Saturday, August 15, 2009

The journey of Life - fleeting moments of truth

Life's journey is as much of a paradoxical passages.

Human existence is an infinitesimal moment between two eternities, the past and the future, says Arthur Schopenhauer.

The journey of Life is filled with the pursuit of shadows, where everything is relative, phenomenal, illusory, and man is bound in the servitude of ignorance, struggle and need, in the endless round of effort and failure.

Life may indeed appear to be a comedy, because of the one or two bright spots of happy circumstance to be found in it here and there.

Every man’s natural desire is to preserve his existence; so that life is a blind, unreasoning force, hurrying us we know not whither.

Nothing really matters more to a man than his liberty and freedom, I presumed.

There are many things in life which give a short satisfaction and blind us for the moment to the realities of existence. Pleasures as they may be called, in so far as they are a mode of relief; but that pleasure is not positive in its nature nor anything more than the negation of suffering. This is proved by the fact that, if pleasures come in abundance, pain soon returns in the form of satiety; so that the sense of illusion is all that has been gained. Hence, the most a man can achieve is a measure of relief from this suffering.

It is a trite saying that happiness is a delusion, a chimera, the fata morgana of the heart. There is nothing that is not substantially akin to theories of life which, in different forms, the greater part of mankind is presumed to hold in reverence.

Thus, whatever happiness a man can attain is negative only. Some temporary relief may be obtained through the medium of Art. The supreme endeavor after happiness is to withdraw from the struggle of life, and so obtain release from the misery which that struggle imposes upon all, even upon those who are for the moment successful.

Wisdom, the ordinary art of living has to be a compromise. We are here not by any choice of our own; and while we strive to make the best of it, often we do let ourselves be deceived while we cherished illusion.

Happiness consists for the most part in what a man is in himself, and that the pleasure he derives from these blessings will depend entirely upon the extent to which his personality really allows him to appreciate them. Thus, happiness depends much more on what is within than without us; for what we see without us is often an art of self deceit.

Life itself reveals our destiny. It is not the struggle which produces misery; it is the mistaken aims - the aim to be free.


Singam said...

There are two goals in life.

The first goal is to find meaning in the riot of experience that surrounds us. That meaning can only be something that lies between the extreme ends of pleasure and pain - Buddha called it the Middle Path. Be not overjoyed not overly dismayed by what transpires. That extreme is only temporary and will soon pass. Attain equanimity and you can face anything life has to throw at you.

The second goal is to find meaning beyond life. Some who have attained equanimity in life may find meaning beyond life to be irrelevant. But those seeking such meaning have the choice of either following the leadership of one who offers assurance of a better place or of striking out on one's own in the search of meaning.

But whichever path one chooses, it is highly unlikely that aggression towards fellow man will help one find meaning. Such aggression will only enmesh one within the insanities of the experiential life.

Anonymous said...

Woh, Sifu...
too long and too deep woh. ngor em-meng pak woh.

no comment lor... nei siu-sam ok!

Anonymous said...

Life's journey means different things to different people. For the rich, the journey through life is paved with luxuries without any fear of what tomorrow may bring. However for the poor, the journey through life is a a constant struggle to find 3 square meals a day.

And for the unfortunate, such as the late Teoh BH, life's journey comes to a bone-crunching end after being interrogated for a missing RM2,400 while a short distance away, a former dentist gets to enjoy his RM24,000,000 home without any fear of being interrogated. This is LIFE....

Anonymous said...


work hard so can eat, drink & be merry... with some siew g & cold beer thrown in occasionally.

thought thats what life is all about... rite? no?


Anonymous said...

It is not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts.

You say, “The country is messed up.” That’s like cursing the soil and the seed and the sunshine and the rain, which is all you’ve got. Don’t curse all you’ve got. When you get your own planet, you can rearrange this whole deal. This one, you’ve got to take it like it comes.

Walk away from the 97% crowd. Don’t use their excuses. Take charge of your own life.

Take advice, but not orders. Only give yourself orders. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Since I will be no one’s slave, I will be no one’s master.”