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Pilgrims Progress and the Human Condition

I thought I would briefly state, that this was an old paper I did for a mythology class. I’ve aged quite a bit since writing this.

The struggles that Christian faces in John Bunyon’s classic story of allegory, is to me one of the better literary iterations of what the human condition is. From beginning to end our vagabond (Christian) is appropriately placed in numerous circumstances and situations that you’re left with only to ponder the reality of his venture in your own lives. Over the next pages, I am going to dig into the Pilgrim Progress to draw parallels between the story and human beings living our lives and how it relates to the human condition that we all face on a daily basis. Regardless of morality and consciousness of a higher power, I believe that this story teaches much about humanity.

In the case of Christian he fears an imminent danger that awaits him, if he doesn’t get to this “mount Sion”, a metaphor of heaven. With this consciousness of doom, he no doubt is carrying along with him (whether physical or not) a heavy burden upon his back. A lot of talk of a book is given into sight from the beginning this no doubt being the holy Bible, a kind of roadmap to his venture laid out clearly in his eyes.


His first obstacle is the slough of despondence. A visual presentation of a swamp that finds men trapped in its murky waters. In the beauty of metaphors this stands as an opposition to those who are attempting to find counsel with the Lord. A man named “Help” gives refuge to Christian offering him a hand (literally) out of this swamp. This place of disposition tries many souls. Throughout its fog can be seen a series of steps that offer men a safe path out of the swamp, but few will see this path because their minds will leave them disturbed and lose sight of the path readily available to them. I think it important to think about the events in our lives that are often laid out as a clear obstacle, but through perseverance and a determination to overcome, we will have found the steps. But if one finds their mind to be overcome with the visceral, they will lose sight of the goal and be left drowning in despair. Meanwhile the one’s you thought cared will leave you abandoned (Pliable).


In ill intention there is always going to be some person who will want to persuade your ways to more conform to their own despair and struggle. In this case a one Worldly Wiseman consoles with Christian to shy his path from the one that Evangelist had set for him, at the Wicket Gate but to go and find Mr. Legality. The interesting point here is that Worldly Wiseman explains to Christian the obstacles he will face at his desired route, but offers him an “easier” route, a shortcut almost, that will guarantee him out of danger completely. Christian’s desperation of life and his struggle with the burden he carries far overshadows the troubles that Worldly Wiseman explains to him, it’s from this point that I give sight into the absolute determination that Christian has encompassed. Christian deceived, accepts the advice of Worldly Wiseman and finds himself in greater danger, as well as the burden on his back feeling yet heavier than before. He turns back at his surprise to find Evangelist who is puzzled by his whereabouts.


I can count several occasions in life where I would be considered in a state of ill-repute, and somebody would deceptively trick me into a far worse path to go along, this would bring me into a greater obstacle with the conscious burden with myself feeling far worse.

A burden, need to relieve oneself from a struggle, an obligation to be set free to change. These are all things that I believe people will come to a conclusion about at one point or another in their lives. The metaphor in this case is a large burden on Christian’s back.

thus spoke zarathustra

“this tree stands lonely here in the mountains; it grew high above man and beast . And if it wanted to speak it would have nobody who could understand it, so high has it grown. Now it waits and waits-for what is it waiting? It dwells too near the seat of the clouds: surely it waits for the first lightning.”  –

Friedrich Nietzsche

Is this not what man has achieved? a lonely expression, abandoned by all civilization merely waiting until its end.

Sorry for the depressing pretext. It is merely an illustration, a metaphor for loneliness? maybe my interpretation is all wrong. I do accept dialogue and constructive criticism.

duty

When something is done out of desire and no required outcome. You will find yourself fulfilled with the process and not the goal. The only achievable goal is the required act of doing.

The Screwtape Letters

I finally got around to finishing the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, here is a summarized collection of quotes, and some interjected thoughts from myself. The book itself details the relationship of a demon and a father demon (satan?), tormenting a human subject. Throughout you can’t help but finding yourself relating to the tactics of the devil to overcome man. The ultimate destination for any human subject is death. And I think the greatest fear of hell, at least for myself is an absence from God. Complete isolation.
“The first and most obvious advantage is that you thus induce him to enthrone at the center of his life a good, solid resounding lie” -cs lewis
(In my case inferiority. Jealousy, hatred, disgust, envy, pride etc.)
“The claim to equality, outside of the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.” -cs lewis
“What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept. And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it: wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to to superiority. No one must be different from himself in voice, clothes, manners, recreations, choice of food.” -cs lewis
(I have this resentment towards others who I believe to be inferior to myself, who in regards to economic gain and social affiliation are far superior than myself.)
“Now this useful phenomenon is in itself by no means new. Under the name of Envy it has been know to humans for thousands of years.”
-cs lewis
“Under the influence of this incantation those who are in any or every way inferior can labor more wholeheartedly and successfully  than ever before to pull down everyone else to their own level” -cs lewis
I try so hard to meet the expectations of others, and I in myself am unable to achieve the desired goal, because in of myself I can do nothing successfully outside of the grace of God.

manifesto

Release your skull from compromise, believe and receive acceptance from the cosmos. They breed belief, something larger than this earth. Entertain distractions, they confuse your youth. Confront opportunity as a belief that it will change yourself. Develop and become bigger than any opposition. Watch the walls crumble around you. Reject voice you’re bigger than this earth. Enjoyment and pleasure on this planet is momentary and never lasts. Be true to yourself and accept those around that influence your ideas. Live to be a being that will last forever. When you are removed from the husk, carry on and believe.

posthumous repitions

I am not going to live like a human being, and pretend there is god who will compromise according to religious scriptures. Instead I’ll divide and conquer, accept a new vision one that frees from obstacles and lies.