Who would you be if your mind forgot all its stories?
This is important, Michael, really going to this, deeply.
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her şeyi yitirmişti, yalnızlığı bile.
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Charles Bukowski, Pulp
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i made this in an hour some revivedbur for you (if my handwriting is bad enough that i need to translate then i can do that lmao)
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Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Joyful Science
Text ID: You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.
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when frank ocean said, “you ain’t a kid no more, we’ll never be those kids again” and lorde said, “i want em back, the minds we had” and adele said, “i’m so mad i’m getting old, it makes me reckless” and hozier said, “i need to be youthfully felt, ‘cause god i never felt so young”
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― Albert Camus
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We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.
Jean-Paul Sartre, "Preface", The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fanon
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Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka
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Check out my new Instagram ➡️ A Little Dark For You
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Simone de Beauvoir’s garden of meaning
What is existentialism? For Simone de Beauvoir (b. 1908) the discipline is a response to the human need to find a ‘place in a world turned upside down’. It cannot be explained succinctly. Still, let’s have a go.
Pyrrhus and Cineas
In her 1944 essay Pyrrhus and Cineas Beauvoir looks to explain humanity’s quest to find meaning by way of analogy.
Pyrrhus has a plan:
‘We are going to subjugate Greece first,’ says Pyrrhus.
‘And after that?’ asked Cineas.
We will vanquish Africa.’
‘We will go onto Asia … ’
‘And after that?’
‘We will go on as far as India.’
‘Ah! I will rest.’
‘Why not rest right away?’
According to Beauvoir, Cineas’ question haunts our projects. For why do anything? What’s the point? We’re only going to end up where we started.
However, it’s only Pyrrhus who leads an authentic life. Whereas many people fail even to question their lives, he directs himself towards goals, having the imagination to forge something for himself from the world.
Pyrrhus doesn’t leave to return home, where he started: he leaves to conquer; then to conquer again ... Each time he decides a new end. Each time he ‘transcends’ his situation.
‘The paradox of the human condition is that every end can be surpassed, and yet, the project defines the end as an end.’
The values we draw from our projects are never intrinsic, ready-made, or universal. To believe they are is to possess bad faith.
‘By identifying himself with his sex, his country, his class, with the whole of humanity [or God], a man can increase his garden, but he increases it only in words … [T]he fly on the stagecoach claims he is the one who led the carriage to the top of the hill.’
We give the world meaning through our engagement with it, an act which is accomplished with freedom and subjectivity. We throw ourselves towards ends with uncertainty: the price of leaving the world of ennui and inertia behind us. But, by choosing the locations and the limits of our projects, we snatch ‘the world from the darkness of absurdity’.
This garden must belong to me; I cultivate it. It even transcends me when I die.
‘I am enclosed within it until death because that garden becomes mine from the moment I cultivate it.’
It matters that our values are not given to us. My garden cannot be merged with the sterile void of the Universe, a passive equilibrium.
Being is not fixed to things: being is fixed to itself in a mode of transcendence. Like Pyrrhus’ journey, projects don’t end: ends are surpassed by other ends. Conquer or rest: it doesn’t matter which you choose. Just choose!
‘Is that my business? What does India matter? And what does Epirus matter? Why call this soil, this woman, these children mine? I brought these children into the world; they are here. The woman is next to me; the soil is under my feet. No tie exists between them and me. Mr Camus’s Stranger thinks like this; he feels foreign to the whole world, which is completely foreign to him … The inert existence of things is separation and solitude.’
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Word of the day:
noun/ from φανερός
The world, as filtered in through our senses
The term phaneron plays a major role in epistemology and phenomenology, and is usually associated with Charles Sanders Pierce who famously said:
"By the phaneron I mean the collective total of all that is in any way or in any sense present to the mind, quite regardless of whether it corresponds to any real thing or not"
To put it in simpler terms, imagine what would happen if the limits of human perception were to be tweaked just a little bit. A few more colours that our eyes could see. A few more sounds for our ears. It is highly doubtful, almost certainly impossible that we would see the same world as we do now.
The world we call our reality. So it becomes fairly easy to see how the image of the world our senses let in to the brain can be drastically different from how it actually is.
Perhaps the simplest example could be how two people may perceive the same thing as hot or cold. The thing in question has changed nothing about it, yet two individuals can not agree upon an actual state for it.
So is that it? The ultimate limitation of the human mind? To exist in a small slice of reality, forever cut off from the facts of the universe?
Also, it begs of question of what would a being actually capable of viewing the world as it is be like. Would it be correct to automatically give it the name of god, or does it not even make a difference?
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Quotes from Normal People
Novel by Sally Rooney
“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was and become part of it. She had that feeling in school often, but it wasn’t accompanied by any specific images of what the real life might look or feel like. All she knew was that when it started, she wouldn’t need to imagine it anymore.”
“Her eyes fill up with tears again and she closes them. Even in memory she will find this moment unbearably intense, and she's aware of this now, while it's happening. She has never believed herself fit to be loved by any person. But now she has a new life, of which this is the first moment, and even after many years have passed she will still think: Yes, that was it, the beginning of my life.”
“Suddenly he can spend an afternoon in Vienna looking at Vermeer’s The Art of Painting, and it’s hot outside, and if he wants he can buy himself a cheap cold glass of beer afterwards. It’s like something he assumed was just a painted backdrop all his life has revealed itself to be real: foreign cities are real, and famous artworks, and underground railway systems, and remnants of the Berlin Wall. That’s money, the substance that makes the world real. There’s something so corrupt and sexy about it.”
“Last night he spent an hour and a half lying on the floor of his room, because he was too tired to complete the journey from his en suite back to his bed. There was the en suite, behind him, and there was the bed, in front of him, both well within view, but somehow it was impossible to move either forward or backward, only downward, onto the floor, until his body was arranged motionless on the carpet. Well, here I am on the floor, he thought. Is life so much worse here than it would be on the bed, or even in a totally different location? No, life is exactly the same. Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head. I might as well be lying here, breathing the vile dust of the carpet into my lungs, gradually feeling my right arm go numb under the weight of my body, because it’s essentially the same as every other possible experience.”
“She tries to be a good person. But deep down she knows she is a bad person, corrupted, wrong, and all her efforts to be right, to have the right opinions, to say the right things, these efforts only disguise what is buried inside her, the evil part of herself.”
“Dublin is extraordinarily beautiful to her in wet weather, the way gray stone darkens to black, and rain moves over the grass and whispers on slick roof tiles. Raincoats glistening in the undersea color of street lamps. Rain silver as loose change in the glare of traffic.”
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― Albert Camus
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