We all want to optimize our time on this earth, that much can be said without a doubt. The “ideal life,” however, doesn’t exist.
You need to face yourself with the mathematical, honest cruelty that the world has imposed. You must take inventory. It’s something most people avoid. That’s because a real reckoning of the self is ugly.
To most people, philosophy is some confusing academic enterprise that’s of little practical use. When they want to make their lives better, they don’t turn to the ancients, they look to self-help gurus and how-to manuals.
Solipsism suggests that nothing exists but our own consciousness. This at first seems ridiculous; how can you deny the existence of the world around you? However, when you put your mind to it, it’s actually really rather difficult to verify anything other than your own consciousness.
We should find our purpose both fulfilling to ourselves and in some way to others. This balance is likely the same for everyone, but does it mean we each internally harbor the same purpose?
I believe one of the reasons the modern agnostic or atheistic individual is so resistant to the idea of something outside of what is physically measurable, is because of the questions that are raised.
Suicide is everywhere. It haunts history and current events. It haunts our own networks of friends and family. It most likely haunts your private thoughts, too. Why delay the inevitable silence, particularly when this world can be so painful? The specter of suicide looms large, but the topic is taboo because any meaningful discussion must at the very least consider that the answer to the question — “is life worth living?” — might not be an emphatic yes; it might even be a stern no.
Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School in New York City, takes on the precarious question of suicide in this darkly fascinating book. Through a sweeping historical overview of suicide, a moving literary survey of famous suicide notes, and a psychological analysis of himself, Critchley offers us an authentic portrait of what it means to possess the all too human gift and curse of being able to choose life or death.
With poignance, empathy, and scholarly thoroughness, Suicide takes us to the humming cliff of death. Here on the edge, Critchley calmly and pacifically whispers the ecstatic secret of life to us.
What if, in another universe, you didn’t meet them? You don’t know them and they don’t know you. You are alone or you are with someone else, and you are content. They do not exist to you. But neither does the pain in your chest.
A camera gathers up a perceptive event in its entirety. It’s gloriously stupid, or generous, like that.
I often wonder if ‘life’ is a concept developed by humans.