Hell Is Other People

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Sartre in his play “No Exit” describes his unique vision of hell. It’s an ordinary room in Second Empire style, the style that the characters/victims find quite repelling. There are no tortures there apart from one; other people constantly watching and judging you.

Garcin, Estella and Inez have no eyelids, they are forced to stare at each other for eternity, mercilessly judging each other’s crimes, weaknesses and sins, shattering each other’s self-deceptive illusions. The light never goes off and there are no mirrors so the condemned victims can’t see themselves but watch themselves through other people’s eyes. This penetrating gaze of others judges and defines their very Essence. They exist only as part of other people’s narrative.

The absence of mirrors is particularly troubling to Estelle, who without seeing herself in the mirror is not even sure she exists. She’s not conscious of herself:

When I can’t see myself I begin to wonder if I really and truly exist. I pat myself just to make sure, but it doesn’t help much.
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So Inez offers her own eyes as a mirror. Estelle looks into Inez’ eyes and doesn’t recognize herself. Inez’ eyes are like a warped mirror showing Estelle as grotesquely small so she can’t see herself properly but Inez assures her that she sees her clearly and will answer all of her questions:
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ESTELLE: Oh, I’m there! But so tiny I can’t see myself properly.

INEZ: But I can. Every inch of you. Now ask me questions. I’ll be as candid as any looking-glass.

But Inez acting as a mirror is far from objective and Estelle knows that, asking herself:

How can I rely upon your taste? Is it the same as my taste?… I’m going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become!

Inez lies to her saying she has a pimple on her face, she mocks her and boasts she has a total power over her. Estelle is at her mercy as she’s not conscious of herself and has to rely on Inez to define herself. Allowing Inez Inez to define her being, she’s under her control. Without her she doesn’t even exist:

You know the way they catch larks—with a mirror? I’m your lark-mirror, my dear, and you can’t escape me. . . . There isn’t any pimple, not a trace of one. So what about it? Suppose the mirror started telling lies? Or suppose I covered my eyes—as he is doing—and refused to look at you, all that loveliness of yours would be wasted on the desert air.
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Other people are like warped mirrors showing a grotesque image of us. This image is far from true and objective, yet by overemphasizing the ugly things, it shatters the illusions we have about ourselves. Only Inez is honest with herself. She is able to admit her guilt to herself and others and take responsibility for it. She knows what she did wrong and why she is in hell. She has no illusions about her own life and she’s the only one who is always conscious of herself. Other sinners, Garcin and Estella, delude and deceive themselves and each other, saying they are innocent. They desperately try to turn their crimes into virtues. Garcin was accused of desertion and shot. He refused to fight because he was a pacifist. Should he be punished for being loyal to his values? When he tries to pose as a brave idealist he hears his friends on earth calling him a coward. Inez also sees his true dark motives and tells him that he is simply a coward:
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Exactly. That’s the question. Was that your real motive? No doubt you argued it out with yourself, you weighed the pros and cons, you found good reasons for what you did. But fear and hatred and all the dirty little instincts one keeps dark— they’re motives too. So carry on, Mr. Garcin, and try to be honest with yourself– for once.
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Estelle’s lover shot himself, because she refused to leave her husband. Is it a sin to be faithful to your husband? She tries to cheat herself that her motives were noble. But Garcin and Inez strip her bare and reveal her cruelty and egotism. She treated men as her playthings and murdered her own child.
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If other people are your mirrors and judges, if you only exist as an object they gaze upon, then you must find at least one person who has a positive opinion about you. It’s the only way to salvation for the person who is not conscious of his/her own being:
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GARCIN: A thousand of them are proclaiming I’m a coward; but what do numbers matter? If there’s someone, just one person, to say quite positively I did not run away, that I’m not the sort who runs away, that I’m brave and decent and the rest of it– well, that one person’s faith would save me.
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Garcin is unable to judge himself and take responsibility for his own actions. He doesn’t know whether he’s a coward or a noble man. Someone has to figure that out for him. It can’t be Estelle, who is in love with him so she’s biased and will tell him what she wants to hear. Instead, he turns to Inez, who hates and despises him and is more honest and blunt, hoping to hear the truth from the enemy:
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And you know what wickedness is, and shame, and fear. There were days when you peered into yourself, into the secret places of your heart, and what you saw there made you faint with horror. And then, next day, you didn’t I know what to make of it, you couldn’t interpret the horror you had glimpsed the day before. Yes, you know what evil costs. And when you say I’m a coward, you know from experience what that means.
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Garcin opens his heart, explains his motives and beliefs and justifies himself but Inez’ judgement is cruel. She rejects all of his excuses and explanations, in her eyes he can only see condemnation. The door opens and he has a chance to escape and leave hell forever, yet he chooses to stay and try to convince the Other of his innocence. He can’t bear a thought that she will condemn him in her mind for good without ever pardoning him. Yet he has to live with her irrevocable sentence passed on him, being at her mercy. He is what she thinks he is:
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You’re a coward, Garcin, because I wish it. I wish it—do you hear?—I wish it. And yet, just look at me, see how weak I am, a mere breath on the air, a gaze observing you, a formless thought that thinks you.
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In the end they understand that they are their own torturers, they are brought together to torment each other. There is no exit out of hell:
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GARCIN: This bronze. Yes, now’s the moment; I’m looking at this thing on the mantelpiece, and I understand that I’m in hell. I tell you, everything’s been thought out beforehand. They knew I’d stand at the fireplace stroking this thing of bronze, with all those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS–OTHER PEOPLE.

