MsNobody

Schopenhauer on Solitude

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https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/schopenhauer/arthur/counsels/chapter2.html

chapters from "Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims", can sound a little snobbish in the beginning but for those who are used to solitude and value a high intellect will be able to relate to it.

Here are my favorite parts:

living in the now Another important element in the wise conduct of life is to preserve a proper proportion between our thought for the present and our thought for the future; in order not to spoil the one by paying over-great attention to the other. Many live too long in the present — frivolous people, I mean; others, too much in the future, ever anxious and full of care. It is seldom that a man holds the right balance between the two extremes. Those who strive and hope and live only in the future, always looking ahead and impatiently anticipating what is coming, as something which will make them happy when they get it, are, in spite of their very clever airs, exactly like those donkeys one sees in Italy, whose pace may be hurried by fixing a stick on their heads with a wisp of hay at the end of it; this is always just in front of them, and they keep on trying to get it. Such people are in a constant state of illusion as to their whole existence; they go on living ad interim, until at last they die.

keeping a journal The advice here given is on a par with a rule recommended by Pythagoras — to review, every night before going to sleep, what we have done during the day. To live at random, in the hurly-burly of business or pleasure, without ever reflecting upon the past — to go on, as it were, pulling cotton off the reel of life — is to have no clear idea of what we are about; and a man who lives in this state will have chaos in his emotions and certain confusion in his thoughts; as is soon manifest by the abrupt and fragmentary character of his conversation, which becomes a kind of mincemeat. A man will be all the more exposed to this fate in proportion as he lives a restless life in the world, amid a crowd of various impressions and with a correspondingly small amount of activity on the part of his own mind. And in this connection it will be in place to observe that, when events and circumstances which have influenced us pass away in the course of time, we are unable to bring back and renew the particular mood or state of feeling which they aroused in us: but we can remember what we were led to say and do in regard to them; and thus form, as it were, the result, expression and measure of those events. We should, therefore, be careful to preserve the memory of our thoughts at important points in our life; and herein lies the great advantage of keeping a journal.

 A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. 

What offends a great intellect in society is the equality of rights, leading to equality of pretensions, which everyone enjoys; while at the same time, inequality of capacity means a corresponding disparity of social power. So-called good society recognizes every kind of claim but that of intellect, which is a contraband article; and people are expected to exhibit an unlimited amount of patience towards every form of folly and stupidity, perversity and dullness; whilst personal merit has to beg pardon, as it were, for being present, or else conceal itself altogether. Intellectual superiority offends by its very existence, without any desire to do so.

It follows from this that a man is best off if he be thrown upon his own resources and can be all in all to himself; and Cicero goes so far as to say that a man who is in this condition cannot fail to be very happy — nemo potest non beatissimus esse qui est totus aptus ex sese, quique in se uno ponit omnia.16 The more a man has in himself, the less others can be to him. The feeling of self-sufficiency! it is that which restrains those whose personal value is in itself great riches, from such considerable sacrifices as are demanded by intercourse with the world, let alone, then, from actually practicing self-denial by going out of their way to seek it. Ordinary people are sociable and complaisant just from the very opposite feeling; — to bear others’ company is easier for them than to bear their own.

Ordinary society is, in this respect, very like the kind of music to be obtained from an orchestra composed of Russian horns. Each horn has only one note; and the music is produced by each note coming in just at the right moment. In the monotonous sound of a single horn, you have a precise illustration of the effect of most people’s minds. How often there seems to be only one thought there! and no room for any other. It is easy to see why people are so bored; and also why they are sociable, why they like to go about in crowds — why mankind is so gregarious. It is the monotony of his own nature that makes a man find solitude intolerable. Omnis stultitia laborat fastidio sui: folly is truly its own burden. Put a great many men together, and you may get some result — some music from your horns!  (this is so f* interesting, what he is saying is that a crowd think alike and have no space for different thoughts, the same way an orchestra if someone plays a different tune doesn't sound good)

A man of intellect is like an artist who gives a concert without any help from anyone else, playing on a single instrument — a piano, say, which is a little orchestra in itself. Such a man is a little world in himself; and the effect produced by various instruments together, he produces single-handed, in the unity of his own consciousness. Like the piano, he has no place in a symphony: he is a soloist and performs by himself — in solitude, it may be; or, if in company with other instruments, only as principal; or for setting the tone, as in singing.

