• Shawn
    12.7k
    Arthur Schopenhauer never lived to see his philosophy adopted and read by so many people. Had he been alive today, I wonder what he would have said.

    I'm not adept at his philosophy; but, his influence on my life has been great. One of the first books I read at a local antiquarian shop, was his aphorisms. It wasn't in the original German; but, it was well translated. Some of his quotes, like, the avoidance of pain will lead to being content in life, is still something I live by. I don't want to go into detail about myself; but, in your opinion, is his enduring influence to this day due to him being right? The only reason I am hesitant to say, in a very light manner, that I don't agree with him because of his denial of the will to live.

    Now, given that the maladies of human beings is not only boredom; but, rather stuff like depression and anxiety and hopelessness, then what would one be able to say about the human condition according to Schopenhauer, in the present?
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Schopenhauer is an (quasi-ascetic) antinatalist as a consequence of his (transcendental) pessimism. 'Better to not have been born' sums up his view of the human condition. :sweat:

    NB: As much as enjoy I reading Schop, I much prefer Spinoza before him and Nietzsche after. Also, Zapffe-Camus-Cioran-Rosset's absurdism (along with folk blues & jazz) have helped me to despair more cheerfully. :death: :flower:
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    as you probably know Bernardo Kastrup has published a book on him, Decoding Schopenhauer's Metaphysics, which compares his ideas favourably which those Kastrup has been developing over the last 20 years or so. Me, I think the argument can be made that he was 'the last great philosopher' (although I'll leave it to someone else to actually write it ;-) )

    I still think the opening few sentences of WWR are among the immortal utterances of philosophy:

    “The world is my idea:”—this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as idea, i.e., only in relation to something else, the consciousness, which is himself. If any truth can be asserted a priori, it is this...

    There are quite a few other passages I could quote, but I'll resist the urge, although I will add that compared to his nemesis GWF Hegel, Schopenhauer's prose was succinct and direct. I've also read that he had a much bigger impact on playwrights and artists than on the profession of philosophy overall, and that this filtered through to popular culture in the early 20th C. And that he was Bryan Magee's favourite of the great philosophers.
  • Shawn
    12.7k
    I'll just leave this here as a pretty profound quote by Schopenhauer.

    "[...] the Stoical philosophy is the most complete development of practical reason in the true and genuine sense of the word; it is the highest summit to which man can attain by the mere use of his reason..."

    -Arthur Schopenhauer
    The World as Will and Representation, par. 6

    I'm just bogged down by the term apathy and indifference towards the attainment of happiness. Then again I always thought Stoical philosophy wasn't meant for the young and eager to enjoy life. :fear:

    A lot of Schopenhauer's philosophy has to do with how human beings profess empathy and compassion.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    ... in your opinion, is his enduring influence to this day due to him being right?Shawn
    No, it's more to do with his style and curmudgeonly charming wit and the potent way he braids together Kantianism and (philosophical stands of) Hinduism. He certainly offers a lot of idealist/antirealist/subjectivist philosophical grist for the 'bourgeois New Age' mill (though it might not be apparent to most). Schopenhauer is also, IMO, a more intelligible alternative 'philosopher of being' to Heidegger and other p0m0 sophists which is why his thought has long been so influential (second only to Nietzsche?) on various, great literary and musical artists throughout the late great Twentieth century.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    Don’t confuse apathy Stoic ‘apathia’ with mere indifference or ennui. It’s more like the ability to rise above personal emotions and pettiness. I think a better word would be detachment.

    There’s been a great recent addition to the corpus, Schopenhauer’s Compass by Urs App. It has a lot of original scholarship and reference to primary materials (diaries, letters, margin notes etc). Shows in superb detail the intellectual ambiance of Schopenhauer’s formative years, going right into the provenance of the particular, Persian translation of the Upaniṣad that he read (in Latin), and his relationships and interactions with his peers, including Fichte, Schelling and others.
  • Mww
    4.6k
    Now, given that the maladies of human beings….Shawn

    Personally, I find the relative value of S’s philosophy not related to human maladies, but to the general human investiture in transcendental idealism.

    in your opinion, is his enduring influence to this day due to him being right?Shawn

    Nahhh, not from this armchair. Whatever influence he has, is due to his being Kantian. And Kant is on record as denying to himself any certifiable empirically-grounded correctness….being right…..re: metaphysics as a doctrine cannot stand the tests of being a science, and insofar as if it is the case that the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree, then S should also deny being right to himself.

