Hey 3.5 readers.
Gotta admit, I’m feeling the misery lately. Actually, my alter ego, the Alleged Man is feeling it. I’m a fictional character so I feel awesome all the time even after I battle the Yeti, zombies, aliens, chupacabras and werewolves.
Anyway…Arthur Schopenhauer was a curmudgeonly old German prick in the 1800s and the first Western philosopher to incorporate a serious study of Buddhism into his work.
I’m not expert but my general understanding of Buddhism is “We’re all fucked so be happy and don’t let it get you down” whereas Shopenhauer seemed more like, “We’re all fucked and only the sane people are down about it.”
Here’s what he said about “the misery of life:”
“In my 17th year, I was gripped by the misery of life, as Buddha had been in his youth when he saw sickness, old age, pain and death. The truth was that this world could not have been the work of an all loving Being, but rather that of a devil, who had brought creatures into existence in order to delight in their sufferings.”
What do you think, 3.5 readers? Was the world created by an all loving being that gave us life to make us happy, or was it created by a devil who delights in giving us hope only to take it away?
I can tell you when I turned 30 I began to feel hope fade. There seemed to be less time…it seemed like I was more locked into choices I’d made, even bad ones. There was less time to fix mistakes.
Ironically, as I reach 40 (38 soon to be 39) I feel like I was a baby when I was 30. There was more time to pull out a few fixes but instead I wasted a lot of time on depression and lamentation.
Sigh. I bet when I turn 50 I’ll feel like I was a baby at 40. At any rate, the older we get, the less hope we have. To be 20 is to have an endless supply of options. You can still believe you’ll be anything because it is still possible. Now, not so much…and I’m not even getting into the effects aging has on your body, your looks, your ability to physically feel good and do what you want.
It’s pessimistic to be sure but old Artie has a point. It is hard sometimes to not feel like this world wasn’t created by a devil who delights in watching us move from thinking the world is our oyster where anything is possible in our youth to middle and old age where we lose hope and begin to feel like the world is our prison and a lack of time limits us from fixing past mistakes and re-writing past wrongs.
What say you 3.5?