Men of great intellect live in the world without really belonging to it; and so, from their earliest years, they feel that there is a perceptible difference between them and other people. But it is only gradually, with the lapse of years, that they come to a clear understanding of their position. Their intellectual isolation is then reinforced by actual seclusion in their manner of life; they let no one approach who is not in some degree emancipated from the prevailing vulgarity.

noche tinta, bianco el dia Night gives a black look to everything, whatever it may be. This is why our thoughts, just before we go to sleep, or as we lie awake through the hours of the night, are usually such confusions and perversions of facts as dreams themselves; and when our thoughts at that time are concentrated upon our own concerns, they are generally as black and monstrous as possible. In the morning all such nightmares vanish like dreams: as the Spanish proverb has it, noche tinta, bianco el dia — the night is colored, the day is white. But even towards nightfall, as soon as the candles are lit, the mind, like the eye, no longer sees things so clearly as by day: it is a time unsuited to serious meditation, especially on unpleasant subjects. The morning is the proper time for that — as indeed for all efforts without exception, whether mental or bodily. For the morning is the youth of the day, when everything is bright, fresh, and easy of attainment; we feel strong then, and all our faculties are completely at our disposal. 

big picture thinking If you hold small objects close to your eyes, you limit your field of vision and shut out the world. And, in the same way, the people or the things which stand nearest, even though they are of the very smallest consequence, are apt to claim an amount of attention much beyond their due, occupying us disagreeably, and leaving no room for serious thoughts and affairs of importance. We ought to work against this tendency.

 omnia mea mecum porto  (Latin: "All that is mine I carry with me“) is a quote that Cicero ascribes to Bias of Priene.[1] Bias of Priene, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, is said to make the statement during the flight from his hometown, with the apparent meaning that his possessions are those of character traits and wisdom (as opposed to material things).

Le bonheur n’est pas chose aisée, il est très difficile de le trouver en nous et impossible de le trouver ailleurs: Happiness is not easily won; it is hard to find it in ourselves, and impossible to find it elsewhere.

 

 


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Shakespeare

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCqtX3EPGsnmWjK76m5Vpbw

 

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"Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand." --Patti Smith

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I too am a Schopenhauer fan, but I have to ask; how do you feel about his thoughts on women? Read "On Women" if you haven't :) I couldn't help but notice that your screen name includes a Ms.

 

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10 hours ago, MsNobody said:

noche tinta, bianco el dia Night gives a black look to everything, whatever it may be. This is why our thoughts, just before we go to sleep, or as we lie awake through the hours of the night, are usually such confusions and perversions of facts as dreams themselves; and when our thoughts at that time are concentrated upon our own concerns, they are generally as black and monstrous as possible. In the morning all such nightmares vanish like dreams: as the Spanish proverb has it, noche tinta, bianco el dia — the night is colored, the day is white. But even towards nightfall, as soon as the candles are lit, the mind, like the eye, no longer sees things so clearly as by day: it is a time unsuited to serious meditation, especially on unpleasant subjects. The morning is the proper time for that — as indeed for all efforts without exception, whether mental or bodily. For the morning is the youth of the day, when everything is bright, fresh, and easy of attainment; we feel strong then, and all our faculties are completely at our disposal. 

Quite an interesting point, wonder if there is more to this


You see, the reason you want to be better, is the reason why you aren’t. Shall I put it like that?

We aren't better, because we want to be.

                                                                                                                                                 ~ Alan Watts

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@wingsofwax I’m definitely going to look it up, thanks for pointing out. Although part of me already knows what I’m going to find, the whole book talks about peace of mind and we women (emotional creatures that we are) are not very well known for bringing this quality to a man’s life ? 

@Flammable love this part, in my understanding what I see is that at night we embrace our darkness and emotions, which is the female energy, dreamy, creative, daring, obscure, dark.. while in the light of the day, we tend to be more rational, which is the masculine energy, analytical, objective.. things don’t seem to be so easy or doable from this logical point of view. The night is colorful and the day is bright, very interesting point 


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Shakespeare

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCqtX3EPGsnmWjK76m5Vpbw

 

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I read somewhere that Schopenhauer did have bouts of anger, including regularly shouting at this land lady, so much for being in the now. The guy was fairly angry, a picture of him doesn't look that happy, looks pretty angry........

