I should be finishing Lita Washu's @#$% back-story for In The Nightmare Village, but instead I'm writing this...
...because a point 00goddess made (with which I happen to agree) in our last thread prompted the thought that its converse is also true. I'll get to it in a sec, but first a caveat, just so's we're clear.
Particularly in political times like these, I am leery of discussions of "the strong" and "the weak." Such discussions always make me think of Jack London, anyway: a committed Social Darwinist as a strapping young sailor-lad...until he became suddenly ill, just as suddenly realizing how easily one could become one of "the weak." His solution, I'm convinced, was wrong (world socialism), but his instinct was right: even strong and self-reliant people can be dealt a bad hand, and a lucky draw -- so far -- doesn't necessarily make one "strong." Crowley underwent a similar development, his later musings on a properly-balanced society somewhat more rounded than, say, CCXX III might make one expect. In brief, then: I am not talking here about people undergoing rough times; I'm talking about a toxic life-strategy, for which latter I have the traditional Thelemic contempt.
I might mention that in my experience -- contrary to what one might expect -- mature Thelemites' contempt for weakness grows directly out of their own past weaknesses: we might have been born Kings, but we also tend to be reformed slaves. ;) That may be why our contempt for chosen weakness is so strong, and lasting. Such weakness damn near killed us, we have escaped it, and we loathe it with a passion.
Anyway, Goddess's point was that the standard discomfort with pride probably grows in part from insecurity. Rather more darkly, it occurs to me, the converse may also be true: there is a kind of power in weakness, with which those exercising it (as with all power) are reluctant to part. "See how I suffer. None have known my misery. How can you so callously display your happiness, when I am in such pain." I have no contempt for those undergoing pain: have known it well myself for many years, and pretty much spent my life trying to ease it in others. But I also know well the hypnotic workings, the cruel seductiveness, of self-pity. I go to extraordinary lengths to help people to rid themselves of their sufferings, but I feel actual revulsion for the impulse to nurture our sufferings: to feed and coddle and coo over them, as though mistaking a tumor for a child.
This nearly-universal human impulse does indeed deserve a bitterness like that in Chapter III, I think; and the sooner we learn to despise it in ourselves, the happier we will be, should happiness be our goal.
93 93/93 -- AJ