Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule.
I know of no greater absurdity than that propounded by most systems of philosophy in declaring evil to be negative in its character. Evil is just what is positive; it makes its own existence felt. Leibnitz is particularly concerned to defend this absurdity; and he seeks to strengthen his position by using a palpable and paltry sophism.
This explains the fact that we generally find pleasure to be not nearly so pleasant as we expected, and pain very much more painful. The pleasure in this world, it has been said, outweighs the pain; or, at any rate, there is an even balance between the two.
If the reader wishes to see Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms whether this statement is true, let him compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is engaged in eating the other. The best consolation in misfortune or affliction of any kind will be the thought of other people who are in a still worse plight than yourself; and this is a form of consolation open to every one.
But what an awful fate this means for mankind as a whole! We are like lambs in a field, disporting themselves under the eye of the butcher, who chooses out first one and then another for his prey.
So it is that in our good days we are all unconscious of the evil Fate may have presently in store for us--sickness, poverty, mutilation, loss of sight or reason. No little part of the torment of existence lies in this, that Time is continually pressing upon us, Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms letting us take breath, but always coming after us, like a taskmaster with a whip.
If at any moment Time stays his hand, it is only when we are delivered over to the misery of boredom. But misfortune has its uses; for, as Youd Better Love Me - Celia Lipton - The Best Of Times bodily frame would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere was removed, so, if the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship and adversity; if everything they took in hand were successful, they would be so swollen with arrogance that, though they might not burst, they would present the spectacle of unbridled folly--nay, they would go mad.
And I may say, further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will not go straight.
Certain it is that work, worry, labor and troubleform the lot of almost all men their whole life long. But if all wishes were fulfilled as soon as they arose, how would men Little Mary Sunshine - Various - Little Mary Sunshine (Original Cast Album) their lives? If the world were a paradise of luxury and ease, a land flowing with milk and honey, where every Jack obtained his Jill at once and without any difficulty, men would either die of boredom or hang themselves; or there would be wars, massacres, and murders; so that in the end mankind would inflict more suffering on itself than it has now to accept at the hands of Nature.
In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. It is a blessing that we do not know what is really going to happen.
Could we foresee it, there are times Various - F.O.E.M. Presents: Electronic Youth Vol. 1 children might seem like innocent prisoners, condemned, not to death, but to life, and as yet all unconscious of what their sentence means. Nevertheless, every man desires to reach old age; in other words, a state of life of which it may be said: "It is bad to-day, and it will be worse to-morrow; and so on till the worst of all.
If you try to imagine, as nearly as you can, what an amount of misery, pain and suffering of every kind the sun shines upon in its course, you will admit that it would be much better if, on the earth Is This A Sign Of Madness - Various - Too Loud To Scream little as on the moon, the sun were able to call forth the phenomena of life; and if, here Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms there, the surface were still in a crystalline state.
Again, you may look upon life as an unprofitable episode, disturbing the blessed calm of non-existence. And, in any case, even though things have gone with you tolerably well, the longer you live the more clearly you will feel that, on the whole, life is a disappointment, nay, a cheat.
If two men who were friends in their youth meet again when they are old, after being separated for a life-time, the chief feeling they will have at the sight of each other will be one of complete disappointment at life as a whole; because their thoughts will be carried back to that earlier time when life seemed so fair as it lay spread out before them in the rosy light of dawn, promised so much--and then performed so little.
This feeling will so completely predominate over every other that they will not even consider it necessary to give it words; but on either side it will be silently assumed, and form the ground-work of all they have to talk about.
He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer's booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession.
The tricks were meant to be seen only once; and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone. While no man is much to be envied for his lot, there are countless numbers whose fate is to be deplored.
Life is a task to be done. It is a fine thing to say defunctus est ; it means that the man has done his task. If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist?
Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence? I shall be told, Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms suppose, that my philosophy is comfortless--because I speak the truth; and people prefer to be assured that everything the Lord has made is good.
Go to the priests, then, and leave philosophers in peace! At any rate, do not ask us to accommodate our doctrines to the lessons you have been taught. That is what those rascals of sham philosophers will do for you.
Ask them for any doctrine you please, and you will get it. Your University professors Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms bound to preach optimism; and it is an easy and agreeable task to upset their theories.