13 hours ago, MsNobody said:

Ordinary people are sociable and complaisant just from the very opposite feeling; — to bear others’ company is easier for them than to bear their own

Maybe he was such as asshole, nobody could put up with him. 

Schopenhauer_185211.jpg

The veins are literally popping out of his forehead.

Believing that the world is deterministic in the "Noumena World" but, perceived as independent action in a  "Phenomenal World" which give the illusion of independent action even freewill. No wonder he's pissed.

It's a reversal of Kant, which has the Noumena World influenced essentially by God, or alternatively the infinite. Kant's ethics depends on freewill.

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Spinoza I think is better, but way more dangerous and also wrong, a lot of unconscious rage. "The Book of Not Knowing is similar in someways to "The Ethics" but, superior. Playing with fire there.

David Hume is better than Nietzsche, doesn't have the pretensions and cynicism that Nietzsche has. I think it's a good thing he's on the Book list. I think Nietzsche is better than Schopenhauer as he is not dualistic, Nietzsche does however depend on narrative.

13 hours ago, MsNobody said:

keeping a journal The advice here given is on a par with a rule recommended by Pythagoras — to review, every night before going to sleep, what we have done during the day. To live at random, in the hurly-burly of business or pleasure, without ever reflecting upon the past — to go on, as it were, pulling cotton off the reel of life — is to have no clear idea of what we are about; and a man who lives in this state will have chaos in his emotions and certain confusion in his thoughts; as is soon manifest by the abrupt and fragmentary character of his conversation, which becomes a kind of mincemeat. A man will be all the more exposed to this fate in proportion as he lives a restless life in the world, amid a crowd of various impressions and with a correspondingly small amount of activity on the part of his own mind. And in this connection it will be in place to observe that, when events and circumstances which have influenced us pass away in the course of time, we are unable to bring back and renew the particular mood or state of feeling which they aroused in us: but we can remember what we were led to say and do in regard to them; and thus form, as it were, the result, expression and measure of those events. We should, therefore, be careful to preserve the memory of our thoughts at important points in our life; and herein lies the great advantage of keeping a journal.

He has a long stream of knowing. I don't whether you could equate that to a superior form of consciousness as opposed to a mixture. Pythogoras also divides the world in two, just like Schopenhauer. Probably as dualistic, as you can get.

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11 hours ago, Joseph Maynor said:

Schopenhauer has some great things to say on certain topics.

Such as?

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OMG OMG OMG

@RichardY @Flammable @Joseph Maynor @VioletFlame

Schopenhauer On "Woman"

While largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Schopenhauer’s works had a profound impact on subsequent generations of thinkers and writers. He was the philosopher of pessimism who advocated art and knowledge as a release from the pain of desire.

To Schopenhauer, “the history of every life is a history of suffering,” which results from the “blind will of the world.” He argued that evil was not an accidental but an essential condition of creation. Unlike many intellectuals of his time, Schopenhauer was indifferent to nationalism; he also disliked democracy, and despised both Judaism and Christianity.

Banished from his home by his social butterfly mother, who disapproved of her son’s seriousness, he wandered lonely and obscure throughout Europe. Having no use at all for women, Schopenhauer never married and spent his life in what he regarded as mellow solitude in the company of his dogs.

At one point in his life, an unwelcome female guest whom he ejected bodily from his home rudely shattered this self-imposed isolation. She sued for damages, and he was forced to pay what he termed “alimony” until her death. Today, he is remembered not only for his profound, if gloomy, philosophy, but also for his rabid misogyny.

 

Arthur Schopenhauer (l788-1860) -- German thinker who greatly enriched philosophy through his investigations of the problem of human existence, and explorations of the limits of human knowledge.