    On the other hand, to posit for the record his philosophy is more right than Kant’s**, which is simply to say Kant was wrong about this or that, merely reflects conclusions from disparate initial conditions, but that doesn’t make S’s PSR or WWR any more or less “right” than CPR, CpR, or CJ.

    That any of us these days think one or the other right, is a different story altogether, predicated on mere aesthetic agreement, rather than factual correctness.

    ** “…. What I have in view in this Appendix to my work is really only a defence of the doctrine I have set forth in it, inasmuch as in many points that doctrine does not agree with the Kantian philosophy, but indeed contradicts it. A discussion of this philosophy is, however, necessary, for it is clear that my train of thought, different as its content is from that of Kant, is yet throughout under its influence, necessarily presupposes it, starts from it; and I confess that, next to the impression of the world of perception, I owe what is best in my own system to the impression made upon me by the works of Kant….”
    (WWR, 2, App., 1844, in Haldane/Kemp, (pub) 1909)

    As I said: personally…..
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Now, given that the maladies of human beings is not only boredom; but, rather stuff like depression and anxiety and hopelessness, then what would one be able to say about the human condition according to Schopenhauer, in the present?Shawn

    Yes his general evaluation was correct, even if one does not agree with the architectonics of his Kantian, neo-neoplatonist metaphysics. As I said in another thread:

    He makes an interesting distinction between positive and negative properties. He argues that what we call "happiness" is a negative property, as it is really the pursuit of a desire for a change of state. Happiness is not what is intrinsic, but rather dissatisfaction is. What follows is a desire for change, which temporarily puts "relief" on the dissatisfaction, only for the ever-gushing willing nature of our existence to go back to another desire for a change of state. Boredom is seen as the ultimate revealer of a ground-state of dissatisfaction as he argues this to be the "proof" that we are not simply satisfied existing, but always rather dissatisfied. We are always struggling and looking for ways out of our dissatisfaction. We chase flow states, hedonistic ends, entertainment, chit-chatting, and all of it as a result of the dissatisfaction.

    Much of life is maintenance, the upkeep of one's lifestyle, not even getting to the game of satisfaction-fulfilling.. Just maintaining the lifestyle to get there.

    Then there are contingent externalities that puts people in a deficit. People with various diseases, or unfortunate situations happen to them, might put them at a perpetual deficit in their baseline of what they must contend with while overcoming the dissatisfaction.

    Birth puts us on this dissatisfaction trajectory.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    Schopenhauer's assessment of Stoicism was more profound than that of Nietzsche.
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Schopenhauer's assessment of Stoicism was more profound than that of Nietzsche.
    Perhaps it seems that way because N's assessment was Dionysian and not as Apollionian as S's assessment.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    Perhaps it seems that way because N's assessment was Dionysian and not as Apollionian as S's assessment.
    6 hours ago
    180 Proof

    There's very little of the mad god Dionysus in Stoicism, it's true.
  • Shawn
    12.7k
    Don’t confuse apathy Stoic ‘apathia’ with mere indifference or ennui.Wayfarer

    I don't think an emotion or rather passion, which was once called apathia, which is nowadays called 'apathy', really could have changed all that much. The only thing that changed was our perception of such a passion... In my opinion, reification happened to the term in the context of socioeconomic systems and tidbits of rationalizations about psychologizing the term away.

    Do you think so too?
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    the mad god DionysusCiceronianus
    i.e. life-affirming ("ja-sagen")
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    I don't think an emotion or rather passion, which was once called apathia, which is nowadays called 'apathy', really could have changed all that much. The only thing that changed was our perception of such a passion... In my opinion, reification happened to the term in the context of socioeconomic systems and tidbits of rationalizations about psychologizing the term away.Shawn

    What has really changed between ancient philosophy and our own day is due to the advent of modernity and the ascendancy of individualism. It is, in philosophical parlance, egological (not egocentric) - assuming the prerogatives of ego at the centre. It’s essential on the political level as it allows pluralism, but here the topic is self-governing, not political government. I think compared to our inherited bourgous and egological way of life, stocism and other such doctrines were very austere. And indeed Schopenhaur praises asceticism as the solution to the problem of human willfulness. Easy to say, but very hard to do, unless it's inculcated during your formative years. (I speak from experience.)
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    I think compared to our inherited bourgous and egological way of life, stocism and other such doctrines were very austere. And indeed Schopenhaur praises asceticism as the solution to the problem of human willfulness. Easy to say, but very hard to do, unless it's inculcated during your formative years. (I speak from experience.)Wayfarer

