by, January 9th, 2017 at 01:05 PM (304 Views)
There's something that's so elemental to the condition of life that it permeates all fields, all studies, all dimensions of it. It is present throughout all times and seems to be as constant as a universal law. And that is cost
If you are seeking balance, than cost is something you are intimately familiar with. Cost appears in any consideration of anything because to do a thing is to exact a cost. The problem is that sometimes, the costs are vague and we commit to things not knowing...and perhaps knowing...that the consequences will be terrible.
This might sound a little obscure, but consider the tale of Faust. At it's heart, this is a tale about cost. A man is approached by an entity. The man knows that under normal conditions, to get what he wants demands a particular price. But he is either unwilling, unable, or considers himself unable to bear this. Faust hands him an easy button, but says that this button will come at a price...down the line. There's two things working here. Instant gratification...and delayed cost.
Consider something like an empire. Choose any. Inside the empire, things are relatively wondrous. Even though there are still poor people, there is a much higher living condition than can be found in other parts of the world. The place produces wonders of art and science. However, people rarely see or underplay the cost of this success- often the subjugation and or destruction of many other peoples around that nation. This has happened repeatedly, with all great civilizations, but we often get so caught up with the immediate benefits- the wonders and the trappings of empire- that we downplay the consequences- especially when those consequences can be shifted to another person or people.
The same thing can be said of something like steroids and other biological stimulants.
And so a thing I noticed in most fiction is that the cost of certain things seems to be conveniently non-existent. I was actually looking up tales of the old Conan by it's original creator- Robert E. Howard. Bob seems to have been intimately familiar with the concept of cost. He seems to be one of those writers of the darker mindset, and such people often consider the costs before the benefits. Being negative, you might call it. Robert liked to write stories where magic was a subtle thing in the world, but it existed. However, it exacted a price. You know who was influenced by Bob? George R R Martin. Remember the scene in the original Conan movie where the wizard is attempting to resurrect Conan? It was a scene dark and terrifying. It was made clear that the real, physical world was a pea bobbing in the currents of vast, supernatural, and terrifying forces. And that to open the door to those forces, to exact a demand, can be a terrifying experience. However, the cost of that scene was not really exacted. It was in a very similar scene- in G R R Martins birth of the Mother of Dragons- where we see that magic has a terrible price to it. The more wondrous the more terrifying and, indeed, the practitioners of all magic- whether of good intention or not- are people to be extremely cautious of.
If we consider science, and even spiritual law, we consider that all actions have a consequence. Both suggest that a perfect state is impossible and that we must all strive for balance in order to sustain favorable situations. This balance has physical, spiritual, and emotional implications. There is balance to be seen in the individual relationship as well as the non-living mechanisms of existence.
Cost...consequence...karma...justice...cause and effect... We've heard it before in a variety of ways, but do we really respect it? Eating too much sugar or beer...has a cost. Watching too much tv has a cost. Even driving all the time...has a cost. Sometimes the cost is immediate and apparent, and sometimes the cost will change slowly...gradually...over generations. Technology has a price. Better believe it. But so does not having technology.
Ah well, it's something I got my head wrapped up around, but I share it