Sometimes dark and twisted ideas turn into blistering reality.
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German 19th-century philosopher. He was the first serious Western Philosopher to become infatuated by Budddhism - and his thoughts are best described as a Western interpretation to the enlightenment found in Buddhist thought.
The philosophy of Schopenhauer starts with naming a primary force inside of us which he thinks of as the most powerful thing. This was our reason, logic, or moral sense, which he called the Will-to Life.
The Will-to-Life is the thing that pushes us forward everyday, making us cling on to whatever form of life we may have to make our lives easier.
However, as every 15th-19th century Western Philosopher does, Schopenhauer has some pretty negative views about human nature. He thinks this Will-to-Life is blind, dumb, and inconsistent, in that it draws us towards one thing; sex.
According to Schopenhauer, from an early adolescent age, the Will-to-Life enthralls us with the possibilities of erotic scenarios and makes us do extremely strange things, all to just fall in love with someone.
Schopenhauer is very intricately and comdeically gloomy about human nature, as he describes it in an oddy beautiful way.
“There is only one inborn error, and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy... So long as we persist in this inborn error... the world seems to us full of contradictions. For at every step, in things great and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining a happy existence... hence the countenances of almost all elderly persons wear the expression of what is called disappointment.”
Schopenhauer provides us with two solutions to these existential problems we have with our own existence. One of them is to spend as long as we can with art and philosophy, whose purpose is to show us how our efforts that create feelings of disappointment and sadness are created by our Will-to-Life.
Schopenhauer believes that the Will-to-Life is often responsible for our suffering and misery, but when we immerse ourselves in long walks with some poetry or a good book, it allows us to step back from life and look at the world around us without illusion.
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