Unity & Metamorphosis is a book written by Sofia Lamb about her philosophy of creating paradise through unity and abandonment of the self. The book is imprinted with a large butterfly symbol and is treated as a religious document by members of the Rapture Family. It can be found at shrines of the cult and in the resting places of believers.
Excerpts[edit | edit source]
- Rapture was to be your paradise. You grasped the so-called Great Chain of Progress, and pulled hard in your own interest. But then, the Great Chain snapped. Now, paradise is dying, and you with her. But we are never alone. We shall live on. Join the Rapture Family and be reborn!
- Look around, my friends. Rapture is a mass grave. Here lies the holy self, a budding Mozart rots beside a girl who might have surpassed Einstein. Those who survived the war still crave the ADAM drug. Locked within ourselves, we were unfit for utopia.
- Ryan was wrong. To hand sufficient power to any individual is to create a tyrant. We must therefore eradicate tyranny at the genetic level. To end sin itself, that is the Family, that is our cause.
- Ryan saw the individual as a hero, a noble survivor. And Rapture was his paradise, a shrine to the supremacy of the self. The result? Slavery, genocide, chaos. Now that the tyrant is dead, we are a true collective, a single Family.
- Each of us has a moral duty to increase the common joy, and ease the common pain. Alone, we are nothing, mere engines of self-interest. Together, we are the Family, and through unity, we transcend the self.
- Why faith? Is the Rapture Family religious, or secular? The question is irrelevant. Observe instead our mutualism. Beneath the myth, God is just a name for our moral duty to others. It is that impulse which unites the collective. Faith is that which lives on. Snuffing it out merely spreads the blaze.
- Rapture was a city founded to exalt the self, a society of I. This is a contradiction in terms. The individual naturally subverts the collective, resulting in chaos. And so, Rapture failed.
- The fall of Rapture was a product of Darwin's bounty. Evolution is no miracle. It is greed and fear, shaped by brutal selection pressure. We need no external devils to tempt us. Biologically speaking, original sin lies in the genes.
- With each generation of blind gambling, the gene grows more expert at concealing its teeth in a smile. But beneath the veneer of etiquette, we are all subjected to constant temptation.
- The tyrant looks upon the world, saying, "All this is mine." And by force or guile, he makes it so. To the tyrant, the whole of creation is held in the relative; sun and moon revolve for him alone. For the tyrant, even justice is whimsy. He alone is fit to weigh, to measure, and to cut.
- The tyrant has no family, no friends, no country; only slaves, chained in his wake. To his fellows he asks, "Of what use are you to me?" Those who love him are his subjects, for the tyrant accepts only worship or fear.
- The individual, with even the least malicious intent, is prone to self-bias, resulting in great agony for those she loves. It is only the collective will that allows us to transcend this inner tyrant."
- In times of calm, the tyrant asks, How will my lot increase?" In times of crisis, the tyrant asks, "How will I be saved?"
- Ryan's moral impulse was sound. He observed the world and asserted, simply, "We can do better." But Utopia cannot precede the Utopian. It will exist the moment we are fit to occupy it. Not a place, but a people.
- The human animal, like the gene, serves only the self. We are born believing that the world turns for us alone, and we die in the futile attempt to make it so. I've treated them all, from career prostitutes to titans of industry. The only constant is dissatisfaction.
- To the individual, his or her own instincts appear divinely ordained, but our drives are the product of evolved self worship and are, therefore, naturally corrupt. Alone, we are enslaved to our own perspectives. It is a kind of protagonist syndrome, of which we are all afflicted.
- Free will evolved, my friends. The illusion of control is a trick of the gene, vanishing in an instant the moment we are sufficiently tempted. The gene makes a tyrant of us all.
- This is not a sermon. I will offer no insight. Every word I speak, you already know.
- My father was a physician. He raised me not to echo him, but to model the world as it ought to be. I was to teach a simple moral calculus, each choice as though the world must bear it, each life or death for the common good. He called it the triage imperative, and would laugh without smiling.
- Utopia. Said aloud, it evokes heaven on earth, yet the word means both "good place" and "no place," an ideal unreachable. Even in the naming of it, we refuse to believe. And yet, we will forever seek Utopia, driven always to want more, no matter how much we have. It is among the grandest of human ironies that our very drive to find Utopia has kept us from abiding there.
- Think "I will smile," and act as such. Congratulations, you have just experienced the illusion of free will. Now think, "I will never become angry again," and act as such. The illusion begins to break down. Your genes have no objection to an empty smile, but anger, to the gene, is part of the program. I submit the following conclusion -- the gene is the enemy.
- What is good? Only one definition endures. Good is pleasure in the absence of suffering. What then is the greater good? To calculate pleasure or suffering in the majority, we must account for the dimension of time. Each act must be measured not merely within the moment, but against all causality. The greater good, therefore, equates to total pleasure over time.
- What is the soul? An ineffable spark of continuity, living within us, yet beyond us. Mortality, our eldest truth, and the soul, our eldest contradiction. I submit the following conclusion -- the soul is not in us, but between us.
References[edit | edit source]
- Post by Jordan Thomas in the "Lamb's 'Unity and Metamorphosis'" thread on the 2K BioShock 2 Forums