    I think disposition has much to do with it. I'm not a fan of owning too many things. I feel better with less. Just sold my car. I am now working though my belongings, with a goal of giving away 50% of it all. And then I will review. There's a thread on the spiritual benefits of minimalism (and its challenges) gestating in my head.
  • Outlander
    1.9k
    the avoidance of pain will lead to being content in lifeShawn

    Not to be churlish but surely you could have led with a better example to showcase Schopenhauer's genius and resulting effect on your life to those currently unaware. I can't say I find that specific mantra to be particularly dripping with profound wisdom. Makes me picture a warning label on an imported cutting board placed there by an overachieving translator.

    On a serious note I'm likely less acquainted with him than yourself, but from a quick, nuanced read of his popular works and ideas, I have to say at least a few of them definitely seem to "leap out" at me as if he took exactly what I feel at times and put it into words I myself have yet to. Particularly this gem: "Life presents, in fact, a more or less violent oscillation between the two (pain and boredom)."

    The man was clearly a genius, and like the old saying goes "ignorance is bliss", meaning I'm sure he was far, far from a blissful person - at least in a natural state but learned how to become content despite his likely (at times) burdensome intellect and resulting capacity to experience and understand pain and suffering at levels most are fortunately spared from - and in doing so helped others like him and those who aspire to be like him, fundamentally changing the intellectual world for the better in the process.

    I'm sure not every single belief he held or declared is without some folly or shortcoming, some scenario where his wisdom would appear to fall short or otherwise be without any room for improvement or adaptation for the better. The world is a chaotic, violent place and those who fail to recognize this as a great and solemn truth merely delude themselves, I would say. Now, you could also say it doesn't have to be, at least it can be improved so as to make the world of tomorrow a literal world of difference by avoiding or rather properly dealing with some of the common behaviors, frames of mind, and patterns of thinking associated with overthinking about or focusing on the negatives of the world we live in. He seems to have found his own way to have done so, measurably and indisputably beneficial to others as well despite there being a seemingly overshadowing theme of pessimism to some readers. Some things can be simplified, others can only be oversimplified.

    In short, the man had an idea and ran with it. It obviously resonated with enough people, in that era, and even in our own to have turned into something we're still discussing a good 200 years later. Sometimes we ask ourselves the wrong questions at the right times. Was he "right"? Should his beliefs be declared law of the land and mandatory in public education for the good of humanity as a whole? Perhaps. Perhaps not. What matters is, did his influence help guide you to become a better, more content, dare I say realized, human being or better still, did it help refine the image of the ideal person you can still be and have yet to become?
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    I think disposition has much to do with it. I'm not a fan of owning too many things. I feel better with less. Just sold my car.Tom Storm

    I admire that (although I just bought a car.) But I also gloomily realise the truth of the old maxim about the patterns being set in early childhood, and mine were certainly not at all conducive to either stoicism or asceticism. (Then again, I recall reading in History of Western Philosophy that Schopenhauer himself lived comfortably enough, and chuckled spitefully when his landlady fell down the stairs, an anecdode that Russell seemed to relish, so as to defray any claim regarding moral superiority on Schopenhauer's part.)

    Nevertheless I'll take this opportunity to present another passage from Schopenhauer which I find prescient:

    Of all systems of philosophy which start from the object, the most consistent, and that which may be carried furthest, is simple materialism. It regards matter, and with it time and space, as existing absolutely, and ignores the relation to the subject in which alone all this really exists. It then lays hold of the law of causality as a guiding principle or clue, regarding it as a self-existent order (or arrangement) of things,veritas aeterna, and so fails to take account of the understanding, in which and for which alone causality is. It seeks the primary and most simple state of matter, and then tries to develop all the others from it; ascending from mere mechanism, to chemistry, to polarity (i.e. electricity), to the vegetable and to the animal kingdom.

    And if we suppose this to have been done, the last link in the chain would be animal sensibility—that is knowledge—which would consequently now appear as a mere modification or state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear ideas, when we reached its highest point we would suddenly be seized with a fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As if waking from a dream, we would all at once become aware that its final result—knowledge, which it reached so laboriously, was presupposed as the indispensable condition of its very starting-point, mere matter; and when we imagined that we thought matter, we really thought only the subject that perceives matter; the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it.

