Passion, emotion and delusion
Passion, Emotion and Delusion - by P.K.Odendaal - 7 April 2013.
I am quite sure that passion is the most important emotion in our lives and that of God - if one can refer to Him as having a life in that sense. I also know of many people who do not have that emotion, but I would not want to live without it. In fact, God displayed His biggest act of love towards us in the Passion of Christ.
Of course many people, notably the materialists, agnostics and atheists would disagree that these three non-material or non-physical things - passion, emotion and delusion - exist. For the rest of us who go off at a tangent when these things grip us know too well what they are.
Of course there are many paradoxes in all of this - and the main paradox to me is that one of those delusional atheists, one who denies that delusion exists, wrote a book named: The God Delusion. Now, that is a paradox for me par excellence. And while we are talking of paradoxes, let us not forget the king of paradoxes named G.K. Chesterton. I know you would like to tell me that the king of paradoxes was Parmenides, but I will hand the kingship every time to Chesterton.
In fact, I too, only being a servant of paradoxes, always look at everything from the other side of the coin, as you may have noticed in these articles. I find that the only way to look at anything is from the other side. The side of conventional wisdom is so tainted with prejudice, old people's fables and lies, that I find it vulgar to consider anything from that perspective.
But, returning to delusion I will start with a quote from our king of paradoxes (from his book: Orthodoxy): But if I disbelieve in immortality (read delusion or anything which does not exist) I must not think of it. So how can an atheist, like the one I mentioned, think of delusion?
I will not discuss other emotions than passion, apart from pointing out that they are totally irrational, and that makes them so interesting and difficult to understand. It reminds me of an old (anonymous) saying of women: Women are so irrational and illogical. They quickly or almost immediately jump to an irrational conclusion, and in the end you see that they were right.
Passion is such a large subject that anyone can write books about it. However, the main thing which fascinates me about it is its boundlessness, irrationality, its ability to make a slave of mankind and its ability to drive the whole world - yes - we are driven by passionate people.
For Jesus Christ it was possible to confine His passion to the good side, but we do not have that ability. In fact, our passion is to pursue passion wherever it drives us, and mostly to the evil side. Sometimes it even drives mankind to murder and war and greed.
On the other hand we have this passion to live a good life, and our passions inside us come into conflict so often and so violently that we find it hard to control ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions and our actions.
I am reminded of the delusion in the Opera Parsifal by Wagner (from the score of Act 2): But who can know aright and clear the only true source of salvation? O misery that banishes all deliverance! O blackness of earthly error, that while we feverishly pursuing supreme salvation, yet we thirst for the fount of perdition!
Then I wish to recall the story of Death in Venice which is based on the passion of Goethe for a very young woman:
To me is all, I to myself am lost,
Who the immortals' fav'rite erst was thought;
They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
They urged me to those lips, with rapture crown'd,
Deserted me, and hurl'd me to the ground.
Goethe, Marienbad Elegy, the last stanza, translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring
So ... how do we exercise or contain our passion without ending in perdition?
We are again back at our old story of self destruction. And that is the point and the reason why so many passionate people end up in perdition, whilst they should have attained some sort of heaven.
I my opinion it all comes back to the delusional lives we lead. I think that apart from passion which should be our biggest friend, we are delusional and it is our biggest foe. And the two go hand in hand. You cannot get immersed in passion without forgetting real life outside - the doubt and pain and grief. So you soon forget it and become delusional and a person without a mission. I think mankind has become the most delusional creatures in the universe, because we have lost our roots, our attachment to nature and creation, and our dedication to God. We think that we are not from the dust of the earth anymore.
One of the reasons we stay sane and with our feet on the ground (at least some of us), is that we have people around us who are always prepared to bring us back to earth and reality - people who criticize us, deride us, slander us and accuse us falsely (I do not refer to our spouses) - and we need them. Yes ... you can surely love your enemy for keeping you from delusion!
Are you happier with the word denial? I am not quite sure what the difference between the two are. Maybe denial is the path to delusion; or is it the other way round? Just tell someone that he or she has made a mistake and they will give you denial and delusion in abundance - as well as a very passionate rebuff!