THE COLLAPSE OF MORAL :
Case study of G. L. Mallory
"Creativity is merely a plus name
for regular activity . . . any activity becomes
creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better"....John Updike
A collapse of moral is a state of being in which the being becomes
unresponsive to, or uncaring of, or unmoved by the conditions ( personal,
social and environmental ) of the being's existence. A state of denial of
one's existence by the non-acceptance of being a cause of one's own
existence and thus a non-acceptance of responsibility towards events
past, towards the present conditions, and towards the future. An attitude
of ' I don't give a damn ' or 'so what ?' or ' its inevitable' or 'it's all destiny
or fate'. A state of no morals - an amoral state....a state of non-existence
even while existing.
A state of 'collapse of moral' or state of amorality is not only a state of 'no value'
for anything, it is more so a state of no value for anything but Self, and it is even
more so a state of 'value for the easiest way out' even if it means denying
SOCIAL OR CULTURAL COLLAPSE OF MORAL
A collapse of moral in a society or culture is a state in which most people,
particularly the political and religious leaders not only are in a state of a
collapse of moral, but also propagate and teach beliefs that promote or
lead to a
collapse of moral in every member of that society.
But such a state is never even acknowledged as such. The problems and
ills of the society are never accepted as sourced in the society itself but
the source of all problems is dumped upon other societies, nations, deities,
demons or even a minority of people ( a sub-class or caste or religion )
within that society ( or outside of that society ).
This lack of acknowledgement of a initial moral failure leads eventually
to a "collapse of moral " of the entire society and then envelops the
entire culture that society is part of or influences or dominates
....unless a force external to that society is able to transform it from
within on a sufficiently sustainable basis.
But the focus of this article is on the individual aspect of realisation of
a collapse of moral even in a seemingly trivial matter, and the process
of its reversal through the acknowledgement of such a state, then taking
full responsiblity for the past and present, and finally empowering or
transforming oneself out of this state of collapse into a state of
A CASE STUDY : G. L. Mallory
"It wasn't merely a physical fact that he had succumbed to sleep ;
it must be interpreted as a collapse of 'moral' ".
.........G. L. Mallory ( Pages form a Journal )
When asked why he wanted to climb everest, Mallory replied " because
its there" ( ...the challenge is there )
The above quote is from the book, "Peaks, Passes and Glaciers" which is a compilation
from the writings of climbers and mountaineers in the Alpine Journal. Mallory was
known for his two attempts at Mount Everest, in 1922 and 1924. In the second attempt
he died on the final slopes of Everest and it is not known whether he succeeded in
reaching the top or not. In the article "Pages from a Journal" he is musing upon an
earlier attempt on Mont Blanc, which was successfully climbed, but which almost led
to a disaster because he unwittingly dosed off for an indefinite short time on a slope,
which could have easily led to his own death as well as his two fellow climbers. He
examines his state of mind and 'state of moral' in that situation and accepts that
such an act on his part, although not consciously willed, can only be, and therefore
" must be interpreted as a collapse of 'moral' ".
"Harry had been amused
and sympathetic, and Graham had made light of
the incident. But that did'nt alter the fact. He had slept at his post - and a
responsible post too. He was particularly annoyed by this act of folly.
'No care', he was saying to himself, 'no care'. " .. G. L. Mallory
It is this 'Right' interpretation and the acknowledgement of responsibility for his
'act' that leads him out of this state of a 'collapse of moral', and he is able to
revive his Spirit, to turn the situation around.
" But what was to keep
him going now ? - since evidently he was fated to go
on. The course of these reflections brought him sharply back to face that
problem, the immediate problem which must be resolved. He couldn't any
longer proceed like an automaton ; that way had been tried and failed.
A change of mind, or rather a change of heart, was wanted. The day, if it
were to be saved, must save him ; he must feel it's full Alpine significance.
Somehow he must be strung up afresh to the task ; emphatically some
stimulus was required. But stimulus he felt was not to be had for the asking ;
one must proceed delicately to net that bird and feign indifference to his
approach"......G. L. Mallory
And so also came the determination, and hence the command to himself :
"At all events nothing
of that sort must occur again. He must establish a
different state of being - for Graham and Harry if not for himself."
Once the responsibility was accepted fully by him, the negative hold of the lapse
is loosened, and then comes his reflection, then his decision and determination.
This critical examination of attitude that lead to the lapse was instrumental in
the subsequent transformation that led to the inspiration towards his goal.
"Suddenly the required
stimulus came and change of heart ; the spell of a
great Alpine adventure took and held him. At last his fluttering thoughts
had spread their wings and flown strongly to the summit."
Mallory's account is a striking example of the power of acknow-
-ledgement and this full acknowledgement as the first and formost
step, without which the next step : of taking full and total respons-
ibility of past and present cannot happen.
Once these two steps have been taken, then and only then the road to
transforming one's condition from a collapse of moral into a creative
moral action can take place.
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