    Thus the tremendous petitio principii (begged question) reveals itself unexpectedly; for suddenly the last link is seen to be the starting-point, the chain a circle, and the materialist is like Baron Münchausen who, when swimming in water on horseback, drew the horse into the air with his legs, and himself also by his cue. The fundamental absurdity of materialism is that it starts from the objective, and takes as the ultimate ground of explanation something objective, whether it be matter in the abstract, simply as it is thought, or, after it has taken form, as empirically given—that is to say, as substance, the chemical elements with their primary relations. Some such thing it takes as existing absolutely and in itself, in order that it may evolve organic nature and finally the knowing subject from it, and explain them adequately by means of it; whereas in truth all that is objective is already determined as such in manifold ways by the knowing subject through its forms of knowing, and presupposes them; and consequently it entirely disappears if we think the subject away.

    Thus materialism is the attempt to explain what is immediately given us by what is given us indirectly. All that is objective, extended, active—that is to say, all that is material—is regarded by materialism as affording so solid a basis for its explanation, that a reduction of everything to this can leave nothing to be desired (especially if in ultimate analysis this reduction should resolve itself into action and reaction (i.e. physics)).

    But we have shown that all this is given indirectly and in the highest degree determined, and is therefore merely a relatively present object, for it has passed through the machinery and manufactory of the brain, and has thus come under the forms of space, time and causality, by means of which it is first presented to us as extended in space and ever active in time. From such an indirectly given object, materialism seeks to explain what is immediately given, the idea (in which alone the object that materialism starts with exists), and finally even the will from which all those fundamental forces, that manifest themselves, under the guidance of causes, and therefore according to law, are in truth to be explained. To the assertion that thought is a modification of matter we may always, with equal right, oppose the contrary assertion that all matter is merely the modification of the knowing subject, as its idea. Yet the aim and ideal of all natural science is at bottom a consistent materialism.
    WWR page 35

    My bolds :yikes:
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    But we have shown that all this is given indirectly and in the highest degree determined, and is therefore merely a relatively present object, for it has passed through the machinery and manufactory of the brain, and has thus come under the forms of space, time and causality, by means of which it is first presented to us as extended in space and ever active in time.WWR page 35

    Great quote from Schop!.. .This parallels what I was saying in the other thread:

    This actually goes back to Schopenhauer's notion that subject and object are always intertwined. Your thought of a dead, lifeless universe, is still a thought. And even if it is a representation of some "reality", that reality will never be YOUR reality, which is NOT simply "lifeless universe" but a psychologically embodied being THINKING of the lifeless universe, and projecting it, Signifying it, as you might say.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    By the way, Outlander, I just wanted to say that was a really good reply to the OP. I didn't want that to go unnoticed.
  • ENOAH
    494


    (carrying on from our discussion on suffering)

    ignorance is blissOutlander

    I think Schopenhauer traveled very close toward truth, but like everyone, could not extricate the path traveled from the truth found.

    His pessimism is derived from his attachment to the very source of the problem he "disccovered," that boredom/dissatisfaction is an inescapable condition for humans and incessant striving/desire the inevitable result: human suffering. (Arguably, outside of physical pain, physical fear and "lonliness" all suffering including anxiety/depression as we currently commonly understand/experience may be rooted therein); and it is derived concomitantly from his resistance to the "True" locus of "bliss," the Organic Being undisturbed by Mind; untempted by its striving and attachments. He failed to take the Vedanta/Mahayana wisdom far enough. (In that regard, a victim of his age. Bless him for how far he got!)

    Ignorance is bliss is not saying stupidity is bliss. It is saying living without clinging to the activity of boredom and its cessation (impossible), but rather attuning to the do-ings of [your] nature, body hungry/body eat-ing; body tired/body rest-ing etc., is already bliss.
  • ENOAH
    494
    And its not that we cannot extricate our aware-ing true nature/being from the chattering boredom. It's that as Schopenhauer (of this forum) showed me, boredom is built-in to that chattering. EDIT I then add[causing us to attune always to its resolution and resist our true natures]
  • NOS4A2
    8.4k


