Tagged: suffering

The Uncomfortable Life

From Nietzsche‚Äôs Beyond Good and Evil. You want, if possible — and there is no more insane “if possible” — to abolish suffering. And we? It really seems that we would rather have it higher and worse than ever. Well-being as you understand it — that is no goal, that seems to us an end, a state that soon makes man ridiculous and...

Happiness by Comparison

A student who frequently writes to me about her efforts to overcome self-doubts and develop a more moderate, reasonable way of life, told me of an exchange she had recently with a friend who was trying to persuade her that she ought to be happier. The friend offered three specific arguments, which my student summarized as follows: 1. You have no disorder in...

Guidance and Independence

It is not weak, nor any contradiction of the desire for independence, to look to others’ opinions in assessing one’s own thoughts and behavior. The mistake or weakness is in looking to others’ opinions at random — looking to the crowd, or to the popular, or to the powerful. One has already made a great advance in self-knowledge and independence who is able...

A Few Personal Truths About Failure

I have failed at many things in my life — by which I mean I have suffered many outcomes which in their times, provisionally, within the horizons visible to me at those moments, appeared as failures to me, and probably would have appeared so to any sympathetic outside observer as well. I have learned through experience that what we term our “failures,” within...

It’s the end, but…

We are watching something remarkable, namely a civilization committing suicide. Those of us who see clearly what is happening have traveled, in the course of just a few short weeks, through several stages of realization: from bemusement at people’s susceptibility to media manipulation, to frustration at their deference to excessive authority, to alarm at their willingness to sacrifice societal foundations in the name...

Once More Around the Universe

One year ago today, I was sitting in a hospital bed awaiting surgery for a broken foot, trying to distract myself from the thought of losing my lifelong pastime and natural condition — walking — for an indefinite period of time. That evening, my chosen method of meditative self-discipline was to write about my experience for Limbo. Thus began a series of four...

Social Conservatism, Progressive-Style

In a classic example of the way progressivism, like all aggressive irrationalism, devours itself, we have the spectacle of the ubiquitous and increasingly literal policing of politically incorrect attitudes, a social deformity which has now grown into its final (in the sense of fatal) shape: today’s infantile world of safe spaces and public shaming. For generations, progressives attacked so-called social conservatives for their...

Limbo’s Greatest Hits: #3

Our age is obsessed with pleasure. And pleasure, in our materialist late modernity, has been defined down to its emptiest core: the active rejection and anxious avoidance of pain, every kind of pain, from the most superficial discomfort with one’s immediate situation (consider our fixation on the evils of “stress”) to the relativization and diminution of all purposes and relationships. God forbid, after...

Limbo’s Greatest Hits: #4

2019 has been a peculiarly difficult year for me in some ways. Most if not all of the trouble stems from an innocent moment of carelessness back in January. Specifically, on January 23rd, walking home from my office, I casually stepped out to cross the street at a busy corner — an intersection I cross every single day — and somehow my right...

A Taste for Expensive Things

How much would you pay for the most valuable thing in the world? If you are a believer in the free market, you might immediately have noticed that the question is deceptive, as it implies that there is a “most valuable thing,” independent of your judgment of its worth to you, whereas all advocates of economic liberty understand that there is no value...