WHY {thoughts on humanity}

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"Suffering is the sole cause of consciousness"--Fyodor Dostoevsky, 'Notes From Underground'

Pity would be no more If we did not make somebody poor; And mercy no more could be, If all were as happy as we... from William Blake's 'Songs of Experience: The Human Abstract'

In some of my Lit classes recently, we've been thinking about what makes up our humanity. Can we have meaning and happiness without suffering? What makes us truly know ourselves? When I heard Dostoevsky's quote, I first thought of Blake's poem. Secondly, I thought of Titanic (strange how we link things in our minds). And I started wondering why people became so addicted to this film. Are we drawn to suffering? Do we watch and enjoy because we like seeing bad things happen to other people or because we want to know we're not alone? Could Rose have felt as deeply for Jack if she hadn't lost him? Or does the suffering of loss make her joy that much more intense? What do you guys think--when I've had more time to consider it, I'll let you know my conclusions.

;-) Nonnie

-- Nonnie (NonnieS@go.com), January 26, 2000

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