Shell Beach

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by overnight_janitor, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. Anyone seen the movie Dark City? I started writing my analysis of it, and it’s bleak, appropriate for this forum.

    Shell Beach is a metaphor for Happiness, everyone has a vague and brief memory of it. They’ve all been there apparently and have fond memories of it, and all want to go back. Unfortunately, nobody remembers how they got there or the circumstances that could retrace those fond memories.

    In our world, ask the average person when the last time they were happy is, they won't give you a truly concrete answer, but rather some vague and brief memory in childhood, or an extremely rare moment like child-birth, surrounded by 30 years of slight sadness. They will tell you instead there happiness will come in 5 years as soon as they (get a degree, spouse, career, money, new house, etc.). The irony here is that they said the exact same thing 5 years ago!

    Conclusion: IT NEVER COMES. We always attribute happiness to a near future, and it always disappoints.

    If you ever manage to do the things we imagine bring us happiness, we will undoubtedly be disappointed in them. Lots of people go out to clubs and have friends and girlfriends, yet they too are miserable. For us, the problem is that we have no relationships. For people in relationships, the problem is that they have no family, or no career, or no God, no SOMETHING.

    It seems as soon as you fulfill one need, a new one pops up. There is absolutely positively no one thing you can attain that will lead to total peace and fulfillment. EVERYBODY is sad about something, you only appreciate the things you don't have.

    The ugly person wants a spouse desperately, and thinks the attractive person is lucky. The attractive person however doesn’t understand his relative blessing, and instead envies the rich person.

    Neither is happy. Wherever you are, you’ll imagine somewhere else as being better.

    I went off on a bit of a tangent there, the movies is actually about the reliability of our memories, and how our minds delude and defend against unpleasant truths. I took it a step further.

    Perhaps the smartest thing to do is give up. Life and Nature are far more influential and powerful than we are. I think human beings just aren’t conditioned to be happy.
  2. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    How true!
  3. dreamwarrior

    dreamwarrior Active Member

    You know, I have been to shell beach. Lived about 5 minutes from there for 6 years. It was one of the places I loved to visit and surfed there often. There are these multimillion dollar houses that sit atop the "bluffs" that I dreamed of owning one some day. That wasn't my happy place though. Mine is where I grew up, in Los Angeles. But it wasn't the area. It was my friends. I can never go back though. Even those friendships are no longer the same.
  4. to clarify, Shell Beach didn't actually exist, it was an artificial memory implanted by aliens. The movie implied that happiness is an unreal memory.

    I can imagine a truly happy and wonderful place, but the percentage of the population that can thrive in it is incredibly slim. If you lived on a beach resort, looked like a model, had supportive relationships, and had your need for goal achievement somehow fulfilled, I suppose that is a real Shell Beach. But this is so rare as to be considered impossible. It is extremely unlikely that your children or grandchildren or anyone in your family chain will ever attain that status. And even if they do, it's very hard to appreciate beauty without having been ugly, and it's very hard to appreciate luxury without having been broke.

    I've spoken with people from all over the globe, and almost all of them wanted to be somewhere else. Rarely is anywhere the paradise you imagined from afar. When I visit my relatives on their secluded farm in East Europe, they are jealous of me living in opportunistic Canada. I am jealous of their simple lifestyle. Yet if we switched, probably neither of us would be happy with the results.

    That's just how it is.
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