    His principium individuationis had a profound effect upon my metaphysics, though probably not in in the direction he had hoped for. It rather led me to the more physicalist view and to oppose his brand of idealism, representationalism, whatever you want to call it. The fact of our location in time and space should be enough to unlink the holistic tendency in thinkers, the one that can only find value and beauty in the world so long as it persists as some inter-connected and spirit-imbued homogeneity, and not a realm of distinct originals. But mythology is strong.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    and it is derived concomitantly from his resistance to the "True" locus of "bliss," the Organic Being undisturbed by Mind; untempted by its striving and attachments.ENOAH

    t is saying living without clinging to the activity of boredom and its cessation (impossible), but rather attuning to the do-ings of [your] nature, body hungry/body eat-ing; body tired/body rest-ing etc., is already bliss.ENOAH

    This sounds like the fadd-ish distillation of Buddhist practices of "mindfulness". Would this be the sort of thing you are addressing? If so, that (along with certain "realist" views) is what I was targeting when I claimed that you cannot extricate the subjective from the "is". It is mind, mind-ing, it is not mind, extricating itself from any secondary projections of what actually is. It is projections all the way down, even if one feels during meditation or "mindfulness" exercises that one is getting to some "reality" that is non-signifying/projecting/whatever.. Call me a skeptic of the "mindfulness" idea...Which is ascetic-lite.. Schopenhauer did go full-in I think..but it was so far in that he himself would never be able to achieve it, leaving it to those with enlightened "characters" that have the capacity to completely deny their will-to-live in a sort of Moksha. However, I am skeptical of that too :smile:.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    the mad god Dionysus
    — Ciceronianus
    i.e. life-affirming ("ja-sagen")
    180 Proof

    Not id est, I think, but quite literally mad because Hera made him such when she finally located him. But his worship was also associated with wine, revelry, fertility and festivity as well. I'm sure N knew this all very well.
  • ENOAH
    494
    This sounds like the fadd-ish distillation of Buddhist practices of "mindfulness".schopenhauer1

    Originally (unwittingly) derived therefrom. The difference (which is essential) being that it is exactly not in mindfulness (at least not in mindfulness as theory) that "one" attains "relief" from the "predicament" which Schopenhauer (correctly) observed. There is nothing "spiritual", nor "idealist[ic]" in it. It is exactly in "realism". That is the Body is already "relieved" from both boredom (yes, the body can be restless, a presumed evolved mechanism for survival; but boredom is the "projected" "version" displacing restlessness** ) and the "resulting/associated" suffering/dissatisfaction/desire.
    I submit animals "suffer" pain and struggle; but it is our "words" alone which construct "suffering" for us. And relief from suffering is not in the four noble truths, the eightfold path, jnana, bhakti, karma, or katha yogis: it is not in any form of practicing ascetism. The relief is already there in the living being's natural and real nature, as a being, undisturbed by becoming.

    It is projections all the way down,schopenhauer1
    Yes, definitely. Except we are not the projections, albeit, seemingly captive by them.

    I think there is this underlying "truth" (it cannot be truth at all in its expression: only in living) in much Western Philosophy, though both those who intuited it, and the millions of interpretations, inevitably failed (just as I am failing miserably) at expressing it. Plato's cave allegory. The real being is unconcerned/undisturbed by the shadow paintings "projections." Kierkegaard's Knight of Faith, undetectable to the rest of us, she has surrendered any hope of actively changing her incessantly dissatisfied condition, and yet, by faith in the reality of her true being, carries on knowing she will be satisfied.***


    **(the exact words used must be "transcended." A problem inherent to "philosophy" is also inherent to the rest of the human condition: our projections do not and cannot access reality)

    ***yes, I have "bastardized" both Plato's and SK's points, but as I say, each of them, and I too, cannot but "bastardized" truth in its expression. I am "really" saying this single point: The relief from suffering is in attuning, even if extremely briefly, to your true nature and to realize there is no suffering.

    Anyway, back to my so called real job for now, I will read with enthusiasm upon my return to the forum.

