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Thread: Something to ponder

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    Yoga's Avatar \ ( ^ 0 ^ ) / BT Rep: +8BT Rep +8
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    I resurrected this from my old zeropaid account.
    This is from one of Nietzche's books.
    Post your favorite passages here.

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    Yoga's Avatar \ ( ^ 0 ^ ) / BT Rep: +8BT Rep +8
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    What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest
    loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it,
    you will have to live once more and innumerable
    times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy
    and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life
    will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider
    and this moonlight between the trees, and
    even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down
    again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!" Would you not throw yourself
    down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?...
    Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave
    nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal? - Nietzche

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    Yoga's Avatar \ ( ^ 0 ^ ) / BT Rep: +8BT Rep +8
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    'We are the priests of power,' he said. 'God is power. But at present power is only a word so far as you are concerned. It is time for you to gather some idea of what power means. The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan: "Freedom is Slavery". Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone -- free -- the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal. The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings. Over the body but, above all, over the mind. Power over matter -- external reality, as you would call it -- is not important. Already our control over matter is absolute.'

    For a moment Winston ignored the dial. He made a violent effort to raise himself into a sitting position, and merely succeeded in wrenching his body painfully.

    'But how can you control matter?' he burst out. 'You don't even control the climate or the law of gravity. And there are disease, pain, death-'

    O'Brien silenced him by a movement of his hand. 'We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation -- anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.'

    'But you do not! You are not even masters of this planet. What about Eurasia and Eastasia? You have not conquered them yet.'

    'Unimportant. We shall conquer them when it suits us. And if we did not, what difference would it make? We can shut them out of existence. Oceania is the world.'

    'But the world itself is only a speck of dust. And man is tiny helpless! How long has he been in existence? For millions of years the earth was uninhabited.'

    'Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exists except through human consciousness.'

    'But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals -- mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which lived here long before man was ever heard of.'

    'Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. Nineteenth-century biologists invented them. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.'

    'But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! Some of them are a million light-years away. They are out of our reach for ever.'

    'What are the stars?' said O'Brien indifferently. 'They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.'

    Winston made another convulsive movement. This time he did not say anything. O'Brien continued as though answering a spoken objection:

    'For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?'

    Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief that nothing exists outside your own mind -- surely there must be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name for it, which he had forgotten. A faint smile twitched the corners of O'Brien's mouth as he looked down at him.

    'I told you, Winston,' he said, 'that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing: in fact, the opposite thing. All this is a digression,' he added in a different tone. 'The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men.'
    - George Orwell 1984

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    Jon L. Obscene's Avatar Canadain potatoes!!!
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    Thought I'd just say hello

    Kinda too much for me to read

    Jonno

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