As I was lying in bed, a relevation suddenly dawned upon me. Perhaps that was why I always couldn’t sleep at night. I had said this before, if I remember correctly.
The night is always the time where my mind is the most fertile, the strongest spot has to be my bed. Everytime I lie on it, images of anything and everything will swarm over me. Thoughts will come unasked. Everything becomes a whole mess of information and pictures, and it is always up to me to sort it out. To sift throught this mess.
Usually, I would be too lazy to pen it down, letting my muse slipped away, her persuasions wasted on me. But tonight, I decided not to. It was a huge relevation for me. Probably triggered by Aldous Huxley. By his book, Brave New World. It was mildly disturbing, to say the least.
It was suggested in the book, by Mustapha Mond, one of the World Controllers, that art (and science, but not relevant here) is the nemesis of happiness. Where art exist, happiness will not exist for long. At least, that is my reading of it.
And in a warped sense, it is true.
Art (and science) is the equivalence of knowledge. And what cliched saying comes to mind when the word “knowledge” is mentioned. The more you learn, the more you realised you don’t know anything. And when you realise that paradox, what comes next is unhappiness. Is knowledge ever associated with happiness? I only know of instances where it is associated with unhappiness.
The rat race for one. In the quest for the paper chase, are people truly happy doing what they love to do? Only for an elite few who are perhaps rich enough to take the other side of the road. And for some brave ones.
Poetry is another. Now I do realise why I have become what I am today. Perhaps I was shaped by my poetry. The more I wrote, the more sensitive I became. Overtly sensitive to others as well. Perhaps that was part of the deal. I could almost hear Apollo (the god of poetry) saying, “You want to write? Fine, I’ll make you more attuned to the emotions of others.” If not, maybe I wouldn’t be able to bring out the raw emotions in those pieces of work. It would then become another piece of mediocre writing by another mediocre individual who is more suited to numbers than words.
The more I wrote, the more unhappy and melancholic I became. What I wrote, I saw it happening in the world. The unhappiness of it all. Happiness seemed to have vanished. It was entirely insignificant compared to the amount of unhappiness in the world. The words gave me the ability to see the complacency of those people in suits milling in the streets, working from 8 to 5. And after that heading home. Just to get ready for another day that is the same as the rest of the 321 days that had passed before it.
Where is the meaning in that, you tell me? What about all those beautiful things that poetry proclaims? Are those suits really thinking the same thing. The answer is probably a resounding no, unless someone cares to stand up and prove me wrong. Such are the abilities of the art and sciences, the ability to improve our lives, yet they have the ability to destroy it in the happiness quotient as well. A double-edged sword, no less.
And that leads me to think, perhaps I should abandon the arts for now and be like any other robotic individual who studies all day for the grades and does nothing else.
Like the drugged citizens in Brave New World who are misled into believing that they are happy and contented.
Because I want to be happy too, like any other person.
But at the expense of being dumb?