The Endarkenment

Philosophy has always used metaphors of light and vision for wisdom and knowledge. A famous book, Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), discussed these visual metaphors in detail. We speak, rather too casually, of the Enlightenment, which in German is the Aufklärung, and in French the Lumières, both visual metaphors for light and vision.

But there is something wrong with these metaphors. We know most when we have not light alone, but dark, contrast that elicits the details of what is apprehended. We need not enlightenment, for there is light everywhere, but dark. We need an Endarkenment. And the dark that we need is dark chocolate. Light only matters as a way to illuminate the dark.

Chocolate

I wish to propose and develop a theory of the endarkened mind and enteric system. I call it Chocoholism, which is the view that the universe comprised four basic flavours (also called humours, elements or aspects) we name as sweet, sour, bitter and salty (do not believe heresies that suggest there is a fifth flavour, unami; this is the faux flavour of the deceiver). Chocolate, however, while it is made from these flavours, transcends its compositional elements and is greater than the sum of its flavours, hence the holism part of the name.

This looks like a religion, but of course it is not, for it is the Truth of the Universe. There is only one duty and one moral principle of Chocoholism: the duty is to eat as much good chocolate as is consistent with Endarkenment. The moral principle is to do nothing that can interfere with your own or others’ endarkenment. Taxing chocolate, for example, is an evil. Killing somebody is an evil, for it takes away from them the chance to enjoy more chocolate. And so on.

I wouldn’t mind if you sent me money (to buy chocolate) and/or chocolate itself, though, not because I am the Profit of Chocoholism, although I am, but because I really really like buying and eating chocolate.

There is evil in this universe, of course. Its name is Carob. And don’t get me started on White Chocolate, which is an abomination unto Xocolatl, the deity that gave chocolate to humanity. Chocologians are split on the merits of liqueur chocolates. Nuts should never be combined with chocolate any more than gold should be mixed with dirt. Coconut is a direct attempt to undermine endarkenment.

Now you can meditate, chant, dance or hop on alternate legs if you like, seeking endarkenment, so long as you eat the right amount of chocolate. Sex, unless it involves the use of chocolate, is up to you.

And there is no requirement or prohibition for belief in an afterlife in Chocoholism, so long as you understand that what counts is total enjoyment of chocolate in this life. An afterlife is probably a bad thing unless there is an afterchocolate, and even then it is probably more like the shades of Roman religion than a Christian heaven.

I hope that this message of the True Dark is received well and leads to world peace (I can supply an address to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee on request).

31 thoughts on “The Endarkenment

  1. Hmm. This is the first time I’ve really questioned my Pastafarianism. If only I could accept both; but chocolate marinara sauce just won’t fly . . .

        1. Chocolate pasta is OK, served hot with double choc chip chocolate and mint ice cream is delicious. A drizzle of chocolate liqueur on top adds a touch of luxury
          Sadly I can only have it in small quantities, what with being fat and having high blood sugar:(

  2. You should be in advertising – you ‘re waisted in philosophy. I’ve just got to go out and get a bar of chocolate – now.
    Hang on – should that be wasted – Oh hum – perhaps not. 🙂

  3. No, JtP, you’ve got it right. Eat enough chocolate and you’ll be waisted, all right.

    That said, I think my son Sam will be an enthusiastic acolyte of this particular view, although he’s rather zealous about minimum percent cocoa levels (anything under 70% and he sneers).

  4. But there is something wrong with these metaphors. We know most when we have not light alone, but dark, contrast that elicits the details of what is apprehended. We need not enlightenment, for there is light everywhere, but dark. We need an Endarkenment.

    Before I got the whiff of satire I thought of this: web.mit.edu/krugman/www/dishpan.html (skip to “evolution of ignorance”)

  5. Wilkins – “And don’t get me started on White Chocolate, which is an abomination unto Xocolatl, the deity that gave chocolate to humanity.”

    Splitter!

  6. “Killing somebody is an evil, for it takes away from them the chance to enjoy more chocolate. ”

    No, John. Murder is evil, but all of the dead have a never-ending chance of enjoying chocolate.

  7. I love all things chocolate, the darker the better, but I can discern no abomination in the admixture of nuts. I don’t hold Hershey in high esteem, but their almond bars have been a lifelong love of mine, and a chocolate-covered macaroon can be a gustatory orgy.

    One time, in Paris, I endured a lobster salad just so that I could savor a pigeon roasted in chocolate (at least that’s what I think the menu said, but then I didn’t know what salade du homard meant, either). Nothing is so good that it can never be enjoyed in combination with something else.

  8. At the risk of sucking out the “guilty pleasure” aspect of indulging in and savoring each delectable morsel —and turning your mouth-watering poetic description into another nutritional “should” for the health-conscious yuppie—I present the following summary of a recent study that joins a growing body of research showing consistent medical benefits to consuming chocolate on a regular basis:

    More Evidence Dark Chocolate Is Cardioprotective
    [From Medscape Medical News > Neurology]

    June 4, 2012 — The blood pressure–lowering and lipid effects of dark chocolate could be an effective — and money-saving — strategy for preventing cardiovascular events in high-risk patients, a new study suggests.

    “The findings of this study suggest that the blood pressure lowering and lipid effects of plain dark chocolate could represent an effective and cost effective strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in people with metabolic syndrome (and no diabetes),” the researchers, with senior author Christopher M. Reid, PhD, CCRE Therapeutics, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, conclude.

    “Chocolate benefits from being by and large a pleasant and, hence sustainable, treatment option,” they write. “Evidence to date suggests that the chocolate would need to be dark and of at least 60-70% cocoa, or formulated to be enriched with polyphenols.”

    Dark chocolate, derived from coca beans, is rich in polyphenols, specifically flavonoids that exhibit antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and metabolic effects, all of which may contribute to cardio-protection.

    The study was published online May 31 in the BMJ.

        1. The nice thing about Chocoholism is that when you break chocolate into pieces, you have more pieces.

  9. Well the dark matter of coconut is it’s encasing, like Brazil nuts so once that’s gone surround them with chocolate and you’ve got your endarkenment back.

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