If life is truly meaningless, is committing suicide the only rational response? Camus’ answer ws an emphatic “No.” There may not be any explanation for our unjust world, but choosing to live regardless, is the deepest expression of out genuine freedom.
Life can seem pretty pointless sometimes. We’re born, we live our lies and we die, all within an infinitesimal sliver of time. Most of us won’t leave much of mark on the world, the world won’t remember our names even a hundred years from now, so what’s the point of it all?
This was the question that troubled many philosophers of the early 20th Century, particularly agains the backdrop of war and sickness that loomed over their lives.
But Albert Camus rejected the conclusion that life was meaningless. In fact, he believed that the very decision to go on living gives life meaning. To illustrate his point, he cites the myth of Sisyphus, the Greek king who was condemned by the Gods to roll a boulder up a hill, before letting it roll back down, repeating the process for all eternity.
Only when we accept the meaninglessness of our lives, can we face the absurd with our heads held high. When Sisyphus chooses to begin his relentless task once more, one must imagine him happy.
August 7, 2020 7:46 pm - Steve Peters
It’s tempting to think of yourself as a thing. After all, the world is full of them. Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, they bombard you with their thing-ness. With their separateness and definability. Trees and rocks and cars and buildings and countries and rules. There’s no getting away from them. When you’re surrounded by…continue reading on Medium…"The greatest enemy of knowledge isn’t ignorance, it’s the illusion of knowledge."
Much is made of the elusive nature of Taoism. I mean, just look at how Einzelgänger describes it in his own video on the subject.
So what is the Tao? That’s a question we can’t really answer, and it’s futile to try. Our understanding of the Tao only goes as far as the limitations of our perceptions. What the Tao really is, and what it looks, feels, smells or sounds like remains a mystery. Moreover, the Tao that we speak of, isn’t the real Tao, according to Lao Tzu. Hence the famous opening of the Tao Te Ching goes like this:
“The Tao that an be described is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal name.”
This lack of precision is certainly not a failure on Einzelgänger’s part. Taoism just isn’t something which lends itself to definition. I see the difficulty in describing Taoism the same way I see the trouble in describing happiness, or love, or the colour green. There are many ways we can go about describing these things, but all of them fail short of the real thing.
But despite its ineffability, Taoism points towards a very simple idea; to accept life as it is. To live life without resisting its flow, and by doing so, to find peace in any situation. It’s something that we can all understand, even if we can’t quite put a method for doing it into words.