I haven't responded to this post until now, because I wanted to see how it played out. I just wanted to observe as others gave their interpretation.
I have to say, I find it all very liberating. Before, when I first posted this thread... I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. When you're in a state like that where life just doesn't provide many if any joys day to day, then absurdism doesn't offer much comfort because it seems to scream in your face- WHAT'S THE DAMN POINT.
But, I've learned that liberation eases a lot of anxiety. And that relief provides a little bit of excitement, which encourages you to use your new found freedom, and it can be exhilarating. For the first time, I think I'm starting to get it* And I think that it's important to acknowledge that you can't analyze the enjoyment of life when you're experiencing anxiety- you have to realize that it's just an emotion, it will pass, and things will make better sense when it does- even if it's inconceivable at the moment. That's what was tough about anxiety for me... not just not being able to remember what happiness feels like, but not being able to remember ever feeling it.
*Well, I won't say that it's the first time that I'm getting it, but rather the first time that I'm 'getting it' while trying to understand it. Surely we've all felt immense joys in our lives, we've felt the excitement of freedom and the energy - but until recently I haven't spent much time analyzing it. But I think that's sort of the point- to know that it's outwardly meaningless and to not care of how inwardly meaningful you can make it. The constant analysis of happiness was a self imposed barrier - but now that I've breached it (or at least reached the peak), the other side seems just right. It all makes sense.
Here's something I thought might interest some of you, in case you haven't read it:
The Song of the Happy Shepherd
The woods of Arcady are dead,
And over is their antique joy;
Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy;
Yet still she turns her restless head:
But O, sick children of the world,
Of all the many changing things
In dreary dancing past us whirled,
To the cracked tune that Chronos sings,
Words alone are certain good.
Where are now the warring kings,
Word be-mockers? - By the Rood
Where are now the warring kings?
An idle word is now their glory,
Buy the stammering schoolboy said,
Reading some entangled story:
The kings of the old time are dead;
The wandering earth herself may be
Only a sudden flaming word,
In clanging space a moment heard,
Troubling the endless reverie.
Then nowise worship dusty deeds,
Nor seek, for this is also sooth,
To hunger fiercely after truth,
Lest all thy toiling only breeds
New dreams, new dreams; there is no truth
Saving in thine own heart. Seek, then,
No learning from the starry men,
Who follow with the optic glass
The whirling ways of stars that pass -
Seek, then, for this is also sooth,
Noword of theirs - the cold star-bane
Has cloven and rent their hearts in twain,
And dead is all their human truth.
Go gather by the humming sea
Some twisted, echo-harbouring shell,
And to its lips thy story tell,
And they thy comforters will be,
Rewarding in melodious guile
Thy fretful words a little while,
Till they shall singing fade in ruth
And die a pearly brotherhood;
For words alone are certain good:
Sing, then, for this is also sooth.
I must be gone: there is a grave
Where daffodil and lily wave,
And I would please the hapless faun,
Buried under the sleepy ground,
With mirthful songs before the dawn.
His shouting days with mirth were crowned;
And still I dream he treads the lawn,
Walking ghostly in the dew,
Pierced by my glad singing through,
My songs of old earth's dreamy youth:
But ah! she dreams not now; dream thou!
For fair are poppies on the brow:
Dream, dream, for this is also sooth.
---------- Post added 09-19-2009 at 11:44 PM ----------
Quote: JGWeed: One can flee into mysticism, yoga, the spirit of seriousness, Stoicism, or the delight of the moment, and live a happier life in bad faith. All of these escapes, though, can only be made by denying one's freedom, and I would add, of one's thinking;
I don't understand how yoga or meditation interferes with your own freedom. Could you please elaborate?
I know there are some who use yoga as a way to some sort of spiritual awakening. But there are plenty, including myself, that use it as a tool to achieve better focus, concentration, and general relaxation. Are you only referring to the former, or the latter instance as well?