgement.

I think there's only one way to find out.

> If and when it finally vanishes,
> I think there will be cause for some sadness, because it hasn't been all bad, and has inspired a lot of
> beauty.

Beauty will go on, and I don't think *anything* is all bad. (To quote the South Park movie , "Without evil there would be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes.")

> I hope that all transcendant experiences aren't the product or precursor of complex partial seizures, hallucinogens, or
> extreme states of agitation.

("Precursor" = aura, which is in fact what I call it. I don't think of it as a cause, so much as a warning.)




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Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:Elizabeth thread:14368
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/19991108/msgs/15468.html