Taking Theosophical ideas

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Neil from The Young Ones

Go easy on your Desire Principle

Look what happens when it gets damaged

Posted 20/4/07

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Neil Played by Nigel Planer


To appreciate this posting you will need to be old enough to remember the 1980s television sitcom, The Young Ones (or have seen the reruns) and in particular the character Neil played by Nigel Planer (Pictured above).

Neil is a bit of an anachronism for the 1980s. He is really a refugee from the 1960s with his long hair, hippy language (“man” at the end of sentences) and his almost horizontal laidbackness.

Neil is meant to represent someone whose mental capacities have been impaired by drug abuse although the actual drugs are never specified. He is certainly a good advert for steering clear of drugs.

Neil’s real tragedy though is that his Desire Principle (Kama Rupa) which is an essential component of the Personality and Personality Ego just isn’t working. Combined with the Lower Mind Principle, the Desire Principle forms the Personality without which you cannot deal with the world.

It is customary in many forms of inner work to try to control the Desire Principle and it is certainly good not to let Desire control your life. The Desire Principle is however what motivates you to achieve goals and meet the challenges that your life will present.

Neil has no motivation or even the ability to stand his ground in social situations. He has no control over his life and the world tosses him around like a cork. He becomes the butt of jokes and a terminal victim of circumstances.


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