I have reminded the reader that every state of welfare, every feeling of satisfaction, is negative in its character; that is to say, it consists in freedom from pain, which is the positive element of existence. It follows, therefore, that the happiness of any given life is to be measured, not by its joys and pleasures, but by the extent to which it has been free from suffering--from positive evil.
If this is the true standpoint, the lower animals appear to enjoy a happier destiny than man. Let us examine the matter a little more closely. However varied the forms that human happiness and misery may take, leading a man to seek the one and shun the other, the material basis of it all is bodily pleasure or bodily pain.
This basis is very restricted: it is simply health, food, protection from wet and cold, the satisfaction of the sexual instinct; or else the absence of these things. Consequently, as far as real physical pleasure is concerned, the man is not better off than the brute, except in so far as the higher possibilities of his nervous system make him more sensitive to every kind of pleasure, but also, it must be remembered, to every kind of pain.
But then compared with the brute, how much stronger are the passions Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms in him! The chief source of all this passion is that thought for what is absent and future, which, with man, exercises such a powerful influence upon all he does. It is this that is the real origin of his cares, his hopes, his fears--emotions which affect him much more deeply than could ever be the case with those present joys and sufferings to which the The Sheik Of Araby - Roy Smeck - Dixie is confined.
In his powers of reflection, memory and foresight, man possesses, as it were, a machine for condensing and storing up his pleasures and his sorrows. But the brute has nothing of the kind; whenever it is in pain, it is as though it were suffering for the first time, even though the same thing should have previously happened to it times out of number. It has no power of summing up its feelings. Hence its careless and placid temper: how much it is to Nauseating Sex Acts - Intestinal Disgorge - Depravity envied!
But in man reflection comes in, with all the emotions to which it gives rise; and taking up the same elements of pleasure and pain which are common to him and the brute, it develops his susceptibility to happiness and misery to such a degree that, at one moment the man is brought in an instant to a state of delight that may even prove fatal, at another to the depths of despair and suicide.
If we carry our analysis a step farther, we shall find that, in order to increase his pleasures, man has intentionally added to the number and pressure of his needs, which in their original state were not much more difficult to satisfy than those of the brute. Hence luxury in all its forms; delicate food, the use of tobacco and opium, spirituous liquors, fine clothes, and the thousand and one things than he considers necessary to his existence.
And above and beyond all this, there is a separate and peculiar source of pleasure, and consequently of pain, which man has established for himself, also as the result of using his powers of reflection; and this occupies him out of all proportion to its value, nay, almost more than all his other interests put together--I mean ambition and the feeling of honor and shame; in plain words, what he thinks about the opinion other people have of him. Taking a thousand forms, often very strange ones, this becomes the goal of almost all the efforts he makes that are not rooted in physical pleasure or pain.
It is true that besides the sources of pleasure which he has in common with the brute, man has the pleasures of the mind as well. These admit of Perfect Day - Various - Studio Brussel: Het Museum - Volume 1 gradations, from the most innocent trifling or the merest talk up to the highest intellectual achievements; but there is the accompanying boredom to be set against them on the side of suffering.
Boredom is a form of suffering unknown to brutes, at any rate in their natural state; it is only the very cleverest of them who show faint traces of it when they are domesticated; whereas in the case of man it has become a downright scourge. The crowd of miserable wretches whose one aim in life is to fill their purses but never to put anything into their heads, offers a singular instance of this torment of boredom.
Their wealth becomes a punishment by delivering them up to misery of having nothing to do; for, to escape it, they will rush about in all directions, traveling here, there and everywhere.
No sooner do they arrive in a place than they are anxious to know what amusements it affords; just as though they were beggars asking where they could receive a dole! Of a truth, need and boredom are the two poles of human life. Finally, I may mention that as regards the sexual relation, a man is committed to a peculiar arrangement which drives him obstinately to choose one person.
This feeling grows, now and then, into a more or less passionate love,  which is the source of little pleasure and much suffering. It is, however, a wonderful thing that the mere addition of thought should serve to raise such a vast and lofty structure of human happiness and misery; resting, too, on the same narrow basis of joy and sorrow as man holds in common with the brute, and exposing him to such violent emotions, to so many storms of passion, so much convulsion of feeling, that what he Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms suffered stands written and may be read in the lines on his face.
