graduated cum laude
with a PhD in madness,
practitioner of your
own philosophy as
a harbinger of doom,
tales of darkness where
the deck is always stacked,
what's the sense of light
to a harsh night
or spring's flourish
to winter's brashness,
you don't need to be
a rocket scientist
to diagnose absurdity
How absurd to stand
On moving land,
To touch the sky
As planets roll by
To drink the rain
Knowing from where it came,
To eat fruit and corn grown
From dead flesh and bone.
To enjoy the heat of the sun,
A vast nuclear bomb,
To breath the air
That burning deisel put there!
I wanna live an absurd
I wanna live in pain
I wanna feel excitment
And dance in colored rain
You are the one who made me
Feel alive again
You are the one who taught me
Cruel rules of this sweet game
You are my grug, my teacher
My love, my dark champagne
In my dreams you're the torture
My absurd, my bright pain
That first one
The first one that strikes you the most
The one that you'll never forget
The one that no matter how much you want to hate them you can't
In fact, the thought of hating them is absurd!
But what kind of love is that?!
I hate to think of it
I hate the thought of it being true
I never said it
Not to you
Of all the times I could have said!
Not to you
Yet you knew didn't you?
And you never cared
At least have the decency
The first one
The one I hate to love
They're funny things, yeah?
I don't love you anymore!..
... But I could never HATE you..
we become accustomed to the brainwashed idea of what living is,
working more hours than time we spend with those we love,
to come home empty-handed with a sour face.
happiness is thought to be a piece of paper
that gets you places and things.
but is that illusion of materialism true to rid of desolation?
solace lies within
and contentment takes time.
let not our distraction of mortality wave us from seeing the good,
but our dualism let us see the meaningless of every day.
our moments are fleeting,
and will one day be forgotten.
what we smiled for, cried for, and died for,
will one day lose its meaning.
is this pessimism?
or is it truth?
is it objective thinking,
refusing to believe that
we are anything substantial?
one day they will laugh at our irrelevancy.
for people come and go,
and what is today,
will one day be in ruins.
I do not know if what I say to the questions of our absurd existence
is a suggestion or an offer of supposition inherited from the dreams
of a previous life or the dreams of my ancestors
It is not enough to be loved by a silent creator because we must entertain ourselves while we wait for the one who cannot be described except within the limited knowledge we possess of our own being
The question of taking oneself seriously must be answered with regard
to the value we place upon ourselves; are we special because we say so
or because we are loved by a parent we have never met?
But could it be the love of a child that makes us special in that the innocence of children protects their worth as what they desire from us protects our worth as the desire for one another protects our collective worth?
I once found the pursuit of my desires to be the path to meaning; it was as if pleasure was God but it was a God of selfishness and the pursuit of my own glory and when the truth was revealed I became nothing
Is it the impossibility of sustaining the meaning of life for its own
sake that draws forth the belief in the supernatural while simultaneously abdicating a belief in our ability to be empathetic towards those who share our fate?
Philosophically, Camus is known for his conception of the absurd. Perhaps we should clarify from the very beginning what the absurd is not. The absurd is not nihilism. For Camus the acceptance of the absurd does not lead to nihilism (according to Nietzsche nihilism denotes the state in which the highest values devalue themselves) or to inertia, but rather to their opposite: to action and participation. The notion of the absurd signifies the space which opens up between, on the one hand, man’s need for intelligibility and, on the other hand, 'the unreasonable silence of the world' as he beautifully puts it. In a world devoid of God, eternal truths or any other guiding principle, how could man bear the responsibility of a meaning-giving activity? The absurd man, like an astronaut looking at the earth from above, wonders whether a philosophical system, a religion or a political ideology is able to make the world respond to the questioning of man, or rather whether all human constructions are nothing but the excessive face-paint of a clown which is there to cover his sadness. This terrible suspicion haunts the absurd man. In one of the most memorable openings of a non-fictional book he states: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer” (Camus 2000:11). The problem of suicide (a deeply personal problem) manifests the exigency of a meaning-giving response. Indeed for Camus a suicidal response to the problem of meaning would be the confirmation that the absurd has taken over man’s inner life. It would mean that man is not any more an animal going after answers, in accordance with some inner drive that leads him to act in order to endow the world with meaning. The suicide has become but a passive recipient of the muteness of the world. “...The absurd ... is simultaneously awareness and rejection of death” (Camus 2000:54). One has to be aware of death – because it is precisely the realization of man’s mortality that pushes someone to strive for answers – and one has ultimately to reject death – that is, reject suicide as well as the living death of inertia and inaction. At the end one has to keep the absurd alive, as Camus says. But what does it that mean?
In The Myth of Sisyphus Camus tells the story of the mythical Sisyphus who was condemned by the Gods to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain and then have to let it fall back again of its own weight. “Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn” (Camus 2000:109). One must imagine then Sisyphus victorious: fate and absurdity have been overcome by a joyful contempt. Scorn is the appropriate response in the face of the absurd; another name for this 'scorn' though would be artistic creation. When Camus says: “One does not discover the absurd without being tempted to write a manual of happiness” (Camus 2000:110) he writes about a moment of exhilarated madness, which is the moment of the genesis of the artistic work. Madness, but nevertheless profound – think of the function of the Fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear as the one who reveals to the king the most profound truths through play, mimicry and songs. Such madness can overcome the absurd without cancelling it altogether.