Friday, September 28, 2007

This Month in Existentialism

Not Even Wrong

Umm... what the fuck does "existentialism" mean again?
As the Joni Mitchell song says, options traders are looking at life from both sides now. This bout of existentialism follows Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's decision to lower interest rates by 50 basis points (a half-percentage point).

In English we are learning about existentialism. In this philosophy, life is meaningless.

When all those spirited mental wrestling matches you have about existentialism start growing old (yeah, right!), you can always put an end to the debate with cogito ergo sum [sic]. René Descartes, the 17th-century French philosopher, coined the phrase as a means of justifying reality. According to him, nothing in life could be proven except one's thoughts. Well, so he thought, anyway.

Try This
At bottom, every human being knows very well that he is in this world just once, as something unique, and that no accident, however strange, will throw together a second time into a unity such a curious and diffuse plurality: he knows it, but hides it like a bad conscience why? From fear of his neighbour who insists on convention and veils himself with it. But what is it that compels the individual human being to fear his neighbour, to think and act herd-fashion, and not to be glad of himself? A sense of shame, perhaps, in a few rare cases. In the vast majority it is the desire for comfort, inertia - in short, that inclination to laziness [...]

Stumbling across quotes like this reminds me why I am the way I am. I am...


  1. I am too. But I'm not sure about being here just once... I feel sure I've been here before - quite a few times - and it doesn't get any better. Humanity remains blinkered and blinded.

  2. Oh, dear, you brought a tear to my eye!
    It is that conviction that we're here only once and then thrown into oblivion that makes me want to scream in terror when I realize how little of my dreams I have achieved...
    That's why we hide behind such ideas as reincarnation; they are comforting, but as you said, I am who I am, my decisions have made me what I am, and there's no one to blame. For bad or good, I am here.

  3. A Profile like mine.
    Good taste.
    Meet best portuguese writer in my blog, please.


  4. AV,
    I have to agree with Usual Stuff (next comment) about reincarnation, etc. being at odds with existentialism. Of course, simply "not knowing" is not the same thing as "holding out hope"...

    Usual Stuff,
    I wouldn't dwell too much on what you haven't done. What are you going to do?

    Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Work on it, of course!!