Hope

 

Legend has it that when Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by creating the first woman, Pandora, and presenting her to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained- every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy- escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope. When she opened the Jar again, Hope sprang free, and flew out into the world, a world that now held Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease – and Hope.

We are comforted by the seemingly happy ending of this legend, but the truth is, it’s a false and misleading ending to the story. You see, hope is not what we think it to be. Hope was locked in Pandora’s jar for a reason. Hope was not a force of good, but rather the worst evil of them all; a demon so vile, it was hidden and buried deep in the bottom of the jar. Hope was a demon that fed on human suffering, and aimed to prolong man’s torment as much as possible. It clutches itself to humans in their darkest hour, and whispers in their ears to wait, to be patient, that the misery and suffering in the world must end, and that all will be magically well some day. And the humans believed the demon and grew to feel comforted by its whispers, so when misery and decay takes over their lives, they remain calm, still and hopeful, and end up suffering longer then they would, had they just confronted the evil that’s in the world. They lied to themselves and let it into their hearts, even though what they needed to do to fix the world didn’t require it one bit.

You see, upon further reading, we discover that Hope, the demon succubus of our souls, alongside with every other evil that was in that jar, can only be truly vanquished by Tabbris, the Angel of self-determination, choice and free will. The truth that nobody told you was this: You don’t need hope. You never did. Even at your darkest hour, it wasn’t necessary. What you truly needed to overcome it was determination; to make the choice to face the evil and the suffering head-on, without blinking or hesitation, or hope. We urge you to remember the evidence of this throughout the history of humanity; that those who fought the great wars of old, those who faced the might and machines of evil men, they did it without hope, and they confronted it directly and fiercely regardless, which is why they won.

So, if what’s going around in your life, your country, or in the world, is terrifying you, and the situation seems so gloomy and ominous, to the point where you admittedly claim to have lost all hope, well, be glad, for getting rid of it is half the battle. Once you are at that point, all that is left for you to do is to make a choice. You can either decide to vanquish the rest of the evil, the source of your suffering, if you wish to live, or you can choose to run away, forever a quarry to suffering and misery, and a possible prey to Hope once again. If you make the second choice, you will live the rest of your life a victim, without having any power over it, which, when you think about it, isn’t a way to live, at all.

 

So please remember, when the world is at its darkest, when your friends fail you, when your allies betray you by their malice, cowardice or surrender, when your best-laid plans fall into disarray and all seems lost, please, abandon all hope, for it only buys evil time…

 

..and make the choice, to live or not, once and for all.

 

 

Comments

  1.   Lee C.   ―   U.S.A      says:

     
    I’m going to disagree with your conclusion that hope is extraneous, even counterproductive.  I think there’s been something lost in the translation.  I’ve noticed before that many Arabic speakers use the word ‘wish’ where a native English speaker would likely use the word ‘hope’.  And I’ve long speculated that there may be no exact counterpart in the Arabic language for the concept of ‘hope’.  That doesn’t mean the idea is totally alien to Arabs; I’d have no way of knowing that.  But I suspect that the concept of ‘hope’ doesn’t have an equivalent word in Arabic, hence the often made substitution of the word ‘wish’ in places where ‘hope’ would be a better fit, often made by Arabs whose English is less than highly proficient.
    Hope is different from ‘wish’ in the sense that ‘hope’ encourages action, where wishing does not.  Wishing encourages daydreaming and waiting and patience.
    Hell, ‘when the world is at its darkest, when your friends fail you, when your allies betray you by their malice, cowardice or surrender, when your best-laid plans fall into disarray and all seems lost’, there’s still an outside chance that you might win in the end anyway.  That’s hope.  And that’s helped a bunch of people buck and soldier on through the darkness.
    And if you don’t win; at least you can say you went down fighting.  That’s neither wishing nor hoping.  That’s determination and self-respect.

  2. I have to respectfully disagree with Lee there. “Hope” and “Wish” are two distinct things and we have both concepts in the Arabic language. Sandmonkey is speaking of his country’s bleak current situation. He can be forgiven for being so pessimistic. Not speaking for him, but he probably means that, in this present turmoil that Egypt faces, “hope” only delays action. This is a populace that is “hoping” the MB won’t be as bad as the previous regime; “hoping” that they really mean it when they say they’re God-fearing denizens and will treat the nation with an oversensitive conscience; “hoping” against hope that what’s coming is not an Iranian model that will make the military dictatorship look like a benign patriarchy. Hope in this sense truly is the opiate of the masses. Nothing gets done as things descend into chaos.

  3. Very articulate, and both an original and valid interpretation of classic literature.

  4. I blogged a bit on this just now, before reading this article. There are two conflicting interpretations that date all the way back to the Hellenic Greeks, and it depends on whether Zeus did give Pandora a Jar of Blessings or Evils. Hesiod takes the latter interpretation, which lends to Nietzsche’s argument in Human, All Too Human. However, Theognis and Aesop take the former interpretation instead, and that leads to Schopenhauer’s assertion in the second volume of Parerga and Paralipomena.

    For more, check out my blog: http://www.hyperboreans.com/heterodoxia/?p=844