There are times when I wonder if the legend of Emperor Nero has some greater knowledge to it. It must be addressed that the idea of Nero playing the harp and watching Rome burn is almost definitely a thing of fiction Pliny the elder who wrote it admitted at much since it was recorded from a verbal tale some 150 years after the fact. You cannot blame folks for trying to embellish the story in order to make it more palatable to others. Despite this, it is a rousing image to say the least, that it has persisted nearly two millennia is a testament to its popularity.
But as I have written in the past with things like Hyper objects, there is the bold question of weather a society in free fall is worth saving at all. Maybe the idea of enjoying the decline is a matter that should be addressed at the very least on personal level. To sit on the mountain enjoying literature, music and wine as you watch the world below go mad with the loss of the things that were promised by those who should not have promised them.
To some degree we do see this in the form of the moral bankruptcy that comes from people who live like there is no tomorrow, self perpetuating the doom that they fear so much. Then there are the folks who go "I will dead by the time my actions even count". It is possible to live on both levels however and have it be a positive. That is to say, to engage and be active in the world trying to make it better for everyone but at the same time to sit back and enjoy the show as it all comes spiraling down. To be engaged in change but also accepting of change that goes against your will.
If you are active in one state only, then there is little you will do for yourself and others. To be purely in a state of wistfulness, ignoring the ways of the world is not to contribute to anything but to merely be of the world but not in it.
To that I say, Ignorance is bliss but the consequences are dire.
On the opposite side, to be entirely active in worldly affairs is to put the blinders on to the reality around you and to delve into a manic state of anxiety. That is to miss the forest for the trees and to be certain that absolutely everything is important even if it isn’t. It must be said that this is one of the many hang ups that plagues the minds of the modern westerners. To that I say, To be dire is to ignore bliss.
It was said that the reality of Emperor Nero during the fire of Rome was of someone that welcomed into his palace, those that were impacted the most by the destruction. When the times were tough, he was there with the people to help them get back on their feet. Maybe there is some truth in between the two Nero’s. That is the one that can accept the world of pain and agony, knowing that there was little that he could do to fix it, sitting back and enjoying life despite the horrors before him and yet when it finally came down to it in terms of action, he was there with open arms trying to make the world a better place even if it may be futile.
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