(Posted August 16, 2010)
Recently I have become fascinated with the subjects of life, death, purpose/meaning and especially existentialism, maybe because I experienced what quite possibly could have been an existential crisis (who knows), questioning ALL things in my world, including myself, and so, as with all transitions/challenges/uncertainties in my life, I seek to understand them more fully through studying, writing, contemplation, and sharing. I have much to say on these topics as of late (my close friends can testify:) but for now I will just share some quotes. Enjoy.
(The following quotes were found on the blog 'Fuck Yeah Existentialism')
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it. -Roald Dahl
Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better. -From 'Letters to a Young Poet' by Rainer Maria Rilke (LOVE THIS!)
In a sense, and as in melodrama, killing yourself amounts to confessing. It is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand it. Let's not go too far in such analogies, however, but rather return to everyday words. It is merely confessing that that "is not worth the trouble." Living, naturally, is never easy. You continue making the gestures commanded by existence for many reasons, the first of which is habit. Dying voluntarily implies that you have recognized, even instinctively, the ridiculous character of that habit, the absence of any profound reason for living, the insane character of that daily agitation, and the uselessness of suffering. What, then, is that incalculable feeling that deprives the mind of the sleep necessary to life? A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and this life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. All healthy men having thought of their own suicide, it can be seen, without further explanation, that there is a direct connection between this feeling and the longing for death. -Albert Camus
How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn't they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise? -White Noise, Don DeLillo
Now I knew: things are entirely what they appear to be—and behind them...there is nothing. -Sartre, from Nausea
Kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change. -Marquis de Sade's Last Will and Testament
Man simply invented God in order not to kill himself, that is the summary of universal history down to the moment. -Dostoyevsky "The Possessed" (1872)
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And from my favourite philosopher, Marcus Aurelius (who by the way, was not considered an existentialist, I simply love his clarity)...
Enough to make you say to death, "Come quickly. Before I start to forget myself, like them."
As you kiss your son good night, says Epictetus, whisper to yourself, "He may be dead in the morning". Don't tempt fate you say. By talking about a natural event? Is fate tempted when we speak of grain being reaped?
Stop whatever you're doing for a moment and ask yourself, "Am I afraid of death because I won't be able to do this anymore?"