They commit suicide because they have no dignity, no self-respect, no pleasure, no honor, no value. They are checkmated in humiliation, without the minimal elements of a satisfactory existence. Camus is saying, by inference, that the things that make our life worth living are in our own hands. Forget about God.
What people need is not an abstract benediction but concrete means to live with dignity and self-respect. Unlike most philosophical insights, which slip from our grasp even as we grip to hold on, the Camus observation sticks. What Camus did was give us a language to express what our experience in life had already prepared us to accept; he gave coherence to those inchoate ideas and unspoken assumptions that were roiling deep and unspoken in our minds.
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This is not to devalue the brilliance of Camus. He made connections we could never make.
He wrote with an audacity that moved us. It made Camus famous, however, for his delineation of the absurd. He, more than anyone else, brought the concept into the consciousness of the world. Camus was branded by the absurd. Camus pried open the doors of perception: we began to see more clearly the nature of our own curiosity, how we are driven instinctively to expand the limits of our knowledge, to search avidly for a wider and wider grasp of the world, as if there were an absolute truth lurking somewhere, probably in a book, waiting to be discovered.
Camus legitimizes us. We may wince to acknowledge that we are not endowed with the capacity to find an ultimate answer, that certain things are beyond our reach, but we are also reassured that our experience is universal, not a cause for despair: Quite the reverse, it is fruitful and full of passion.
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We discover that being loyal to the truth means being loyal to oneself, and being loyal to oneself, the ultimate consolation in life, gives rise to an unspoken sense of pride and dignity—a hard-won self-esteem that comes unbidden from taking the more rigorous but truer path. By refusing to turn away from the absurd we are able, by a mere act of consciousness, to transmogrify the question of death into an inspiration to live. But it is still an observation.
We prick up our ears when Camus declares in Sisyphus that the absurd is not a conclusion but a point of departure. A prescription to what? To revolt, to rebel.
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Just as the absurd calls upon us to face the truth, the truth calls upon us to rebel. Camus insists in The Rebel that revolt is the only coherent philosophical position in the face of a pitiless absurdity. It gains impetus in the struggle. The Rebel , which elaborates this theme of revolt, was his second most influential book-length essay, first published in France in , six years before he received the Nobel Prize.
In Sisyphus he gave us a worldview; in The Rebel he reveals a philosophy of politics. For many of us this idea was a discovery. Rebellion is not a negation but a positive assertion. It is a positive assertion for life, for human dignity, for respect, for justice. But rebellion, Camus writes, is not revolution. Rebellion brings to light limits, moderation, mesure. Rebellion is at odds with the excess of revolution. Revolution treats people as a means to an end; rebellion treats people as an end in itself.
Revolution is top-down; rebellion is bottom-up. The method is a classic beauty and a lovely combination of extraordinary elegance, elementary ease and powerful impact. It is made possible with the use of a single small gimmick which is of the size 3. From the preface byMarc Paul What you are about to read is a great step forwards in direct mindreading with nothing written down…..
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