Camus when young asks if meaninglessness
could warrant suicide. His answer: Nope:
Not physical nor spiritual self-death.
Instead: Embrace the human moment: Hopes
and fears distract: You need a meaning that
you understand; you lack this: hold there:
aware of lacking what you long to have.
Escapes to either “I’ve a meaning fair
and clear” or “No meaningful path or salve
is here desired” hide from where you’ve found
yourself, and you’ll not resolve a wound wound
all through by hiding from its origin.
But I am forty-five. At forty-six
Camus flies through the windshield, eighteen years
past when he wrote The Myth of Sisyphus.
Why people kill themselves? What poison steers?
Much hurt for little purpose: “I see only gray.
I’m lonely, hurting, pointless. I don’t care
if God exists, if Goodness matters. I can’t play
another day this game for me. Should share?
No doubt! But guilting off the ledge just works
only so long.
The patient monster’s shove works late, it lurks,
until a strong weakness comes along.”
Because the Hurt is killing you without
a friend with space for whispers you would shout.
But then somebody is nice and maybe there’s a chance for a change
and you start to wonder what all that suicide was all about
How to deal with the Hurt?
You can’t pretend it away.
Embrace it? Admit you hurt
and wish it would go away
but it doesn’t, it stays?
What are the two prongs of this Hurt?
The prongs of the Absurd were:
1) I need a meaning to life that I understand
2) I cannot right now find such a meaning or think of how I could find one
The resolution was to keep both prongs fully alive in you at all times and thus be fully yourself, fully in your own moment. And go from there: since you are only at an actionable starting point insofar as you are where you are. Enter and stay within the Absurd and let that fundamental crisis of your existence blossom. Maybe the Absurd is more than the sum total of its parts. The only way to find out is to enter it and not abandon it, not slink off into a fantasy about how you understand your meaning to life and/or don’t wish to.
What are the prongs of the Hurt?
It tears you apart with a visceral screaming pain gyrating out of my gut.
Can one speak of prongs?
The Hurt would not be a negative if you wished for it.
The loneliness, the isolation of not being able to share a big part of what you’re constantly experiencing.
The Hurt doesn’t seem to be a philosophical problem, but do we feel meaninglessness as a philosophical problem? Not really. So what’s the philosophical problem under the Hurt? The problem of evil? Something feels wrong in some deep way and we’re not OK with that?
I told Camus that we don’t need a meaning to life that we can intellectually understand; we need a meaning to life that our thought as a whole (ideas, feelings, and the Light shining through everything, including each conscious moment) can understand, care about, and follow–but not in a literal sense. What is literal understanding anyway? We move feelingly literal ideas about in accordance with felt logical rules: but who really understands either the action or content of their won thoughts? We don’t need literal understanding, we need poetic, whole-being understanding: our ideas and feelings need to gesture better and better to and from the Light, so that we more and more become the Light in motion. This is human meaning: an organization of feeling/thinking/acting around the Light that alone Knows what’s really going on and what really matters, and that alone Knows that and in what way it is True to say we are all in this together forever.
And so the Absurd is kind of a misunderstanding. I do need a meaning to life that I understand, but not in a literal way, rather as an ongoing self-critiquing and -correcting organization of feeling/thinking/acting around the spiritual center of Reality. But is that not what Camus found when he refused to abandon either prong and entered into the Absurd? Did he not find it infinitely spacious and yet still overflowing with Love?
But what’s to be done about the Hurt?
Because it’s not ideas and feelings so much as an ugly mangled screaming wound.
And what’s to be done about democracy and the brother/sisterhood of humankind?
Because it can’t be helped with an essay and/or meditation retreat, but requires all of us dancing together better and better.