“Hast Seen the White Whale?”

I thought about maybe reading a chapter or two of the Dickens book. Either this or pick up Carl Jung where I left off in Symbols of Transformation. But I can see the inevitable goal of all the Christian doctrine, and that is self sacrifice: you have to give up everything. And it’s the same for Buddhism. So I imagine that to achieve permanent sobriety, I’d have to snuff out all my personal desires and throw myself into charity. But you know, this is the hardest thing to do. My motivation has always been egocentric, and anything else is totally alien to me. I can understand altruism with my brain, but my heart doesn’t buy it. Life without desire and passion would be quite meaningless and empty to me. Why do people hunt down Moby Dick, and then is it really possible to destroy the white whale? Remember how the ending goes: he pulls down the whole ship, drowning the entire crew but for one survivor to tell the tale. Did you know that Herman Melville had an alcohol addiction when he wrote that novel? Conceivably, the whale might symbolize alcoholism. Melville’s wife weaned him off the drink and he recovered. I think the hunt for Moby Dick is a wonderful allegory of what world religions do. They extinguish selfish desire and passion…

Yet still it’s a very difficult decision to make, laying waste to the human heart in order to serve other people.

2 thoughts on ““Hast Seen the White Whale?”

  1. He mused that mountains were the home of the gods. Perhaps that’s why their hearts are frozen.
    My thought is that so much of what we do is self-hypnosis, A.A.- endless repetition and the will to believe. Ditto organized western religion. Ditto eastern mantra chanting. Partisan politics, escape into booze, sex, drugs, etc. Melville examined the idea. Didn’t Ahab accuse Flask or Stubbs ( I forget which) of being a mechanical man? Wasn’t Ahab in a trance? Ishmael knew he was caged too but fought it with wry humor. The Pequod is planet earth, I think, and the book is biblical because like the bible (book) it is holy ( that which is apart ). Typee also has a tragic ending, His colonial ignorance and superiority has doomed the girl to a lifetime of rejection (taboo) and she curses him as he makes his escape. Love lost. That’s life. Merry Christmas.

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  2. Damn this W.P. comment format. No going back to edit. Lumping everything together into a run on single paragraph. I don’t like it. Oh well.

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