Philosophy Is Immortality

The child laughs: “My wisdom and love are the game”.

The youth sings: “My game and wisdom are the love”.

The old man is silent: “My love and game are the wisdom”.

Lucian Blaga, Poems

magic-tree-clock

We used to say that it was not in our power to choose our parents, that they were given us by chance: but we, the philosophers, are allowed to be born as we wish. The most famous personalities form families: choose the one you want to be part of. You will receive both their praise and possessions that you will not have to keep them for your greed or pettiness. These will increase the more you share them more.

They will open you a path to eternity and raise you to a place where no one has collapsed. This is the only way to overcome the mortal state and even turn it into immortality.

Honors, monuments, all the verdicts given by the ambitions or all the works made by it are falling apart soon; anything can be ruined or collapsed by long ages. But to those whom wisdom consecrated, it cannot touch them anymore.

Therefore, the life of the wise man will take a long time. He is not closed in the same boundaries as the others. He alone is freed from the laws of mankind. All centuries obey him as a god.

Is it about a past time ? The wise man will include it through his memories. The present ? He uses it. How about the future, he already enjoys it. Uniting all these moments makes his life longer.

from Seneca, The Eulogy of Philosophy

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Philosophy is contemplation

According to the tradition, Pythagoras went to Philume, a town in the northwest of Peloponnese, to talk to Leon, the ruler of the town. Admiring his intelligence and eloquence, Leon asked him what science he particulary preffered.

time_contemplation

Pythagoras replied that he had no particular science, but he was a philosopher. Surprised by the novelty of this term, Leon asked him what the philosophers were and how the philosopher differed from other people. To this question, Pythagoras replied that human life seemed to his as the market where the Olympic Games took place and where all Greece was gathering.

There, he said, some were looking to win the crown of laurels using their physical skill. Others came there as sellers and buyers, being led by lust for gain. There was also a category of people who didn’t want applause or profit, but they came there as spectators and watched carefully what was going on there and how events happened.

So too, as if we were going from a town to a multi-people market, we started from other life and world to get into our present life: some wanted to become slaves of glory, others of money. A few scattered here and there didn’t care about these unimportant things, but they were interested in nature reserch. Pythagoras called them lovers of wisdom, meaning philosophers.

And as there in the market the most beautiful thing is to watch the events without winning anything for you, so in life contemplation and study of nature are far above all other activities.

from CiceroTusculane

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Hopeless Philosophy

I separated myself from philosophy when it was impossible for me to discover at Kant any trace of human weakness or an authentic accent of sadness; at Kant and at all philosophers.

hopeless In contrast to music, mysticism, poetry, philosophical activity shows a thin sap and a suspected depth which tempt only shy beings and executioners.

Essentially, the philosophy, as impersonal anxiety and refuge around some anemic ideas, is the appeal of all those who avoid the corrupting exuberance of life.

Almost all philosophers died well; this is the ultimate argument against philosophy. Even the end of Socrates had notihing tragic in it: it was  just a misunderstandig, being the end of a teacher. And if Nietzsche collapsed, he paid for his ecstasy of poet and visionary, and not for his reasoning.

We cannot ignore existence because of the explanations; we can only live it, love or hate it, adore it or fear because of it in that alternation of happiness and horror that expresses the rhythm of the being itself, oscillations, dissonances, its bitter or sweet vehemences.

Practicing philosophy is not profitable; it is just honorable. You don’t risk anything as a philosopher: philosophy is a job without destiny, it fills the neutral and free time with bulky thoughts… refractory time to the Old Testament, to Bach as well as to Shakespeare.

filo1

Have these thoughts of philosophy ever been at the level of Job’s exclamation of pain ? Can it compare to a fright in Macbeth or the height of a symphony ?

The universe is not discussed; it is expressed. And philosophy doesn’t express it. The real problems start after you’ve gone through or exhausted them, after the last chapter of a huge book in which the final dot is put as a sign of abdication in favor of the Unknown, Unknown in which all our moments are rooted and we must fight against it because it is more immediate, more important than our daily bread.

Here the philosopher leaves us: enemy of disaster, he is quiet and prudent as rationality. And we remain in the fellowship of an old plague, of a poet who knows all the deliriums, and a musician whose sublime goes beyond the sphere of the world.

We begin to really live only at the end of philosophy, on its ruins, when we understand its terrible futility and the fact that it’s a hopeless act to ask for its help, that it is useless.

Emil Cioran, Manual de descompunere

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