On the Nerdist podcast I just listened to, the guest was Guy Ritchie, who is a well-known movie director/producer (at least in England). He said something interesting – here’s a paraphrase:
Nothing stifles creativity more than a firehose of money.
He was referring to when a movie director has a limited budget and has to fight against the studio to eke out every last penny to make the movie they want. When they fight this kind of uphill battle, the creativity is under fire, and they have to protect it. It grows stronger somehow against adversity. Then, they release the movie, it’s a hit, and makes the studio lots of money. So of course, the studio gives the director unlimited money to make a sequel, which they do… and it inevitably sucks.
I see a parallel between this idea and the classical “problem of evil” and presence of suffering in the world. Let me quote Agent Smith from The Matrix (speaking of great movies with bad sequels!):
Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program… I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.
Is he right? I think he probably is. If life’s great all the time, it becomes… I don’t know. Sterile? Boring? A scene from The Truman Show? A nightmare?
How can you really appreciate the good, if there’s no bad? How can you even define good if there is no bad?
If every flavor is vanilla, how do you know vanilla is a flavor at all?
Without death, what good is life?
Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it. -Ray Kurzweil
Too much time means time becomes meaningless.
Too much good means good becomes meaningless.
Too much life means life becomes meaningless.
Everything in moderation. Nothing stifles happiness more than a firehose of blessings.