    ADDENDUM: Should it appear otherwise, do not think for e second that i do not "know" that it might very well be projections and nothing but; this driving my desperation to find a "real-er" reality. But...
  • 180 Proof
    14.3k
    Yes, and it was the 'orgiastic worship (i.e. revels = revelations) of the Dionysus-myth' in particular – not the myth itself –that N found life-affirming in contrast to e.g. Christianity ... or S's life-denying ('world weary') pessimism (and his quasi-Stoic response to 'suffering').
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Originally (unwittingly) derived therefrom. The difference (which is essential) being that it is exactly not in mindfulness (at least not in mindfulness as theory) that "one" attains "relief" from the "predicament" which Schopenhauer (correctly) observed. There is nothing "spiritual", nor "idealist[ic]" in it. It is exactly in "realism". That is the Body is already "relieved" from both boredom (yes, the body can be restless, a presumed evolved mechanism for survival; but boredom is the "projected" "version" displacing restlessness** ) and the "resulting/associated" suffering/dissatisfaction/desire.
    I submit animals "suffer" pain and struggle; but it is our "words" alone which construct "suffering" for us. And relief from suffering is not in the four noble truths, the eightfold path, jnana, bhakti, karma, or katha yogis: it is not in any form of practicing ascetism. The relief is already there in the living being's natural and real nature, as a being, undisturbed by becoming.
    ENOAH

    But I see this idea of "already there" a kind of version of "mindfulness". "I am not this.." "My evaluation of the pain is not the pain".. Etc. etc. The thing itself, is not the thing I interpret. And so you convince yourself through a sort of repeated mantra that the pain you think you are feeling is not what is real.

    I don't think you have to be a realist or idealist to hold the efficacy of this therapeutic technique.

    But, we did discuss this previously about the chasm between the animal-being and the human-being. Humans, due to the "projections" (using your terms), cannot help but be who they are- self-reflective beings. There is no "going back to Eden". Self-reflection is baked into the human condition.

    Also, I think you slightly misconstrue Boredom here as a secondary trait, when BECAUSE of its foundation in the HUMAN condition, it is inescapable. And so, CONTRA "mindfulness" (or the equivalent you seem to be indicating above), there is no escaping boredom by deflating it as some response to the restlessness. Rather it is restlessness par excellance as it is to be in the human condition.. It cannot be separated as flotsam and jetsam riding the waves of more foundational feeling. It is the foundational feeling. It is restlessness. The ways we go about it we have discussed, which are akin to something like Zapffe's four psychological techniques:

    Isolation is "a fully arbitrary dismissal from consciousness of all disturbing and destructive thought and feeling".[5]
    Anchoring is the "fixation of points within, or construction of walls around, the liquid fray of consciousness".[5] The anchoring mechanism provides individuals with a value or an ideal to consistently focus their attention on. Zapffe also applied the anchoring principle to society and stated that "God, the Church, the State, morality, fate, the laws of life, the people, the future"[5] are all examples of collective primary anchoring firmaments.
    Distraction is when "one limits attention to the critical bounds by constantly enthralling it with impressions".[5] Distraction focuses all of one's energy on a task or idea to prevent the mind from turning in on itself.
    Sublimation is the refocusing of energy away from negative outlets, toward positive ones. The individuals distance themselves and look at their existence from an aesthetic point of view (e.g., writers, poets, painters). Zapffe himself pointed out that his produced works were the product of sublimation.
    — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Wessel_Zapffe

    Besides which, as I explained in a previous quote, you cannot separate the projections (the subjective/the inner mental construct) from "reality", as they are always intricately, and inextricably, intertwined.
  • ENOAH
    494
    But I see this idea of "already there" a kind of version of "mindfulness". "I am not this.." "My evaluation of the pain is not the pain".. Etc. etc. The thing itself, is not the thing I interpret. And so you convince yourself through a sort of repeated mantra that the pain you think you are feeling is not what is real.schopenhauer1

    And I understand the objection to that. While I might try to rebut by tightening my way of expressing that, instead, let's say it is correct and one who settles where I have is convincing themselves through a mantra. That would be "problematic," right?

    Forget physical pain, hunger, absence of bonding etc. These, I admit are feelings and therefore (within the framework of my thinking) real. But take the suffering of losing your partner to infidelity, never succeeding at a goal, losing all your belongings to a fire, bankruptcy, and countless other forms of "suffering." Are these even similar to the so called instances of real pain described above? Is one suffering from these not just "convincing themselves through a mantra"? I don't know? Am I being sophist-like and just trying to pursue a position which I favor? If so, I need to be straightened out and am grateful. But I think I understand your objection, and yet, still "believe" (keeping it simple) there is a projected self which "suffers" and a real being which gets "caught up" in those projections only because they trigger real feelings.

