Life itself is but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the living. All things fall under this name.The sun itself is but the dark simulacrum, and light but the shadow of God.SirThomas Browne: 1658 The Garden of Cyrus, ch.2.
It is better to be opposed by an enemy than to be adrift in meaninglessness, for the simulacrum of an enemy lends purpose to actions whose nihilism would otherwise be self-evident.anthony daniels: The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris (Autumn 2002)
I have visited both extremes on the psychedelic continuum. The positive experiences were more sublime than I could have ever imagined or than I can now faithfully recall. These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum. It is one thing to be awestruck by the sight of a giant redwood and to be amazed at the details of its history and underlying biology. It is quite another to spend an apparent eternity in egoless communion with it. Positive psychedelic experiences often reveal how wondrously at ease in the universe a human being can be and for most of us, normal waking consciousness does not offer so much as a glimmer of these deeper possibilities... But as the peaks are high, the valleys are deep. My “bad trips” were, without question, the most harrowing hours I have ever suffered and they make the notion of hell, as a metaphor if not a destination, seem perfectly apt.sam harris: Drugs and the Meaning of Life (5 July 2011)
To a high degree we are, through art and science, cultured . We are civilized perhaps too much for our own good in all sorts of social grace and decorum. But to consider ourselves as having reached morality for that, much is lacking. The ideal of morality belongs to culture; its use for some simulacrum of morality in the love of honor and outward decorum constitutes mere civilization. So long as states waste their forces in vain and violent self-expansion, and thereby constantly thwart the slow efforts to improve the minds of their citizens by even withdrawing all support from them, nothing in the way of a moral order is to be expected. For such an end, a long internal working of each political body toward the education of its citizens is required. Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition, however, is nothing but pretense and glittering misery. In such a condition the human species will no doubt remain until, in the way I have described, it works its way out of the chaotic conditions of its international relations.Immanuel Kant: Seventh Thesis
“Is this a real blue-collar bar or a simulacrum thereof?” “Both. It started out as a pure simulacrum, a few years ago, before the economy crashed, when it was hip for twentysomethings to move down here and dress in Carhartts and Utilikilts. But they did such a good job of it that actual blue-collar people began to show up. And then the economy did crash, and the hip people discovered that they were, in actual point of fact, blue collar, and probably always would be. So you’ve got guys here who run lathes. But they have colored Mohawks and college degrees, and they program the lathes in computer languages. I was trying to come up with a name for them. Cerulean -collar workers, maybe.” “Do a lot of people stop by here on their way to the private jet terminal?” “You’d be surprised.”neal stephenson: Day 17, Seattle