Continued: PLAY Part 14 – Rational Irrationality

“There is a difference between pleasure and the mere absence of pain. Take patients, for example, who are pumped with medications to keep the pain at bay. They are numb, unable to feel, unable to engage. They are empty. Now sometimes this might be the first and only option for people, especially if they have not found another way to overcome their pain, or grief, or sorrow or whatever you call it. But we have to realize that one cannot exist without the other. We have to be susceptible to both, we have to allow ourselves to be conquered by the two of them equally so that we can decide which side to take. Death will come to all of us early enough. As you said, we do not know what happens after. Maybe we continue on in eternal bliss. I for my part very much doubt that. The idea of life after death was invented to quiet people down, to take away the fear of the unknown. Or even to make people more compliant. Even the most educated people still cling to the ever so slight possibility that after death there might be something else, something more, something better coming. Functioning societies need this prospect of an afterlife. Just imagine everybody and full heartedly suddenly acknowledged that once they kick it there is nothing!  Who would still get up in the morning to go to work? Who would still want to contribute to society? Who would still do anything they do not actually want to do at the moment? Wouldn’t we all just go bonkers to literally have the time of our lives? We would have complete mayhem! Hence, I will not start an attempt to convince people of the black nothingness that is awaiting all of us. The same goes the other way around by the way. If people knew for sure there is heaven – whatever that may mean – waiting for them, we would have mass suicides. The human race would probably cease to exist within an hour. That is probably also why the church preaches that he who commits suicide will go straight to hell. They are too afraid of the consequences. And obviously they would lose a lot of their followers. They really are not consequent in what they preach, but that is a completely different discussion.  Let people believe whatever they want to believe. I am only trying to make you understand, my friend, that in the end we will find out anyway.”

Source: Part 14 – Rational Irrationality (chapter)

Source: Play (full story)

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Continued – PLAY Part 13 Into The Abyss

“I told you, I am not playing your game anymore, Norton, so let me go now.”

“It is not my game, my dear friend. This is not anyone’s game. In fact, this is not a game at all. This is life, you need to accept that. And life has its own rules we all need to follow. You, I, my patients, everyone. We cannot run away from it! Sometimes it is painful, yes. But we can learn to turn this around.”

“Then why, dear Norton, do I get the impression you are immeasurably enjoying torturing me right now?”

“Enjoying torturing you? Oh dear Burke, why would I enjoy this? On the contrary, I find this circumstance highly unpleasant. There is no possible gain on my part if you choose to throw yourself out of this window. First of all: all the work we have done so far would have been in vain. Secondly: I would have to clean up the mess downstairs after your skull shattered on the concrete – not a pleasant thought at all if you ask me.”

Source: Part 13 – Into the Abyss (chapter)

Source: Play (story)