This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: and ethically justifiable, is decidedly wearisome, at times to all, and to many at all
times. It seems so easy and pleasant to relax in purposes, in morals, in thought, to be a vagrant spirit seeking
nothing but the pleasures right at hand; to be like a traditional bee flitting from the rose to rose of desire.
(Only the bee is a decidedly purposive creature, out for business not pleasure.) "Why all this striving and
self-control?" cries the unorganized in all of us. "Why build up when Death tears down?" cries the pessimist
in our hearts. Great epochs in history are marked by different answers to these questions, and in our own
civilization there has grown up a belief that bodily pleasure in itself is wrong, that life is vanity unless yoked
to service and effort. The Puritan idea that we best serve God in this way has been modified by a more
skeptical idea that we serve man by swinging our efforts away from bodily pleasure and toward work,
organized to some good end; but essentially the idea of inhibition, control, as the highest virtue, remains. Such
an ideal gains force for a time, then grows too wearisome, too extreme, and a generation grows up that throws
it off and seeks pleasure frankly; paints, powders, dances, sings, develops the art of "living," indulges the
sense; becomes loose in morals, and hyperesthetic and over-refined in tastes. Then the ennui, boredom and
disgust that always follow sensual pleasures become diffuse; happiness cannot come through the seeking of
pleasure and excitement and anhedonia of the exhausted type arises. Preachers, prophets, seers and poets
vigorously proclaim the futility of pleasure, and the happiness of service; inhibition comes into its own again
and a Puritan cycle recommences. Stoic, epicurean; Roman republic, Roman empire; Puritan England,
Restoration; Victorian days, early twentieth century; for to-day we are surging into an era of revolt against
form, custom, tradition; in a word against inhibition.
As with periods, so with people; self-i...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11