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From Bedridden to Profound: Embracing Pain as Philosopher’s Fire

As you can guess, I did not want to be ungrateful when I said goodbye to those years when I was bedridden for a long time. The harvest of that time is still inexhaustible to this day. As I know all too well, when my health fluctuates, I am somehow superior to all those spiritual Humpty Dumpty ones.

A philosopher who has experienced and constantly re-experiences conditions of health has also experienced philosophies: all he can do each time is to transform his condition into its most spiritual form and vision, ——Philosophy is this art of transfiguration.

We philosophers cannot separate the soul from the body as we please, as ordinary people do, nor can we separate the soul from the mind as we please.

We are not thinking frogs, cameras and typewriters with cold entrails – we must continually give birth to our thoughts from our pain, motherly offering them all that we have, our blood, our hearts, our Fire, joy, passion, pain, conscience, fate and disaster.

To us,
Life means constantly taking everything we are,
and everything we encounter,
All become light and fire, and we cannot be anything else.

As for disease, we might as well ask, is it necessary for us? Only great pain is the final liberator of the soul, becomes the teacher of great doubts, turns every disaster into an X, a real X, the third to last letter of the alphabet… Only great pain, It is that long-lasting pain, which burns us as if on a wet woodpile, that forces us to plunge into our final abyss, breaking away from all trust, all kindness, veil, tenderness, moderation, in which we may have been settled before. of our humanity.

I doubt that such pain can make a person “better”; but I know that it can make us profound.

We may learn to deal with it with our pride, with our sarcasm, with the strength of our will, acting like an Indian who, too, was tortured, and who took out his words on his tormentors; In order to escape pain, we may retreat into the Eastern realm of nothingness (the so-called Nirvana) and retreat into a meditative state where speech, sight, and hearing are cut off. After such a long and dangerous self-control exercise, a person becomes another person. More questions, especially the will to ask more frequently, deeply, strictly, resolutely, viciously, and calmly in the future than in the past.

Trust in life has been lost: life itself has become the problem. ——But don’t think that a person will necessarily become a melancholy because of this! Even love of life is still possible – just in another way.

It’s like loving a woman who makes us suspicious… However, in these otherworldly people, the charm of all doubtful things and the interest in the unknown is so great that this interest must be like a gorgeous field. Hongxia keeps falling back into the plight of all doubtful things, all the dangers of uncertainty, and even the jealousy of lovers. We discovered a new kind of happiness…

Leisure and leisure travel
Money-worship, as that of the Americans, is an Indian barbarism, peculiar to Indian blood; and the suffocating haste with which they work—the real vice of the New World—has begun to encourage the barbarism of Europe by contagion, and in Europe spreads a most strange kind of spiritlessness. People are now ashamed of silence; prolonged meditation almost brings a pang of conscience. One thinks with a watch in hand, one stares at the business news while eating lunch – one lives like a person who is always “probably late” for something.

“It is better to do something casually than to do nothing” – this principle is also a rope with which all education and all higher tastes are hanged. It is obvious that all forms are destroyed by this haste of workers. , even the sense of form, the ears and eyes that feel the melody of movement, are destroyed.

The evidence of this lies in the crude clarity that is advocated everywhere today, in the situations that people face when they want to live sincerely with each other, with friends, women, relatives, children, teachers, students, In the interactions between officials and princes, people no longer have time and energy for etiquette, tactful friendship, all esprit (interestingness) of conversation, in short, all otium (leisure).

Because the pursuit of profit constantly forces him to do his best and expose himself to constant disguise, deception or competition. Now, doing something in less time than others is the real morality.
Therefore, there are only a few hours that allow people to be sincere; however, during these hours, people are already tired and not only want to “relax” themselves, but also want to lie down straight with their limbs spread out, which is very unsightly. Nowadays, people write their own letters according to this hobby, and the style and spirit will continue to become a real “sign of the times.”

If there is any social and artistic entertainment, it is only a kind of entertainment prepared for themselves by tired slaves. Alas, how easily the “happiness” of our educated and uncultivated people is satisfied!

Alas, how one becomes more and more doubtful of all happiness! Work has increasingly become the only thing that brings a clear conscience; the desire for happiness has become self-proclaimed as a “need for rest” and begins to make people feel ashamed and miserable. If people happen to meet someone at a picnic, they have to explain: “This is necessary for health.” Yes, it will not take long to get so far, and if people are interested in a vita contemplativa (contemplative life) ) – which means traveling with thoughts and friends – will not be without self-contempt and guilt.

That’s it! It used to be the opposite: work made people feel guilty. When a man of good birth has to work, he should hide his work. As the slave works he is suppressed by the feeling that he is doing something despicable – that “doing” is itself something despicable. “Only in otium (leisure) and bellum (beauty) can there be nobility and glory”: so echoes the ancient prejudice!