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It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But... Video
It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived --forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking position.
Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.
Look round at the marriages which you know. The true marriage â€” that noble union, by which a man and woman become together the one perfect being â€” probably does not exist at present upon earth. It is not surprising that husbands and wives seem so little part of one another. It is surprising that there is so much love as there is. For there is no food for it. What does it live upon â€” what nourishes it? Husbands and wives never seem to have anything to say to one another. What do they talk about? Not about any great religious, social, political questions or feelings. They talk about who shall come to dinner, who is to live in this lodge and who in that, about the improvement of the place, or when they shall go to London. If there are children, they form a common subject of some nourishment. But, even then, the case is oftenest thus, â€” the husband is to think of how they are to get on in life; the wife of bringing them up at home. But any real communion between husband and wife â€” any descending into the depths of their being, and drawing out thence what they find and comparing it â€” do we ever dream of such a thing? Yes, we may dream of it during the season of "passion," but we shall not find it afterwards. We even expect it to go off, and lay our account that it will. If the husband has, by chance, gone into the depths of his being, and found there anything unorthodox, he, oftenest, conceals it carefully from his wife, â€” he is afraid of "unsettling her opinions."
True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: "I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live."
"In order to have any sense of control over our own life, we need to know that weâ€™re able to make sense out of our experience, in all of its many aspects. Itâ€™s the need that religion addresses, that philosophy addresses... if you have a moral code that you do your best to live up to, other things being equal, itâ€™s very positive in its consequences for your self esteem, even if the moral code is in some ways mistaken. If you conscientiously try to live it to the best of your ability, that would have a salutary effect on your self-esteem. If you violate it, it would have a negative effect on your self-esteem. But suppose you have nothing to violate, no worldviewâ€”that absence will limit your self-esteem, because you need to feel aligned with reality. You need feel that you are in appropriate contact with the real world. Now your theory of what the real world is might be right or wrong. But so long as you are able to believe that you are in contact with the real world and are acting on that knowledge, your self-esteem benefits... Regardless, upsetting as it may be to orthodox Objectivists, I think you can show that in the short run and in [a coerced] environment, a person who has some overarching faith has a better chance of surviving. But I wouldnâ€™t explain that all away by saying ignorance is bliss. The point is to understand what function a belief system provides. Then you can understand why an imperfect one is sometimes beneficial"
I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.
Arthur C. Clarke
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.
Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Kierkegaard, SÃ¸ren Aabye
The ethic of reverence of life constrains all, in whatever walk of life they may find themselves, to busy themselves intimately with all the human and vital processes which are being played out around them, and to give themselves as men to the man who needs human help and sympathy. It does not allow the scholar to live for his science alone, even if he is very useful to the community in so doing. It does not permit the artist to exist only for his art, even if he gives inspiration to many by its means. It refuses to let the business man imagine that he fulfills all legitimate demands in the course of his business activities. It demands from all that they should sacrifice a portion of their own lives for others. In what way and in what measure this is his duty, this everyone must decide on the basis of the thoughts which arise in himself, and the circumstances which attend the course of his own life. The self-sacrifice of one may not be particularly in evidence. He carries it out simply by continuing his normal life. Another is called to some striking self-surrender which obliges him to set on one side all regard for his own progress. Let no one measure himself by his conclusions respecting someone else. The destiny of men has to fulfill itself in a thousand ways, so that goodness may be actualized. What every individual has to contribute remains his own secret. But we must all mutually share in the knowledge that our existence only attains its true value when we have experienced in ourselves the truth of the declaration: 'He who loses his life shall find it.'
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