We have created an industrial order geared to automatism, where feeble-mindedness, native or acquired, is necessary for docile productivity in the factory; and where a pervasive neurosis is the final gift of the meaningless life that issues forth at the other end.
In contrast to Breton we believe that behind the false ethical and aesthetic, indeed metaphysical understandings which are out of contact with the vital interest of "man" we find the real, the materialistic ethics and aesthetics. One includes our needs, the other is an expression of our sensual desires. It is exactly in order to liberate the true ethics and the true aesthetics that we make use of "automatism."
In the elemental emotions of fear and rage associated with the most primitive parts of the brain, this swift response without conscious intervention or direction is a condition of survival: but something more than survival comes forth from it; for this very automatism freed the growing brain and ramifying nervous system for more important services, detached from the immediate pressure for survival, performed by the new brain. Here by his conscious symbolic activities man created a second realm that conforms more closely to his higher personal and social needs.Lewis Mumford
There is in Shaw , as in Gurdjieff and Nietzsche , a recognition of the immense effort of Will that is necessary to express even a little freedom, that places them beside Pascal and St. Augustine as religious thinkers. Their view is saved from pessimism only by its mystical recognition of the possibilities of pure Will, freed from the entanglements of automatism.colin wilson
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