    Humans, due to the "projections" (using your terms), cannot help but be who they are- self-reflective beings. There is no "going back to Eden". Self-reflection is baked into the human condition.schopenhauer1





    Ok. Yes. I've been loose on this. Extremely likely there is no going back. I have consistently thought so. But not because the projecting/projects are real and natural (I am at a loss for better words) but because the projecting is how each mind inevitably and autonomously function. And since hypothetically the end of prehistoric times (dawn of human history) each human is input with this process by "socialization." Now granted my hope that one can find relief by being the Body instead of becoming the mind is just hope. But I do reserve that possibility. Likely my desire to be optimistic and give hope has carried me away in that particular thread about suffering.

    To word it differently, I have no problem saying there is no escape from the projections. Where I do "have a problem" is saying they are real. The becoming mind/being body dichotomy, I cling to. This is not dualism, because ultimately only the being is real.

    Also, I think you slightly misconstrue Boredom here as a secondary trait, when BECAUSE of its foundation in the HUMAN condition,schopenhauer1


    I 100% misconstrue and knowingly. This is my taking liberty with Schopenhauer. I say that the Organic feeling (I'm only calling restless for convenience) is real, and in the Organic human (and many other beings) condition; while dissatisfaction/boredom are projections displacing such innate feelings with the (ultimately false) Narratives projected by mind in its processes.

    From a broad "philosophical" perspective, our differences and their root causes seem clear to me and I am not troubled, yet acknowledge I have much to learn.

    But from a personal perspective, from the perspective of the individual mind behind the veil of Enoah, I am deeply concerned about our differences. Why? Because I do have much to learn. And it is entirely possible that I am missing something. Sadly, despite your kind efforts, I cannot see it. ADDENDUM; note however my goal is not consistency with Schopenhauer per se.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    This actually goes back to Schopenhauer's notion that subject and object are always intertwined. Your thought of a dead, lifeless universe, is still a thought. And even if it is a representation of some "reality", that reality will never be YOUR reality, which is NOT simply "lifeless universe" but a psychologically embodied being THINKING of the lifeless universe, and projecting it, Signifying it, as you might say.schopenhauer1

    Pretty much the exact argument of my The Mind Created World OP.

    He failed to take the Vedanta/Mahayana wisdom far enough. (In that regard, a victim of his age. Bless him for how far he got!)ENOAH

    There is some truth in that, but consider that in his day and place, there was no opportunity for meeting (darshan) with a realized sage from those traditions. And there is also a sense in which his 'pessimism' is overstated, he has many passages on 'better consciousness' and aesthetics and tranquility. But it is true that he tended to stress the first of the four Buddhist truths (that to exist is to suffer.)

    There's an appendix in Bryan Magee's 'Schopenhauer's Philosophy' that considers Schopenhauer's relationship with Eastern philosophy. It begins like this:

    There is nothing controversial in saying that of the major figures in Western philosophy Schopenhauer is the one who has most in common with Eastern thought. Less adequately pondered is the fact that much of what it is that the two have in common was taken by Schopenhauer from Kant. To suppose that Schopenhauer's philosophy was formed to any decisive degree under the influence of Eastern thought is not only a mistake, but misses the crucial point that in Kant and Schopenhauer the mainstream of Western philosophy threw up conclusions about the nature of reality* which are strikingly similar to some of those propounded by the more mystically oriented religions or philosophies of the East, yet arrived at by an entirely different path.

    It would be an error, though one characteristic of Western intellectual provincialism, to suppose that the Oriental doctrines in question were not supported by rational argument: in the case of Buddhist philosophy, in particular, they conspicuously are. But the Kantian-Schopenhauerian conclusions were reached by processes internal to a tradition of thought which is fundamentally rooted in the development of mathematical physics, and this is something with which Buddhist philosophy has been little concerned until the twentieth century. Incidentally, both the Kantian and Schopenhauerian philosophy and the more sophisticated of the mysticisms of the East have received, and continue to receive, extensive corroboration from the revolutionary developments of the twentieth century in the natural sciences. (There is a growing literature on this in the case of Eastern mysticism - a good introduction is The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, which also contains a useful bibliography.) The Eastern religion most congruent with contemporary science is Buddhism.
    — Bryan Magee, Schopenhauer's Philosophy

    *I would say 'the nature of Being' in this context. "Being" conveys the gist better than "reality" in that it is not something we're apart from or outside of.

    Nice that he mentions Tao of Physics, too.
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