Schopenhauer notes

In Schopenhauer’s The world as will and representation the aim was to put forward a complete metaphysical system telling us what there is in the world. What we are and how we relate to the world. How much we can know of the world. What kinds of experiences our lives as human beings can contain and what value we might find in our various experiences.
Vis holds the view that existence has no positive value and makes the extreme statement that it would have been better for us not to exist. I agree that existance bias is a real thing while at the same time feel tremendous gratitude for having consciousness. If we’d had the choice vis says, somewhat paradoxically, then we should have chosen not to exist because the world ultimately offers us only unfulfilled desires and suffering. We exist without having chosen to exist. We are living creatures with natural drives and desires. Our essence, as vis puts it, is to will. We want and strive for things constantly but our striving is never satisfied. Vis says every satisfied desire gives birth to a new one. This reminds me of gearPr0n in general and modularPr0n in particular.
The majority of what we actually experience is on a smaller or larger scale some form of suffering. Nothing pays us back the value that suffering robs us all. So life is, as vis puts it, a [venture] that does not cover its own costs. Human beings are like other animals in that they have needs and desires and are driven to action by lacking things that they need or want. Human beings and other animals are alike in being in essence creatures who will but human beings have some unique capacities that animals lack:

• We can be morally good agents.
• We can have aesthetic experiences.
• We can view the world dispassionately without being driven into action

I’ll go along with the first two but the zero fucks given thing is not a human feature I’d put on a top 3 list of human faculties but Schopenhauer did so there it is.
When we get away from being driven by our will our desires for our own pleasures and well-being then, vis thinks, we can free ourselves from suffering. Giving up your concern for yourself as an individual and seeking no gain from the pleasures of ordinary existence is a path towards a higher state that perhaps only a few may achieve but which offers, vis thinks, a final way out of despair about the pointless unrewarded suffering that is our common lot. Don’t expect any good to come of the world. Don’t live as though the purpose of life is to be happy because you won’t really be anyway. Reflect instead that you can bear life if you become resigned. If you stop seeking to gain anything by satisfying your desires even though will is our nature, our essence. Becoming will-less is the best that can happen to us. I don’t agree with this last part at all. I suspect my preferences are at least the most interesting thing about me and maybe even the central element to how my self gets made in the minds of others.


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