pessimism to optimism.
July 5, 2009 3 Comments
“When I look at the world I am a pessimist, when I look at people I am an optimist“. –Carl Rogers.
If one is to try to comprehend large structured ideas such as “The Universe”, “The World” or “Life“, without buying into organized religion, one may find these structures as meaningless, incomprehensible , or absurd.
Many see Existentialism, Atheism, Zen or the works of early post modern philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Heidegger as intellectually Pessimistic.
This is true for most people who follow these philosophic view points at first.
The first stage of “freedom”, according to Camus, is to accept the absurdity in ones thinking … especially when one tries to grasp these large structures (universe, the meaning of all life).
Whether compared with faith or reason …life is best learned in small details by living our human lives…. analyzing the small details our human contact with other people or environment.
“Life is not a problem to be solved,[…] but a lesson to be experience.” — Soren Kierkegaard
I don’t believe that I have ever needed to dismiss science , technology , economics or studies subjects such as history and politics, philosophy and theology, because these things feed my strong sense of curiosity and wonder. And they are fun to investigate and talk about with others :).
However for my own personal health and wellness and personal philosophies I have explored the Humanistic psychology and human potential movements.
With the aid of Gestalt therapy, I’ve learned to replace self judging and over- analyzing with healthier self regulation.
“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself“.. Albert Camus.
Self regulation is process that requires “contact” and “metabolism“… Its contact with environment and other people and analyzing in small bits what is healthy and unhealthy or meaningful or not meaningful for me to take in
the whole of me. I have been learning to “take life with a grain of salt“.
” A person asked God one day: the world is such a painful and scary place. Lots of bad things happen. I am so small, What can can I do about it?
and God said “Just build a better you.” — anonymous.
When I look at the world at once or the universe sometimes, It seem like a really fucked up meaningless place. When I am contact with other people, see our resolve and potential in small places my optimism returns.
The goal of Existentialism and Zen, often explored by people who feel alienated, or lonely… think they are outsiders or intellectuals… is to learn to enjoy the smaller details of living, and to be more social.
When I look at the world I am a pessimist, when I look at people I am an optimist.