“The impulse, arrested, overflows, and flooding is feeling, flooding is passion, flooding is even madness: it all depends on the strength of the current, the height and the resistance of the obstacle. The unobstructed current flows placidly along the channels set towards a calm happiness "
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)
In the mid-twentieth century, there was one who understood what the modern world would be – albeit in a literary sense. A lucid hallucination showing the social and spiritual development of man as now able to take control of his own feelings. A kind of chemically controlled happiness that doesn’t permit the irrationality of feelings. And when you fall into depression – when one no longer feels fulfilled when desires, absences or the existential void trouble us, then there’s always soma (which was once the drink of the gods), delicious soma, half a gram for a half-day off, one gram for a day’s holiday, two grams for a hike in the phantasmagorical East, three for a dark eternity on the moon.
The emotional sphere, the last bastion of the ancient world in opposition to the advancement of theories of productivist rationalism, to contemporary media and hyper-technology. The emotional sphere, that irrational kingdom, which is defeated and confined to oblivion by a maximally expedient individualism which intends to obsessively obscure relationships of sentimental interdependence. There must be no obstacles to the eudemonic success of the self. That will also be the collective success of this brave new world.
So the passions shall be gathered in a river, with solid banks and free from the dead wood of impulses, emotions and volitions. Dreams should end, ideals be laid aside along with relationships of love. Because one should not abdicate to this irresistible flood, which for centuries has shackled humanity. Man’s ontological root: love, this fluid that decomposes any rational certainty into the most radical doubt. Unacceptable.
So we proceed with great strides toward a calm, placid happiness. We can eliminate the illogical obstacle of emotions. A new existential condition that, in essence, is nothing but a lack of will. A sort of happiness that retains only its smell because it has lost all torment.
Recommended listening. Love, Lana del Rey