 

And The Word Became The Law

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Farrad, born Marvin Buckles, was sentenced on Thursday to 188 months in a Tennessee federal prison following his 2015 conviction of being a felon in possession of a gun. The longtime criminal was last convicted of federal gun and drug charges back in 2000 after police found firearms and crack cocaine in his possession. Farrad was released from prison after serving out his sentence… His most recent misstep is likely his saddest, however, as authorities never would have known Farrad was breaking the law had he not posted evidence on Facebook.

In 2013, the ex-con posted a selfie on Facebook… that showed him holding a .45-caliber pistol and aiming the reflection of its laser sight at his own forehead. Of course, it’s illegal for a convicted felon to carry a firearm, and Farrad posted concrete evidence of his crime on Facebook for all the world to see. Unfortunately for him, the FBI was investigating him for suspected “illicit conduct” at the time, and digging through his social media accounts was part of the investigation.

How a single Facebook post landed a man in jail for 15 years

Now, the guy deserves an applause from all the self-proclaimed ONA bosses because he’s not only super duper sinister but his super duper sinister deeds have been well documented by the “mainstream source”, that is Facebook.

What is the relationship between Satanism and the law? What should our attitude to the law look like? Is there any place here for “should?” If you commit a crime just to prove to yourself or others how badass you are, then what does that say about you?

Some laws are harmful or plainly retarded, others may well serve your interests. The wisdom is in telling the difference. Non-compliance can be useful and in certain situations it’s even heroic. The general rule is not to fuck things up. There is a tendency to call every fuck-up an insight role. Sure, if you screw something up, then there is no other way than to write it off to experience but is stupidity something to be proud of? Does transgressing the laws of your country serve your interests or the interests of those dear to you? Or are you doing it to gain someone’s acceptance, to feel better about yourself or because you’re just stupid and irresponsible?

Know thy limits. Sweetie experiment comes to mind. As equivocal as it was, what about the gullible idiots and losers who were so easily trapped? If you jerk off to the controversial pictures, you’d better turn off your camera or find yourself another hobby. Then, there come the delusion that the cops shouldn’t use questionable methods and the expectation that they should have higher morale than the Chinese thought police or plain criminals. It’s a sour grape of democracy; I have a right to… (insert here privacy, freedom etc.)

Freedom is an abstraction and privacy is a myth. If you reason like a small child “I’m behind a chair, mom can’t see me now”, then bear in mind that nature doesn’t know a nut that cannot be cracked… so be careful.

 

Into the Dark

When it feels its end approaching, it builds a nest with the finest aromatic woods, sets it on fire, and is consumed by the flames. From the pile of ashes, a new Phoenix arises, young and powerful. It then embalms the ashes of its predecessor in an egg of myrrh, and flies to the city of the Sun, Heliopolis, where it deposits the egg on the altar of the Sun God.

