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Some sage thoughts on suicide and misanthropy, and a few poems

by TangledUpInBlue

To begin, I am fairly misanthropic and disenfranchised due to humanity’s impact on nature and the wildlife that inhabit (or did inhabit in many cases) this once beautiful planet,  how society is in general, whether it be the intolerance and hate that monotheistic religions have spread for generations (as well as how religious teachings dominate our political and legal systems despite all of the blatant problems that arise from it), the general lack of concern for our irreversible impacts, our horrible justice systems, our spiraling out of control dependency on technology, etc, etc…. but I also share the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s views on misanthropy and suicide… taken from wikipedia: “The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, on the other hand, was as famously misanthropic as his reputation. He wrote that “human existence must be a kind of error.” It should be added, however, that misanthropy does not necessarily equate with an inhumane attitude towards humanity. Schopenhauer concluded, in fact, that ethical treatment of others was the best attitude, for we are all fellow sufferers and all part of the same will-to-live; he also discussed suicide with a sympathetic understanding which was rare in his own time, when it was largely a taboo subject.”

I’m not sure if many people have heard of him but I came across some of his writings/teachings, in particular his piece “on Suicide” and thought it was very objective and well thought out, and that it might be useful to some.  He was a pretty amazing philosopher and you can google “Arthur Schopenhauer on suicide” with the first two results being the written version of his findings, and an audio reading on youtube.  It is very in depth and some of it might be too informational/historical for some so I’ll paste some excerpts that I found most interesting.  In the piece he also includes quotes from other philosophers throughout time which are also very well put.

“When a man destroys his existence as an individual, he is not by any means destroying his will to live. On the contrary, he would like to live if he could do so with satisfaction to himself; if he could assert his will against the power of circumstance; but circumstance is too strong for him.”

“It will generally be found that, as soon as the terrors of life reach the point at which they outweigh the terrors of death, a man will put an end to his life. But the terrors of death offer considerable resistance; they stand like a sentinel at the gate leading out of this world. Perhaps there is no man alive who would not have already put an end to his life, if this end had been of a purely negative character, a sudden stoppage of existence. There is something positive about it; it is the destruction of the body; and a man shrinks from that, because his body is the manifestation of the will to live.”

“When, in some dreadful and ghastly dream, we reach the moment of greatest horror, it awakes us; thereby banishing all the hideous shapes that were born of the night. And life is a dream: when the moment of greatest horror compels us to break it off, the same thing happens.”

“Suicide may also be regarded as an experiment — a question which man puts to Nature, trying to force her to an answer. The question is this: What change will death produce in a man’s existence and in his insight into the nature of things? It is a clumsy experiment to make; for it involves the destruction of the very consciousness which puts the question and awaits the answer.”

The ancients, moreover, were very far from regarding the matter in that light. Pliny says: Life is not so desirable a thing as to be protracted at any cost. Whoever you are, you are sure to die, even though your life has been full of abomination and crime. The chief of all remedies for a troubled mind is the feeling that among the blessings which Nature gives to man, there is none greater than an opportune death; and the best of it is that every one can avail himself of it.

in Stobaeus’ exposition of the Peripatetic philosophy there is the following remark: The good man should flee life when his misfortunes become too great; the bad man, also, when he is too prosperous . And similarly: So he will marry and beget children and take part in the affairs of the State, and, generally, practice virtue and continue to live; and then, again, if need be, and at any time necessity compels him, he will depart to his place of refuge in the tomb.

 

I hope some found that worthwhile,

now onto those few poems of mine…

The three poems that follow are the only poems that I have left after I had planned to bid farewell several years ago.  The other, more meaningful, poems were all saved on my laptop which I had tossed into a river prior to my attempted departure simply because they were all personal and dealt with my depression mostly stemming from my childhood and faded memories of my dad and the problems that arose from his alcoholism, steady and heavy abuse of my mom, and eventual downward spiral into a shadow of who he once was.  The poems that are gone (or technically still there on a submerged hard drive ha) are ones that I miss every day and were really great pieces of poetry in my opinion but unfortunately after going on antidepressants for a few months some time ago (mostly to quell my OCD) I have never been able to write anything of quality anymore.

 

The Stranger

So many tears for a stranger to me,

listless he lies, oh a sad sight to see.

He once held me high without a worry,

but squandered it all, I cannot believe

my father has died, a stranger to me.

 

(No title)

In this ocean of hours, I’m all the time drinking

Yet in this ocean of ours I’m all the time thinking

Miles from land, no comfort of a lighthouse blinking

Feet dug in on a distant shore, you haven’t the slightest inkling

The moon may control the tide, the reason from the sand the water is shrinking

But it’s your memory, the lightness in my heart, that keeps me from sinking.

 

(No title)

The weeks stretch out, they go on for miles.

The days show no mercy, no cure in a vial.

The nights are frigid, cold as a bare tile.

I find comfort in dreams, you embrace me with a smile.

 

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6 comments

emptiness7 4/3/2012 - 6:48 am

I like what he has to say. It’s fairly accurate because I’m never convinced tht suicide is anything but taking cOntrol of your own life after the entire universe seeks to destroy it for you. I lack control and perhaps that’s why I sometimes feel drawn to the idea so much because I yearn to control something. I’m tired of being a pawn in this game.

softsoul 4/3/2012 - 10:54 am

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior has some great insights about living and flowing with life. Written by Dan Millman.

emptiness7 4/3/2012 - 11:13 am

Weird. Someone just recommended that to me like two weeks ago.

lucy4 4/3/2012 - 12:14 pm

“After your death you will become what you were before your birth”.
That’s my favorite Arthur Schopenhauer quote.
It’s applicable to both Buddhists and Atheists.

Duke of Marmalade 4/3/2012 - 4:29 pm

I have heard you mention it before Lucy4. It was that time when you were having that heated debate over the meaning of infinity. I’m disappointed, I thought you had read it from the back of a bumper sticker 🙂

Tohellnbackagain 12/3/2012 - 3:44 am

I really like what you posted…

Misanthrophic thoughts have always been swiming around in my mind when I was a child when i started to think more, seems natural…
I live in a city that has way too many people herding around including myself of coarse im no better than anyone else..

It’s a funny thing, how the thought of commiting suicide or not knowing when your death will happen keeps you going on living…just another day..maybe today your life will be gone..

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