Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thoughts of a Sixteenth Grade Something: Pinocchio and the Humanity of Self Denial

Its time for another the stroll through synapses of Ben's brain. This particular instance occurred while on the way to school. Meagan and I drive to school and along the way we pass one of Provo's finer establishments a little place called Ozz. Ozz as it happens is "family fun center" it just happens to be a little bit ghetto and appears to actually be a pool hall fronting as a mexican restaurant, weird I know.

Anyway I remarked that instead of going to school we could just go to Ozz, because of Ozz's ambiance this led me to think of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio, they seem to be similar. This thought led me to consider Pinocchio and the scene at pleasure island, something I have not done in depth previously because I don't really like Pinocchio as a disney film, however my memory of it was recently refreshed by the ride at disney land which I visited in August. At this juncture I reflected on what happens on Pleasure Island, Pinocchio is convinced by his friend to go there and they glut and squander themselves on anything and everything they desire. All the boys who come to pleasure island eventually turn into donkey's, even Pinocchio. On this occasion I considered the deeper meaning in this story.

Why do the boys become donkey's after their experience on the Island? I believe this points to a natural experience, that an essential part of being human is the act of self denial, this is what elevates man above the animals. The ability to consciously deny yourself something that you want because you conceive of achieving something greater if you do, this is a wholly human attribute. Therefore this lesson is shown to us as the wooden boy transforms before our eyes from even the image of human, which he was before, into what he has become, an animal focused only on the desire of the moment.

Unfortunately many people today are sold the idea that all their wants are right and that they should seek immediately whatever they might want regardless of consequences. This idea is sold to the world by Satan and countless people swallow it, hook, line, and sinker. The act of self denial is to exercise agency, which is the gift of God, the act of seeking immediate fulfillment is to live by instinct as do the beasts. The more a person chooses to satisfy and please their immediate senses the less human they become. Since I haven't actually watched Pinocchio in many many years I cannot remember if this lesson is explicitly pointed out, but it is certainly there, and it is certainly a lesson worth learning.

Just a thought, from the way to school.

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