Escapism

Putting together ones life with the modern world.
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Boreas
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Escapism

Postby Boreas » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:13 pm

My brother and I just talked shortly about escapism and reached a conclusion that most people use some forms of escapism in their daily life to run away from their personal problems or from the problem of life altogether. Escapism can take numerous forms from video games and entertainment to drug use, drinking, shopping etc.

What is your personal view of escapism? In what way can forms of escapism be actually beneficial to spiritual development and in what ways it becomes a hindrance?

My own answer lies in moderation. We all need some relief from the pains and pressures of our life and from the collective burden of modern civilization, but everything should be used in moderation or else the forms of escapism become another burden and a hindrance to spiritual life.

There is also a saying from Gurdjieff: "If one finds ones self in prison, it is only natural to wish to escape."
Sol er landa ljome, luti ek Helgum dome.
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Beshiira
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Re: Escapism

Postby Beshiira » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:33 pm

Lately I've been thinking about how spirituality and escapism are actually related. Both have to do with ”abandoning the world”, longing for a better world. Perhaps they are different kinds of expressions of the same urge, even. Maybe this is also, partly, why so many spiritual people tend to have escapistic tendencies, and well, vice versa. Roughly speaking, the difference is that escapism can be a way to close ones eyes to whatever is unwanted, whereas sincere aspiration for spiritual development aims at seeing as clearly as possible and widening ones perspective. Then again, in some cases spirituality can be just another form of escapism. Just like escapism, if not done too numbingly, can be very positive and uplifting.

The relief aspect is still valid, and we all need these ”time-outs from reality” to certain extent. But it seems there are more levels to this matter too. Why do we need those time-outs? Why are we drawn to certain forms of escapism exactly, be it entertainment or something else?
"Ja kun minun kirkkauteni kulkee ohitse, asetan minä sinut kallion rotkoon ja peitän sinut kädelläni, kunnes olen kulkenut ohi.
Kun minä sitten siirrän pois käteni, näet sinä minun selkäpuoleni; mutta minun kasvojani ei voi kenkään katsoa."
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Cerastes
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Re: Escapism

Postby Cerastes » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:24 pm

That‘s an intersting topic.
I think we all try to escape something in one way or another.
Escapism is what almost got me killed and escapism is what caused me to be successful in my job so obviously it can be both – extremly productive and extremly destructive. Still I think that those extremes had a high value after all even if they carry a very big risk.
When it comes to escapism into spirit (Yep, I did that too) there is a big difference between what traps you in passiveness and won‘t get you anywhere and the form of escapism which can be used an an ispiration to act out. The reason why escapism has the tendency to lead into extremes is that the more you are trying to escape, to more you might lose the ability to deal with whatever you are trying to escape from and this can lead right into a vicious circle. I think it is important to be concious about the fact that escapism is based on an illusion because there is no escape after all.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Boreas
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Re: Escapism

Postby Boreas » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:51 pm

I remember fra Nefastos talking to me in a letter many years ago not about escape from reality but escape into Reality. The thing we name as reality is usually just another layer of illusion so it is only natural to escape it somehow. The main question I think is how to do it constructively.
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Nefastos
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Re: Escapism

Postby Nefastos » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:24 pm

Welcome to the forum, Boreas!
Boreas wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:13 pm
What is your personal view of escapism? In what way can forms of escapism be actually beneficial to spiritual development and in what ways it becomes a hindrance?


Our Finnish readers know well the quotation from Väinö Linna's Unknown Soldier: "The proper matters we'll take care of, but otherwise we'll be like Ellu's chickens." In my life I follow a little bit similar code. In things where it is meaningful to have a special norm and form, I will follow those quite punctually; but in situations where there really are no ethical or other actual rules to follow, I have no respect for any projected social consensus, but instead enjoy things that go against things people usually find normatively appropriate. This often borders to kind of escapism, and might be the trickster-aspect of my own Satanism. I have used this tactic for many reasons, and it seems to work very well for me. The trick in this trickstery is the subtle balance of finding out which things actually have rules for some reason, and for which the reason is simply societal mediocrity. Unlike some Satanists tend to think, the former group is much larger than the latter.

To put it into different words, my answer to your question is that after someone has actually, powerfully, intensely put all of his soul into living in the actual world in the best possible way (= the "âtmic" point of our Threefold Key), he should really put real effort into relaxation and finding the very core of his personal comfort zone, for without reaching that, one probably cannot revitalize one's energies amidst the daily, constant struggle.

Boreas wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:51 pm
I remember fra Nefastos talking to me in a letter many years ago not about escape from reality but escape into Reality. The thing we name as reality is usually just another layer of illusion so it is only natural to escape it somehow. The main question I think is how to do it constructively.