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Shh honey. Everything is all right. He woke up shaking and drenched in sweat again. The same disturbing dream over and over again. He can’t swim, never been swimming, always afraid of water. Perhaps, this is why… He’s there, swimming with his wife, in a lake and suddenly something, he doesn’t know what, drags him down to the bottom of the lake, holding him down in an iron grasp. He’s struggling to free himself but in vain. Trying to call his wife but not a word can escape his mouth. That horrible feeling, suffocating, fighting for breath and then… all becomes dark.
*   *   *
I’m sure you’ll get this job. You deserve all the best. I’m so proud of you. He loved Elen. She always reassured him. Now, sitting in the company hall, he was trying to forget his nervousness. There were mirrors on both sides of the hall. Crazy. The boss is watching you, always. Mr Morris, please come in. What a pretty secretary Sir Richardson had. Long blonde hair, abundant breasts and a warm smile. And her legs…
*   *   *
Sir Richardson was explaining the details of the company in the most pedantic and boring manner and Mark was pretending to listen. He was in a too euphoric state to even try to focus on the boss’ monologue. So he did it. His dream became true. HR Manager, Phoenix Tobacco Company – that sounded really cool. This photo? It’s my grandfather. He built this little empire. And Sir Richardson began a long rant about the rather turbulent life of his grandpa, how he was selling cigarettes, went bankrupt during the Great Depression but he managed to get up and started selling cigarettes again. Excuse me? You will understand in time. Many of those smart-asses committed suicide but my grandfather never gave up. They thought they buried him in debts but he outsmarted them all. He was that sophisticated. He had this spark in him that couldn’t be extinguished. So he reinvented himself. The truly immortal men never die.
*   *   *
Are you staying late at work again? And she smiled cunningly, her long blonde hair tickling him as she bent down to kiss him. At least, this is what my wife thinks. And he laughed. Then, they drove to the same cosy motel and made love furiously. No no, he loved his wife. They’d been married for fifteen years. Enough for the routine to break into their lives. He would die for her, nevertheless, and for his daughter. The family was everything to him, honor and duty, but this… with Jane, it was just sex, an adventure, easy done, easy gone. How can I be sure you aren’t doing it with Sir Richardson? Her skin was white and soft like velvet. Don’t be stupid, she laughed, that old fat asshole sickens me, the mere look of him.
*   *   *
It’s time to initiate you into the heart of our business and Sir Richardson led him to the lift at the back of the building. They went a couple of storeys down into what looked like a large basement. The large iron doors opened and Mark saw a dimly lit small room decorated with draped dark blue material. A few of his colleagues were sitting behind the table covered with blue velvet cloth. Don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, Mark knows you don’t talk about an elephant in the room. And even if you do, nobody sane will believe you. And they all started laughing.
*   *   *
He became more and more frustrated with his job. He worked his ass off for the company but the boss seemed to appreciate his secretary more than him. She got a reward after a reward, a bonus after a bonus. He was damn sure she slept with the boss. They broke up with each other, no more passionate nights at the motel. He’d been feeling bad about it anyway. He was sure his wife didn’t suspect anything but he felt pangs of remorse. And he felt bad about being a part of a swindle and a… criminal. How the hell will he wriggle out of it now? Go to the police? They won’t believe him. No evidence. Another disgruntled former employee trying to shit-talk his boss, they will think. And, most important thing of all, won’t they be seeking revenge?
*   *   *
I’m not lying. I’m telling you. They eliminate competition. If smear campaign doesn’t help, they just kill these people, make it look like an accident or a suicide. It’s all decided in the basement, all draped in blue. They gather there and decide whom to, as they put it, pluck. We’ve already been there, Mr Morris. It’s a normal basement, no blue curtains, they store tobacco there. You don’t understand. I was there with them, took part in it, they cleaned up after themselves. I don’t know what to think of it, Mr Morris, we’ll look into it once again and give you protection just in case. But it won’t harm if you… Have you thought about talking to the psychiatrist?
*   *   *
Mark opened the door and heard sobbing. Honey what’s up? He asked as he took off his coat. The sobbing came from upstairs. He rushed upstairs, the door to their bedroom was left ajar. He opened it and gasped. He and Jane, naked at the motel… their photos… all over the walls. Ho… ho… honey… I…I…I will will explain. It’s not what you think. Elen please… How could you? She was sitting on their bed and sobbing. Who is this woman? How could you? How could you do this to me and our daughter?
*   *  *
It was snowing, beautiful winter  and Sir Richardson’s children were sitting round the Christmas tree, opening their presents when the workers found Mark’s body on the dumping ground. Suicide. He was fired from the job, his wife and daughter left him. He had nothing to live for. Poor chap.
*   *   *
All right. I finished. The written assignment for my doctor is ready. Poor woman is trying to get into the depths of my crazy mind and examine all the dark monsters there. She’s trying to sort it out, guess the reason for my self-loathing. Let her read it if she can make heads and tails of it. Each paragraph is a revelation, all *** of them. Let the bitch do the math. Yeah I know what you think, dear readers. You wonder how much of it is true, if anything. Keep wrapping your head around it.