The good Dr. David Hawkins puts forth that the human "body can discern, to the finest degree, the difference between that which is supportive of life and that which is not." I'd like to believe that this is true and I consider myself in touch with this instinct. What's interesting about Los Angeles (and other major urban centers) is that you encounter people on a regular basis for whom the opposite seems to be true. A photographer friend reminisces fondly for the days when the air was more polluted. You meet people for whom Diet Coke and fast food are part of a religion worth dying for. I see lit cigarettes flicked out of driver's windows on a regular basis. Why?
It seems true that the body can instinctually tell what's life affirming from what's not. But where the body sees things in black and white, and knows who's naughty or nice, the mind, and specifically the ego, plays fast and loose.
There are urban dwellers who fear and/or dislike the entire concept of nature, who go out of their way to (futilely) assert themselves "above" it or away from it. There are people who profoundly dislike themselves at a level they simply can't acknowledge. They flip the equation so that their systems are following a "death instinct." There is a plague of professionalism that squelches our natural instincts so that we may serve an economy. There is a culture of cool that puts a premium on self-destruction. Romantic notions of death and decadence linger as mysterious doppelgangers to the banality of life.
Choose life. Choose death. I choose not to paint myself into a corner. I'm an equal opportunity experience monger. To be clear, my soul yearns to live, but every now and again I honor my ego's desire to flirt with the dark side. But if the will to live aligns with all that is good and the will to die aligns with the opposite, then evil starts to look like a minority aberration, a sickness if you will, rather than the entire other side of the coin.