What if this world is truly one giant prison?
When the 19th-century philosopher Schopenhauer observed the number of pain that we experience during our lifetimes, he concluded that it’s not happiness and pleasure we’re after, but a discount of the continuing suffering that may inherent part of existence and our limitations.
We generally experience a stream of misery, misfortune, disturbance, and sadness.
We desperately go from one pleasure to a different one just to experience temporary relief from pain. within the process, the organisms that inhabit the planet, driven by what Schopenhauer called will-to-live, prey on one another in an endeavor to survive, with great care they’ll prolong their miserable lives a touch longer. Like prison gangs, the species of the globe are entangled during a continual war for dominance. “Eat or be eaten,” seems to be nature’s order once we observe how plants, yet as certain animals, only function food for other animals, who themselves succumb to the destructive presence of men. Humanity, in turn, while exploiting its own members, and draining its natural habitat of resources, falls prey to some quiet disease or disaster.
When we remove the veil of ignorance and behold the tough reality we sleep in, we’d start to question, as Schopenhauer does, the thought that I quote, “this world is that the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the identical time, all-powerful Being.”
In his essay on the Sufferings of the planet, he stated that (as opposed to what many folks think) not pleasure but pain is that the positive element of existence. He argued that evil is what makes its existence felt and is, by way of that, positive. Good, on the opposite hand, is negative — it’s but the removal of a disturbance. The state of happiness and contentment is nothing quite a desire fulfilled or the top of some state of pain.
So, the experience of pain is that the source of our desires and wishes.
Hunger, for instance, maybe a state of discomfort(which has the potential of becoming painful) that results in us desiring food.
Thus, eating isn’t a positive experience as it’s only considered pleasurable because it fulfills a desire that’s derived from pain, or, a way of lack.
According to Schopenhauer, pain far outweighs pleasure during this world. and also the pleasure we incur is commonly less pleasurable than we expected, while the pain is far more painful. We only must observe an animal who’s eating another animal, and compare the pleasure of eating with the pain of being eaten, to determine which one in every of the 2 outweighs the opposite.
Schopenhauer not only calls life a defeat, but also a fraud.
Life, generally, becomes more painful once we age, as we experience tragedy after tragedy while we become increasingly susceptible to sickness and death. And while life unfolds as a string of misfortunes, when we’re still young and idealistic the planet just looks so promising.
But all of our high hopes eventually erode and that we find ourselves disappointed and wretched by the hardships that have fallen upon us. We’re met with insecurity, betrayal, poverty, physical pain, and possibly even loss of reason. We then realize that life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine which happily ever afters are few and much between the dream house, the large bank account, or the interesting social circle are not any consolation for the endless pain that comes with being impaled on this desolate rock of sentence called Earth.
If anything, the fulfillment of all that we wish for and therefore the continual suppression of desires by the means of delight cause boredom, which remains just another variety of dissatisfaction.
Schopenhauer’s view of the planet leaves no room for optimism: life may be a burden, “the results of some false step, some sin of which we are paying the penalty,” and it might have probably been better if it had never happened the least bit.
If you are attempting to imagine, as nearly as you’ll be able to, what an amount of misery, pain, and suffering of each kind the sun shines upon in its course, you’ll admit that it’d be far better if, on the planet as little as on the moon, the sun were able to call forth the phenomena of life; and if, here as there, the surface were still during a crystalline state.
Schopenhauer compares us to lambs during a field under the attention of a butcher who decides who’s visiting be the subsequent prey. Powerless over our fate, we will only wait, imprisoned by life itself, for the instant when the following misfortune washes over us.
Some like better to escape this cycle of misery by trying out early.
As prisoners, we sit out our penance and make it bearable at the most by minimizing our pain. while it sounds gloomy, it’s this reality that Schopenhauer wants us to embrace.
If you would like a secure compass to guide you thru life, and to banish all doubt on the correct way of observing it, you can not do better than accustom yourself to take this world as a penitentiary, a kind of a penal facility.
When we go searching for ourselves, we see competition, lack of tolerance, and even hatred towards individuals and groups.
So, life already being difficult enough doesn’t stop us from making it even tougher for each other. We’ve become each other’s sources of misery rather than support. We are unforgiving towards other people’s evil deeds. We hate our enemies for inflicting pain upon us. We’re overly critical of those who make mistakes. But isn’t this animosity misplaced if, at the tip of the day, the identical tragic fate subjugates us all: survival and human and a part of a world that’s stacked against us and has an awful lot in common with a jailhouse?
They are the shortcomings of humanity, to which we belong; whose faults, one and everyone, we share; yes, even those very faults at which we now wax so indignant, merely because they need not yet appeared in ourselves.
They are faults that don’t lie on the surface. But they exist down there within the depths of our nature; and may anything call them forth, they’ll come and show themselves, even as we now see them in others.
If we accept this view of life and acknowledge that we all share identical anxieties, insecurities, grief, physical pain, and restlessness because we’re a part of the identical miserable existence, we are able to regulate our expectations accordingly. Incidents that are usually looked upon as bad,’ are nothing unusual or unexpected, but rather logical consequences of existence supported misfortune.
For example, when people are being rude to us, we will imagine how tormenting life has been to those individuals to date and see that their rudeness is to be expected which we shouldn’t take it so personally.
They’re prisoners, a bit like us, looking ahead to the following beating by the guardsmen, and eventually, for his or her execution.
So, unless they’ve managed to transcend the suffering that comes with life, it’s understandable that folks aren’t always on their best behavior.
Along with acceptance, Schopenhauer points out that his pessimistic outlook creates a chance for compassion.
This is the key.
Compassion is that the ability to summon up sympathy and concern towards the sufferings or misfortunes of people.
Taking into consideration the number of misery that life brings, and therefore the undeniable fact that nobody has ever chosen to be here, we are able to safely say that compassion is that the answer to anyone who partakes during this penitentiary.
Moreover, Schopenhauer thought that we owe compassion to our fellow kinsfolk, as it’s so essential for our well-being. From compassion flows our willingness to assist one another out, our ability to just accept another person’s imperfections, our inclination to create this collective prison sentence more bearable, because we’ve chosen to change the way we see each other: not as enemies, but as, like Schopenhauer called it, “fellow-sufferers”.
This may perhaps sound strange, but it’s to keep with the facts; it puts others within the right light; and it reminds us of that which is, after all, the foremost necessary thing in life—the tolerance, patience, regard, and love of neighbor, of which everyone stands in need, and which, therefore, every man owes to his fellow.