Sep 14, 2015

Monday Morning Quote (Schopenhauer)

"Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?
If life--the craving for which is the very essence of our being--were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing. But as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something; and then distance and difficulties to be overcome make our goal look as though it would satisfy us--an illusion which vanishes when we reach it; or else when we are occupied with some purely intellectual interest--when in reality we have stepped forth from life to look upon it from the outside, much after the manner of spectators at a play." 
 Arthur Schopenhauer
 This was a long quote but I hope you made it through the whole thing. Schopenhauer wants to know why some people can claim life is meaningful if we are only ever happy when we are going after a goal and never happy after we have achieved it. Emotion is always distanced from its object. Existence in itself is boring.

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