 

 Women exist in the main solely for the propagation of the species. >:(
-- On Women

[Women are] the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first. 
-- On Women

Women are . . . big children all their life--a kind of intermediary stage between the child and the full-grown man. -- On Women

Women have great talent, but no genius, for they always remain subjective.
-- The World as Will and Idea

It is fitting [for a woman] to amuse man in his hours of recreation, and, in case of need, to console him when he is borne down by the weight of his cares.
-- On Women

Perjury in a court of justice is more often committed by women than by men. It may indeed be questioned whether women ought to be sworn at all.
-- On Women

The fundamental fault of the female character is that it has no sense of justice. 
-- On Women

Instead of calling them beautiful, there would be more warrant for describing women as the unaesthetic sex. Neither for music, nor for poetry, nor for fine art, have they really and truly any sense or susceptibility; it is a mockery if they make a pretense of it in order to assist their endeavor to please.
-- On Women

In their hearts women think that it is men’s business to earn money and theirs to spend it--if possible during their husband’s life, but, at any rate, after his death. 
-- On Women

Nature has equipped woman . . . with the weapons and requisite for the safeguarding of her existence, and as long as it is necessary for her to have them.
-- On Women

Just as the female ant, after fecundation, loses her wings which are then superfluous, nay, actually a danger to the business of breeding, so after giving birth to one or two a woman generally loses her beauty, probably, indeed, for similar reasons.
-- On Women

Women . . . are dependent, not upon strength, but upon craft; hence their instinctive capacity for cunning, and their ineradicable tendency to say what is not true. . . . Nature has equipped woman, for her defense and protection, with the arts of dissimulation; and all the power which nature has conferred upon man in the shape of physical strength and reason has been bestowed upon woman in this form. Hence dissimulation is innate in woman, and almost as much a quality of the stupid as of the clever.
-- On Women

A woman who is perfectly truthful and not given to dissimulation is perhaps an impossibility.
-- On Women

The lady . . . is a being who should not exist at all; she should be either a housewife or a girl who hopes to become one; and should be brought up, not to be arrogant, but to be thrifty and submissive.
-- On Women

Taken as a whole, women are . . . thorough-going philistines, and quite incurable. 
-- On Women


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Shakespeare

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCqtX3EPGsnmWjK76m5Vpbw

 

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18 hours ago, MsNobody said:

 A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. 

I think Schopenhauer is totally wrong about being free in the absence of company. The entire notion of freewill only exists because there is the other, Spinoza recognised this, although he was a Hard Determinist, for him, to be the most free, you need others. I think Ayn Rand was also wrong, with man being more free due to technology, freeing man from man.

Instead I think Montaigne was right with.

Quote

Let us pretermit that long comparison betwixt the active and the solitary life; and as for the fine sayings with which ambition and avarice palliate their vices, that we are not born for ourselves but for the public,—[This is the eulogium passed by Lucan on Cato of Utica, ii. 383.]—let us boldly appeal to those who are in public affairs; let them lay their hands upon their hearts, and then say whether, on the contrary, they do not rather aspire to titles and offices and that tumult of the world to make their private advantage at the public expense. The corrupt ways by which in this our time they arrive at the height to which their ambitions aspire, manifestly enough declares that their ends cannot be very good. 

Let us tell ambition that it is she herself who gives us a taste of solitude; for what does she so much avoid as society? What does she so much seek as elbowroom? 

A man many do well or ill everywhere; but if what Bias says be true, that the greatest part is the worse part, or what the Preacher says: there is not one good of a thousand:

I think ambitious people are very much enslaved, by their own mind. I agree with The greatest part also being the worst. Often referred to as dun dun dun THE SHADOW!!!! Had a few ancestors that were Statesmen including two Lord Chancellors, 2nd one killed himself after a few days, first one didn't do too badly including being regency council head.

Anyways something more entertaining than gaming, but so limited, could always aim for Enlightenment, Be Trigger Free!!! 

Hardly anyone wants to talk philosophy, just their own mouthing points. Probably paints a target on you, in a way, that enlightenment does not. TRUTH! Chopping wood, safer. "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

---------------------------------------

Women exist in the main solely for the propagation of the species. 
-- On Women

Believe it or not, I've actually heard that said, by an Internet Philosopher Stefan Molyneux, hate to say stage orange, as I think Spiral Dynamics is profane, worse then swearing for the sake of it. I don't agree, but possibly fucked in the head.


It is fitting [for a woman] to amuse man in his hours of recreation, and, in case of need, to console him when he is borne down by the weight of his cares.
-- On Women

Like the first part of that one.