This same thing seems to be my synchronicity for the day. Today many of the things I have read in apparently random have touched the same question. A news article about the meaninfulness of dreams; Petri Hakkarainen's writing about William Blake's archetypical imagination (in his Jumalaiset näyt: Milton); and lastly the editor-in-chief's thoughts from an ancient Finnish roleplaying magazine, touching the very same archetypical nature of fantasy imagination.

Mika Laaksonen in Magus #5/1990 wrote:Lately I have been thinking about the inner essence of the roleplaying games. What is their relation to our mind, what is their purpose? Why do imagined fantasy worlds fascinate us? There must be plenty of reasons, but somehow fantasy worlds apparently open gateways to our subconscious. Just like in our dreams, where the common things are veiled in symbolism, fantasy is a reflection of our own world, where familiar things are depicted by symbols which feed the subconscious mind. Somewhere in the bottom of our mind smoulder the seeds for epic sensation, which we do not recognize, but which we feel without recognizing.


Translation mine. Laaksonen goes on thinking about these "seeds for epic sensation" (good way to put it) in the back of our minds, and how this same kind of intuition is used by Michael Moorcock, Bruno Bettelheim, and well written Tarot or I Ching books. After opening his text with cosmic projections, he closes it with the following (quote): "There are no many paths, there is only one Path. / If one seeks this path, one cannot find it. / The one who does not seek it, will find the Path." It is a bit like seeing the nature or spirits, or the distant stars, using only one's peripheral vision. In reason there's a force that shatters the subtler forms of equally important manifestation.

This, the divine power of pure imagination, is also something why I love old school tabletope roleplaying games and old video games, as my favourite choice of personal escapism (not counting erotic fantasy). There is no overabundance of visual effect, there often is not a single visual effect at all, to replace one's personal imagination. While I do enjoy silly shallow gonzo stuff like Baywatch – because nobody could possibly take that seriously, and thus, once again the emphasis is on the viewer's personal imagination – I do hate superproductions which have the similar absolute lack of depth in story. E.g. in the new Star Wars trilogy I see this kind of entertainment with zero imagination as a form of social hypnosis to the vacuum of values. (I fail to see any kind of actual feminist empowerment in those terrible movies either.) Such an empty entertainment has no depth, but it has so much artificial effects that it fools people to think they are seeing something meaningful. Thus we have two mindsets to work with escapism: first, we might make escapism as our gateway to a somewhat parallel and complementary world, or, we might take the escapism pill just to dream the everyday dream deeper.

This, of course, is just a personal opinion. For in the end, most naturally, all discussions about this "depth where no depth is apparent" (fantasy of imagination) comes ultimately back to that de gustibus non est disputandum – "it is useless to debate over the matters of taste". There is always someone who is able to draw the gold thread from the haystack, or make a homunculus out of horse's dung. And similarly there is always that someone who has, because of some personal viewpoint, to hate that in which the majority finds pearls & treasures (my approach to Crowley??).
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Boreas
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Re: Escapism

Postby Boreas » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:36 pm

My synchronicity of the day seems to RPG's, since just before reading your messsage I thought about making a thread of its own about role playing games! I don't know if there already exists a thread for RPG's, but it could be a very fruitful topic to discuss, since everyone here knows that they are the gateway drug to occultism and Satan worship. :D
Sol er landa ljome, luti ek Helgum dome.
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Nefastos
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Re: Escapism

Postby Nefastos » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:34 pm

The forum search engine reminded me of this thread: Computer games / roleplaying
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Insanus
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Re: Escapism

Postby Insanus » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:57 pm

Escapism is like some intelligence of Venus. The promise of sweet relief from the mundane grief via art or prayer or video games or booze.
There is sickening moralism to the word "escapism" and also too much weight is put on the problems we supposedly "escape" from. Pain hurts, running is smart for sure, but "escapism" is a lot more than running away, it's also (at least) an attempt to heal. I would rather call "escapism" creative use of imagination, skilled or unskilled of course.
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.
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Boreas
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Re: Escapism

Postby Boreas » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:26 pm

Insanus wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:57 pm
There is sickening moralism to the word "escapism" and also too much weight is put on the problems we supposedly "escape" from.
"Get a real life!"

"Get a real job!"

aka.

"Be an auto-sadist!"

"Be a masochist!"

Hahahaha! ;)
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Re: Escapism

Postby Insanus » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 am

Boreas wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:26 pm
Insanus wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:57 pm
There is sickening moralism to the word "escapism" and also too much weight is put on the problems we supposedly "escape" from.
"Get a real life!"

"Get a real job!"

aka.

"Be an auto-sadist!"

"Be a masochist!"

Hahahaha! ;)
The kind of truthfulness that wants to eliminate all illusions is a strange desire. It seems common to abuse scientific knowledge to attack even subjectivity as "illusion". Our experience is "just" a subjective experience in contrast with real truth. Faith is just an "escape" from "harsh reality" and what not. Saturn as demonic passion is anti-astralism, murder of poetry and so on, but what does it serve? Is it just some death drive or what is going on? Is it sadism? Control? Fear?
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.

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