motto lotto

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tolstoy's (negative) epicureanism

The second way out is epicureanism. It consists, while knowing the hopelessness of life, in making use meanwhile of the advantages one has, disregarding the dragon and the mice, and licking the honey in the best way, especially if there is much of it within reach… That is the way in which the majority of people of our circle make life possible for themselves. Their circumstances furnish them with more of welfare than of hardship, and their moral dullness makes it possible for them to forget that the advantage of their position is accidental … and that the accident that has today made me a Solomon may tomorrow make me a Solomon’s slave. The dullness of these people’s imagination enables them to forget the things that gave Buddha no peace — the inevitability of sickness, old age, and death, which today or tomorrow will destroy all these pleasures.

Tolstoy
This article describes Tolstoy thinking through his broken question related to the meaninglessness of life. I really like the flow of his thinking and how he works through his question/problem. I don't share his perceptions on where the limits of things are (reason/the infinite) but I like thinking with him. The quote above may as well be speaking about us (Americans).

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