People above the line of base subsistence, in this age, and all earlier ages, do not use surplus, which society has given them, primarily for useful purposes. They do not seek to expand their own lives, to live more wisely, intelligently, understanding, but to impress other people with the fact that they have a surplus…spending money, time and effort quite uselessly in the pleasurable business of inflating the ego.
Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted.
The perpetual hesitation of the neurotic to launch out into life is readily explained by his desire to stand aside so as not to get involved in the dangerous struggle for existence. But anyone who refuses to experience life must stifle his desire to live- in other words, he must commit partial suicide.
I never wavered in my certainty that God did not exist. I was simply liberated by the thought that there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content- a way, to put it in more abstract terms, to think about Fathers without upsetting my respectful memory of my own father.
“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own . . .” -Epictetus
The Unheroic Hypothesis– the sense of defeat, or disaster, or futility, that seems to underlie so much modern writing. Colin Wilson- The Age of Defeat
The impetus that makes you fly is our great human possession. Everybody has it. It is the feeling of being linked with the roots of power, but one soon becomes afraid of this feeling.. That is why most people shed their wings and prefer to walk and obey the law.
Hermann Hesse- Demian
Fear of Death and a Fear of Life (Physiological and Psychological Death)
We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments…We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves…And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these very same possibilities.
The man who…was forced into an oppressive narrowness and regularity of custom, impatiently tore himself apart, persecuted himself, gnawed away at himself, grew upset, and did himself damage… Continue reading →
To call the taming of an animal its ‘improvement’ is in our ears almost a joke. Whoever knows what goes on in menageries is doubtful whether the beasts in them are ‘improved’. Continue reading →
“But what is philosophy? Doesn’t it simply mean preparing ourselves for what may come? Don’t you understand that really amounts to saying that if I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will?