The One True Problem

“There is only one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide.

Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental problem of philosophy.

All the rest — judging whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.

And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act.

These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.”

— Albert Camus

P.S. I’m fine, and not at all suicidal. But this quote, this question, came to me many years ago and became a focusing point of my life thereafter. It may have saved my life, in fact, or at least saved it from being wretched. There are facts the heart can feel.

The Materials of Solitude

Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing…

Art, like fandom, asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude.

— Michael Chabon, from Manhood for Amateurs

 

How Can You Trust People So Much?

Because that’s the only way it works…

When you openly, radically trust people, they not only take care of you, they become your allies, your family.

Sometimes people will prove themselves untrustworthy.

When that happens, the correct response is not:

Fuck! I knew I couldn’t trust anybody!

The correct response is:

Some people just suck.

Moving right along.

— Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking