Open And Reclaim Your Mind
COMPILATION of Quotes & Links I have gathered: http://wrttn.in/437033
http://www.flickr.com/photos/106744189@N03/ (My full picture collection: 500+)
Whim vs. Will
"What is the difference? A whim is any desire that emerges spontaneously, without any structural connection to the whole personality and its goals. In young children, they form part of a normal pattern. The desire itself, even the most fleeting, or irrational one, today requires its fulfillment—to disregard it, or even to postpone it, is experienced as an infringement on one’s freedom.
If a man meets a woman accidentally, has a few free hours, is bored, he may easily consider the idea of sleeping with her. Once the idea has appeared on his mental screen, he decides to act accordingly. Not necessarily because the woman attracts him particularly, or because his sexual need is so intense, but because of the impulsive need to act out what even he has conceived as a wish.
Or say a detached, lonely adolescent who walks along the street suddenly has the thought that it would be exciting to stab the young nurse whom he passes. And he stabs her to death. These are not merely a few instances in which people have followed whims. That the first act is lovemaking and the second is killing, is of course a significant difference. But what they have in common is the character of a whim. Examples between these extremes are abound, and anyone can find them for himself.
The general criterion of a whim is that it responds to the question ‘why not?’ and not to the question ‘why?’ I am sure that anyone who observes behavior minutely has discovered with what extraordinary frequency people, when asked whether they would like to do this or that begin their answer with ‘why not?’ This why not implies that one does something simply because there is no reason against doing it, not because there is no reason for it. It implies that it is a whim, but not a manifestation of a will.
Following a whim is in fact the result of deep inner passivity, blended with a wish to avoid boredom. Will is based on activity, whim on passivity. The most significant place in which the fiction of personal freedom is acted out is the area of consumption. The customer is the king of the supermarket and the automobile market. Many brands of each commodity vie for his favor. They have tried to entice him for months on the television screen. And when he buys, he seems to be like a powerful man who in full freedom makes his choices between soap powder A, B, and C, all of which beg for his vote as political candidates do before election day. The customer-king is not aware that he has no influence on what is offered him and that the alleged choice is no choice, since the different brands are essentially the same, sometimes even manufactured by the same corporation.
It is possible to formulate a general psychological law: the greater the sense of powerlessness and the greater the lack of authentic will, the more grows either submission or an obsessional desire for satisfaction of one’s whims and the insistence on arbitraryness.
To sum up: the chief rationalization for the obsession of arbitraryness is the concept of anti-authoritarianism. To be sure, the fight against authoritarianism was and still is of great positive significance, but anti-authoritarianism can, and has, become a rationalization for narcissistic self-indulgence; for a childlike ciberitic life of unimpaired pleasure.”