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6 hours ago, MsNobody said:

OMG OMG OMG

@RichardY @Flammable @Joseph Maynor @VioletFlame

Schopenhauer On "Woman"

While largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Schopenhauer’s works had a profound impact on subsequent generations of thinkers and writers. He was the philosopher of pessimism who advocated art and knowledge as a release from the pain of desire.

To Schopenhauer, “the history of every life is a history of suffering,” which results from the “blind will of the world.” He argued that evil was not an accidental but an essential condition of creation. Unlike many intellectuals of his time, Schopenhauer was indifferent to nationalism; he also disliked democracy, and despised both Judaism and Christianity.

Banished from his home by his social butterfly mother, who disapproved of her son’s seriousness, he wandered lonely and obscure throughout Europe. Having no use at all for women, Schopenhauer never married and spent his life in what he regarded as mellow solitude in the company of his dogs.

At one point in his life, an unwelcome female guest whom he ejected bodily from his home rudely shattered this self-imposed isolation. She sued for damages, and he was forced to pay what he termed “alimony” until her death. Today, he is remembered not only for his profound, if gloomy, philosophy, but also for his rabid misogyny.

 

Arthur Schopenhauer (l788-1860) -- German thinker who greatly enriched philosophy through his investigations of the problem of human existence, and explorations of the limits of human knowledge.

 

 Women exist in the main solely for the propagation of the species. >:(
-- On Women

[Women are] the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first. 
-- On Women

Women are . . . big children all their life--a kind of intermediary stage between the child and the full-grown man. -- On Women

Women have great talent, but no genius, for they always remain subjective.
-- The World as Will and Idea

It is fitting [for a woman] to amuse man in his hours of recreation, and, in case of need, to console him when he is borne down by the weight of his cares.
-- On Women

Perjury in a court of justice is more often committed by women than by men. It may indeed be questioned whether women ought to be sworn at all.
-- On Women

The fundamental fault of the female character is that it has no sense of justice. 
-- On Women

Instead of calling them beautiful, there would be more warrant for describing women as the unaesthetic sex. Neither for music, nor for poetry, nor for fine art, have they really and truly any sense or susceptibility; it is a mockery if they make a pretense of it in order to assist their endeavor to please.
-- On Women

In their hearts women think that it is men’s business to earn money and theirs to spend it--if possible during their husband’s life, but, at any rate, after his death. 
-- On Women

Nature has equipped woman . . . with the weapons and requisite for the safeguarding of her existence, and as long as it is necessary for her to have them.
-- On Women

Just as the female ant, after fecundation, loses her wings which are then superfluous, nay, actually a danger to the business of breeding, so after giving birth to one or two a woman generally loses her beauty, probably, indeed, for similar reasons.
-- On Women

Women . . . are dependent, not upon strength, but upon craft; hence their instinctive capacity for cunning, and their ineradicable tendency to say what is not true. . . . Nature has equipped woman, for her defense and protection, with the arts of dissimulation; and all the power which nature has conferred upon man in the shape of physical strength and reason has been bestowed upon woman in this form. Hence dissimulation is innate in woman, and almost as much a quality of the stupid as of the clever.
-- On Women

A woman who is perfectly truthful and not given to dissimulation is perhaps an impossibility.
-- On Women

The lady . . . is a being who should not exist at all; she should be either a housewife or a girl who hopes to become one; and should be brought up, not to be arrogant, but to be thrifty and submissive.
-- On Women

Taken as a whole, women are . . . thorough-going philistines, and quite incurable. 
-- On Women

His views on women are horrible.  But he’s an essayist, so it’s best to take each of his essays as its own statement on whatever topic he’s addressing.  I really benefitted from reading his essays.  I had a complete books of his essays.  If you like Schopenhauer, check out Francis Bacon’s essays.  Not the painter Francis Bacon but the philosopher Francis Bacon.  I think there’s an Essays Vol. 1 and an Essays Vol. 2 if I recall.  You’re gonna be amazed at how much wisdom is packed in Bacon’s essays.  And they were written in the 1600’s I think.  I’ve read them all, they’re great and had an influence me.  Schopenhauer’s essays and Bacon’s essays should be part of everybody’s reading list in life. 

Edited by Joseph Maynor

firstphilosophy.org

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