Friday, December 16, 2016

Eudaimonia

     During a philosophy class (the only subject in all these years of high school that I would pleasantly attend), it came up in the discussion a writer who condemned the philosophers for "abstaining from life", for hiding in their ivory tower, for their refusal to comply to any profoundly human essences and for the fact that they lack tragedy, this tragedy typical to life. However, it seemed outrageously to me that the writer was himself a respected philosopher who lived more than 80 years.



     That, however, made me think. Not his disguised hypocrisy, but the topic he talked about: whether it is desirably to live a happy, long life, a quiet one, away from each torment specific to the human soul or to live a short one, so close to reaching insanity and delirium, bringing the exacerbation in every tedious part of life, at the risk of something cracking within you every moment. I could not let this idea fly by without any debate.  Below, some of the arguments.

     Why wouldn’t you want to live longer? You'd discover so many things, you'd experience hundred different sensations, imagine all the books you could read and how many languages ​​you could learn during your earthly existence.

     What will be the point of all these if nothing passes a verge, if there is not even a single experience defining audacity? To live a silent life, with nothing to get you out of your soul’s routine, without the risk of burning something out inside you..  Yes, indeed, you will not get the chance to experience every single thing you have mentioned, but only some and each of them hundredfold, thousandfold more deeply than normally.

     To what end? If you ultimately sum up all the sensations, every hour of happiness, every moment of delight, you will get the same amount, maybe a bigger one in my case.

     I highly doubt. And in any case, wouldn’t you get bored of a quiet life? Everything would depict a conventional life, each day resembling the previous one and there shall be no peak among them.


     You don’t necessarily have to obey conventions to live a quiet life. You can condemn all of them and, at the same time, be reconciled with each, therefore living by your own principles.

     You, hypocrite! It doesn’t matter whether you will want to obey the conventions raised in the humanity’s bosom because anyway, during your hunt against them, without your willful consent, you will be so revolted that your quiet life shall appear to you exactly how, in fact, it is: an illusion. You cannot blame a pattern or a convention and, in the same time, to defy the void between it and the truth.

     This depends on each of us. You generalize things, while yourself rebelling right now. You can enjoy life, take every good thing from it, regardless of conventions which, apparently, could limit you or even destroy the balance.

     How could you restrain certain impulses which tend to exacerbation? Beside that, why would you? How could you refuse an experience tthat might guarantee you a place closer to what is the essence of existence? Why denying life itself so much that you declare it insipid, a monotonous line that usually appears on the device connected to a patient who just left it?

     You deny life when you accept and enjoy all things it offers you?

     No, you do deny it if you think you refrain from enjoying everything life offers you hundredfold more than a being devoid of conscience and soul.

     No one refrains, but ..

     No, shut up! You reduce each feeling to the state of a butterfly from a sublime collection, uncommon specimens, magnificent ones that could be admired even by those disgusted by insects; yet each of them is an inert butterfly, sentenced to lying behind a glass wall. Let them fly, goddamn! Afraid of not catching enough? Rather let yourself be impressed by all of them and appreciate them because maybe tomorrow there will be no butterfly and you will suddenly realize you will never be pleased only with caterpillars. What am I saying here? Stop searching for butterflies, but instead seek for hummingbirds, but don't you ever imprison them.




- To be continued -


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Maira Gall