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Old 07-07-2016   #1
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Topic Winner Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

A common objection to pessimism is that its adherents are hypocrites because if life is so terrible, surely they are obliged to be consistent if they gripe about suffering constantly.

As naïve as this objection is, it does make one consider why on tolerates existence.

For me, two things: my love for the arts and sciences, and cowardice.

What about you, TLO?

This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 07-07-2016   #2
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

It is oft said that humans are not biologically "programmed" for suicide. I think this is true.

In my case, I hang on because I don't feel I am done exploring this world. I guess you could say that despite being a pessimist, my curiosity hasn't died.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 07-08-2016   #3
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Ideas. To me new ideas or even new interpretations of very old ideas (which may be really all there are) are like paintings or symphonies. They are not just instrumental or functional. I find a beauty in them that I can't find elsewhere. When I took Philosophy there were typically two groups of people in the courses. The first was by far the largest, the debaters. They make great attorneys. The second was my group, by far the smallest, the idea connoisseurs. We just liked playing with the ideas like a small baby plays with a mobile above their crib. And maybe that's all we're really doing or are, small babies playing with the shiny objects in front of us. But I'm ok with that. Keeps me going.
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Old 07-08-2016   #4
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Intertia. The self-preservation instinct. The few good moments among the sea of horror.

I've lived longer than some of you, and grown out of many of the things that used to keep me going. Nothing has taken their place. Things get worse, the only consolation being time goes faster.

I still love TL though.

Put your faith in God; he won't expect you.
Put your faith in death, because it's free.
If you believe in nothing, honey, it believes in you.
-Robyn Hitchcock
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Old 07-08-2016   #5
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Every pessimist who is in a relatively stable frame of mind knows that suicide has a horrible/traumatizing effects on everyone, because most of them have had friends who have committed suicide.

I wouldn't feel right doing it. And it's against the law.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 07-09-2016   #6
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Thinking of suicide has an invigorating effect on me, similar to how certain people think of rotting corpses before dinner to whet their appetite. Though I am often weary of life, I haven't stood on the steps toward the act yet.

Moreover, I am haunted by Cioran's dictum:
"Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?"

I certainly don't want to be accused of being an optimist.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 07-09-2016   #7
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Books, comics, art, movies, TV series, documentaries, music, theater, video games, sex, humor (usually of the black variety), cigarettes, coffee, food, friends and family. Probably in that order, too. Oh, and the wonderful folks here at Thomas Ligotti Online.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 07-09-2016   #8
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Quote Originally Posted by teguififthzeal View Post
Every pessimist who is in a relatively stable frame of mind knows that suicide has a horrible/traumatizing effects on everyone, because most of them have had friends who have committed suicide.

I wouldn't feel right doing it. And it's against the law.
I've not had any friends commit suicide. Most of mine have attempted it, however. For the most part all of them are very sympathetic towards the act: the end of that person's suffering justifies it. They would grieve temporarily, but would ultimately feel relieved.

The illegality of suicide in many countries is laughable yet irritating.

This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 07-09-2016   #9
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

I cannot force myself in to non-existence as I have committed the sin and ecstasy of falling deeply in love with my own delusions.

I also hold out hope that some of Aickman's unpublished work may surface, and Tartarus may reprint Sarban's The Sacrifice and Other Stories.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

Last edited by James; 07-09-2016 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 07-09-2016   #10
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Still awaiting our resident pessimists reply to this:

Maverick Philosopher: The View from Mount Zapffe: The Absurdity of Life and Intellectual Honesty
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