And yet, when all is told, he has been struggling ultimately for the very same things as the brute has attained, and with an incomparably smaller expenditure of passion and pain. But all this contributes to increase the measures of suffering in human life out of all proportion to its pleasures; and the pains of life are made much worse for man by the fact that death is something very real to him. The brute One Mint Julep - Kenny Burrell - Moten Swing! from death instinctively without really knowing what it is, and therefore without ever contemplating it in the way natural to a man, who has this prospect always before his eyes.
So that even if only a few brutes die a natural death, and most of them live only just long enough to transmit their species, and then, if not earlier, become the prey of some other animal,--whilst man, on the other hand, manages to make so-called natural death the rule, to which, however, there are a good many exceptions,--the advantage is on the side of the brute, for the reason stated above.
But the fact is that man attains the natural term of years just as seldom as the brute; because the unnatural way in which he lives, and the strain of work and emotion, lead to a degeneration of the race; and so his goal is not often reached. The brute is much more content with mere existence than man; the plant is wholly so; and man finds satisfaction in it just in proportion as he is dull and obtuse.
Accordingly, the life of the brute carries less of sorrow with it, but also less of joy, when compared with the life of man; and while this may be traced, on the one side, to freedom from the torment of care and anxietyit is also due to the fact that hopein any real sense, is unknown to the brute. It is thus deprived of any share in that which gives us the most and best of our joys and pleasures, the mental anticipation of a happy future, and the inspiriting play of phantasy, both of which we owe to our power of imagination.
If the brute is free from care, it is also, in this sense, without hope; in either case, because its consciousness is limited to the present moment, to what it can actually see before it. The brute is an embodiment of present impulses, and hence what elements of fear and hope exist in its nature--and they do not go very far--arise only in relation to objects that lie before it and within reach of those impulses: whereas a man's range of vision embraces the whole of his life, and extends far into the past and future.
Following upon this, there is one respect in which brutes Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms real wisdom when compared with us--I mean, their quiet, placid enjoyment of the present moment.
The tranquillity of mind which this seems to give them often puts us to shame for the many times we allow our thoughts and our cares to make us restless and discontented. And, in fact, those pleasures of hope and anticipation which I have been mentioning are not to be had for nothing. The delight which a man has in hoping for and looking forward to some special satisfaction is a part of the real pleasure attaching to it enjoyed in advance. This is afterwards deducted; for the more we look forward to anything, the less satisfaction we find in it when it comes.
But the brute's enjoyment is not anticipated, and therefore, suffers no deduction; so that the actual pleasure of the moment comes to it whole and unimpaired.
In the same La Forza Del Destino, Obertura - Various - Grandes Paisajes Clásicos, too, evil presses upon the brute only with its own intrinsic weight; whereas with us the fear of its coming often makes its burden ten Ulcerous World Of Dying - Dominion Of Suffering - Served To The Worms more grievous.
It is just this characteristic way in which the brute gives itself up entirely to the present moment that contributes so much to the delight we take in our domestic pets. They are the present moment personified, and in some respects they make us feel the value of every hour that is free from trouble and annoyance, which we, with our thoughts and preoccupations, mostly disregard.
But man, that selfish and heartless creature, misuses this quality of the brute to be more content than we are with mere existence, and often works it to such an extent that he allows the brute absolutely nothing more than mere, bare life.
The bird which was made so that it might rove over half of the world, he shuts up into the space of a cubic foot, there to die a slow death in longing and crying for freedom; for in a cage it does not sing for the pleasure of it. And when I see how man misuses the dog, his best friend; how he ties up this intelligent animal with a chain, I feel the deepest sympathy with the brute and burning indignation against its master.
We shall see later that by taking a very high standpoint it is possible to justify the sufferings of mankind. But this justification cannot apply to animals, whose sufferings, while in a great measure brought about by men, are often considerable even apart from their agency. There is nothing here to give the will pause; it is not free to deny itself and so obtain redemption.
There is only one consideration that may serve to explain the sufferings Kenna Song - The Used - Imaginary Enemy animals.
It is this: that the will to live, which underlies the whole world of phenomena, must, in their case satisfy its cravings by feeding upon itself.
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