As a philosopher, the existentialist is supposed to make some sense out of the absurdity of existence, and to relate it to Being. Unlike the scientist, the philosopher can take nothing for granted, which is what Valéry meant by stating that science consists in pretending that you know what you do not know, and philosophy in pretending that you do not know what you know. The first statement may or may not apply to modern science, but it is a fact that one of the most arduous tasks facing the traditional philosopher is to prove the reality of his existence and of the world around him or, to use his own expression, ‘to get out of solipsism.’ This is not as easy as it seems. Among the arguments which Greek philosophy delighted in working out from close analysis of movement, multiplicity, and time, to prove that existence is an illusion, the well-know Heraclitean paradox concerning time will suffice for our purpose: the past is no more, the future is not yet, and present, closely considered, immediately splits between past and future, which proves that we really are not at any time. Montaigne, who developed this argument among others during his skeptic mood, concluded that God alone Is, outside of time, space, and change. Such reasoning, on a purely philosophical plane, leads to the distinction between Existence, which really Is Not, and Being, which Does Not Exist, since it is outside of space, time and change.
Jacques L. Salvan, The Scandalous Ghost: Sartre’s Existentialism as Related to Vitalism, Humanism, Mysticism, Marxism (via heteroglossia)
Friedrich Nietzsche (via nminusone)
Pain is also joy, a curse is also a blessing, the night is also a sun – be gone, or you will learn: a wise man is also a fool. Did you ever say Yes to one joy? Oh my friends, then you said Yes to all woe as well. All things are chained and entwined together, all things are in love; if you ever wanted one moment twice, if you ever said: ‘You please me, happiness, instant, moment!’ then you wanted everything to return! You wanted everything anew, everything eternal, everything chained, entwined together, everything in love, O that is how you loved the world, you everlasting men, loved it eternally and for all time: and you say even to woe: ‘Go, but return!’ For all joy wants eternity! All joy wants eternity of all things, wants honey, wants dregs, wants intoxicated midnight, wants graves, wants the consolation of graveside tears, wants gilded sunset. What does joy not want! It is thirstier, warmer, hungrier, more fearful, more secret than all woe, it wants itself; it bites into itself, the will of the ring wrestles within…joy wants the eternity of all things, wants deep, deep, deep, eternity!” (Nietzsche 332).
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (via nminusone)
Rainer Maria Rilke, from “Wendung” (Turning-Point)
(as translated by Stephen Mitchell)
Waiting for Godot — Act 1 by Samuel Beckett
The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.
Heraclitus (via mystery-zone)
Mark Twain (via thelittlephilosopher)