Thursday, February 25, 2016

The True Meaning of Pessimism


 
Those who do not recognize the subjective and fluid nature of human existence are doomed to be under the false-assumption that there is a “solution” to the ills of mankind that correcting the poor conditions of Man will correct his miserable state – seen principally in the writings of Marx.  What Marx, and others who believe in a political solution to mankind fail to see is the wretchedness of Man is not only in his material state (though this contributes greatly to his plight) but in his very being and nature.  To be born, to be alive, to be human, is simply an ugly and undesired state of affairs – something to be wished on no one yet is the fate of everyone who is unlucky enough to say they exist or once existed.  There is no material solution to Mankind because the misery of life is largely innate in the human condition; being wrapped in physical and psychological desires attached to the attainment of basic needs (e.g. food, shelter, sex) as well as the attainment of psychological “needs” that is essentially the component of vanity in the human condition.  Though the needs and wants of human beings in their physical “essence” can be met by raw material and therefore can be achieved through political reform or revolution, the vane and desperate ego of Man, the need to be needed and have a deeper satisfaction of his “soul” is something that no revolution or political reform will ever attain. 
Everyday every human being feels some mild form of psychological pain, whether it is through remembering some past event (either some evil they inflicted on someone or an evil that was inflicted upon them which still torments them), thoughts of his future and the potential (in the cases of many what is likely) unhappiness to come or through lack of satisfaction of his ego through the mildest forms of rejection or merely lack of nourishment to his vanity.  Human beings are born in some sense with a chip on their shoulders, and every single one of us takes a part in digging in the wounds of all others as well as ourselves by acting on desires that will lead ultimately to more suffering over the long-run.  For human beings naturally remember the bad traits and deeds of a person, but seldom remember the noteworthy unless it is so bold that one is looking at a virtuoso or one is ignorant of the flaws and faults of the person – that is to say they don’t really know them.
It could be said then that Political Optimists are nearly as naïve and stupid as Augustine and the rest of the Christians who believe in an otherworldly paradise.  I say nearly as stupid because it seems slightly more likely that universal justice, peace, freedom and equality will be achieved on Earth rather than a place that does not exist – but only as more likely as I am to win the lottery as opposed to Frodo Baggins.  This is why this life is something not above all to improve, but to be overcome through the salvation of death.
If we were all to commit suicide collectively, and end this vane and stupid project called human existence, would we not all be better off?  No one would mourn our deaths because thankfully there would be no one to mourn.  Asides from the potential defenseless (e.g. children, mentally and physical disabled etc.) that are under one’s care that one is leaving behind, the only unethical aspect in suicide is that one is leaving behind those who will grieve his or her death.  This despair is both irrational and rational.  It is irrational because the person is dead and can no longer be plagued by what ailed them so – so much they would take violent ends against themselves.  It is rational because we loved them, and didn’t want them to suffer, even though they clearly did greatly; it is also rational because in suicide we realize the awful nature of not just the particular sufferer (who no longer suffers) but of ourselves and the whole world.  We realize that we are all damned beings.  And because we are also “fallen” beings, because we lack the psychological and ethical reserves necessary to cure the world materially or psychologically, we will remain damned and fallen until we are finally forgiven for the sin of existence and reprieved of our wretched lives.
The world is so awful and evil, that one feels lost in it.  So much so that despite its futility one wishes to cry out to the Lord for mercy – but this is senseless, not only because there is no God, but also because if there was a God He clearly must love watching our torment.  Our agony must be a sweet delicacy to any Creator who can witness it.  Like a clever child who breeds rats only to torture them, the Christian God seemingly put this pointless billion year project of seemingly endless cycles of biological reproduction to watch us and other creatures be in great pain.  We are truly God’s most loved ones – not for our virtue, for Man has little, but because we can suffer and in ways and to degrees no other creature could even imagine.  Not only is what the Lord made evil, any salvation from it save the loving embrace of death is an immorality itself.  For if Heaven exists, the only people who enjoy it are either too stupid or too evil to care for the plight of those in Hell or those on Earth.  Their bliss does not rectify the sufferings of those who are forever damned, or even damned to a wretched state of affairs for a short period of time (their entire lives, which is a blip in cosmological time).
There is no solution to our lives – save to end them.  But since we cannot do this and not have others suffer in our demise we must instead, and because we are of more service to others living than dead, we must choose to live and live in service to those who are the most wretched and most in pain.  This involves some action which is political in the broad sense, but this will not put any effective ointment on the wounds of the mind.  Instead philosophy and art is the closest thing to a “solution” to the ailments of the human condition in its “spiritual” or psychological essence – and great improvement and comfort can be brought through these mediums.  This provides a richness and clarity to life that no appreciation of the mundane externalities of this existence (which is defined by vanity and material need) ever could.
Man’s mind, despite the great pains that are brought to it, is the most beautiful of all Creation, not only because it is that which creates the phenomenological state of finding the world beautiful, but despite its evil it is also capable above all other species to conceive of the ethical.  It can love and wish pure goodness for other beings with no thought of selfish reward.  It is one of the central aspects of Buddhism to wish infinite kindness and love to all sentient beings; to wish they not be in pain and that they find some solace from the horrors of this existence.  This is what I wish for you dear reader, though I cannot be the primary source of contentment, because the nature of the ‘self’ is that serenity and solace, joy and wisdom all must come from within.
It is this lack of appreciation of the subjective and internal depth and richness of mankind that Marx and others who focus on the strictly political and material sorely lack.  Despite their claims of the nature of the world, which seem correct over Schopenhauer’s, and even their reasonableness in politics as compared to the Conservative politics of Schopenhauer, they fail utterly in acknowledging the beauty and tragedy in existing as a human being; fail to give proper credit and attention to all the dimensions of being which are only properly expressed in art and life.

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