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Thursday, June 09, 2005
On the Heights of Despair
I don’t have the needed mood to comment properly on this book right now…I guess I have to be pretty calm to do so! The main feeling I have about this book is that this negative approach regarding life, religion, love and everything ever seen on the face of Earth really troubled me. I needed to reply somehow, to prove nothing is true, but then again it is a point of view, a philosophical approach of a very disappointed person.

A lot of anger in almost every word of this book. A wonder what could trigger such an attitude. Disease, suffering? Maybe…But I think there must be something very wrong in a person’s soul to turn out so unable of having a good feeling about at least a minor detail of life.

“By taking the stairs of pain you do not ascend, you descend. They are not stairways to heaven, the are stairways to hell”(The translations is made by yours truly, so please bear with it) – true to some extent. But then again any way, any path can take you both ways, you can end up in heaven or in hell. It all depends on your attitude towards anything that might come your way. Pain, suffering, these are often more powerful than happiness and will take you closer to hell than any other human feeling. It all depends on your power to choose not to descend…

“Only those who never think about anything can be happy, those who think only what is needed for living their life” – I have to disagree again! The idea that knowledge is often a curse is not new. Truth hurts, but always less than a lie could. The need for knowledge can bring pain, but it doesn’t kill the ability to be happy. Being able of experiencing happiness in a world defined as cruel, unjust, miserable, is a test for the strength of your spirit.

In what disease is concerned, I really don’t understand how it can kill happiness. The longer the period of this disease is, the greater the joy when it’s finishes, even if the end of pain is a temporary state.

As far as the opinion on women goes, the question haunting me while reading the book was “Were you completely blind when you were around women???” This misogynic idea that women were only created to comfort men when they get tired of their deep, metaphysical, core of the universe quests, leaves me speechless. It seems so wrong I wouldn’t know where to start to prove this vision of less-than-human-female-object has nothing to do with reality.
posted by Alina @ 2:30 PM  
  • At 6/09/2005 7:08 PM, Blogger doshar said…

    i have not read the book kayla, and i dread to actually.

    from what i got from your post, it is written by someone who has despaired and given up already and wants everyone else to!!

    i actually feel sorry for him. how he can wake up every day i do not know

    from the description of the book, the author was only 23 when he wrote it? how could someone despair so early in life?

    i understand pain and anger, but you have to see the light at the end of the tunnel

    but to be fair, it is difficult to do so if one does not have faith.

    faith is what gets you out of anything

    like knowing that there is a light to the end of a tunnel, it makes you able to walk through it

    if you think it will be dark till the end, i guess you would just sit where you are and die.

    i think all faiths (i am not sure) have a promise of a reward for patience in troubled times. also gives hope that it will end oneday if one is patient.

    for someone who diesn't follow a faith, it is more difficult, but they can still look at the world around them and history. as there is disease there is also health, alot of people go through disease and get through, alot of dark tunnels had light at the end.

    if you are in a dark tunnel and you know that alot of people have gone through their tunnels and found the light, wouldn't that give you hope?

    as for the woman part, i don't know what to say. by the way, the Quran says that the reason all of mankind (men AND women) and Jinn were created was to worship God. God has created us in pairs to give comfort to each other, but our ROLE in life is to worship Him.

    a wife's role indeed includes comforting her husband when in despair, but the same goes for the husband!!

  • At 6/10/2005 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    doshar, it is actually very easy to judge an author by two citations, and easier to comment not having a deep view of his books. or even a rather vague idea of his writings.

    this is not to say that u cannot have an opinion on what Kayla has posted. far from me that though. but u have to bear in mind that Cioran is a philosopher, essayist and moralist. therefore it is somewhat unfair to affirm that you understand his views by reading two! of his thoughts. try to read aristotle and see with how much of it u agree. it's philosophy. it's relative.

    in many of his interviews and some of his diary notes he actually tried to explain that these were his thoughts, his ideas and explanations of some of his views, and that he was not pretending that he was right necessarily. or that he had the absolute version of reality.

    he is indeed known as being very pessimistic. he has written about suicide and yet he was humored about how come he talks so much about it, but he actually has not committed it.

    i don't think that he answered that.
    in his books he wrote about ordinary issues and aspects of life, and he once said that what matters are the ways you get to the ideas and how you present them, but not what you write about.

    and i am however digressing. it does not mean that i agree with all his views. i don't even know with which i do. but this is beside the point.

    and this Kayla: “ In what disease is concerned, I really don’t understand how it can kill happiness. The longer the period of this disease is, the greater the joy when it’s finishes, even if the end of pain is a temporary state.” i’m not sure how u came up with that idea.

    u say that u can not imagine how can a disease can kill happiness?! just to show how relative his idea is, and SO IS your answer.. oh, sure, just picture yourself a person that has AIDS. that will suffer greatly and incredibly and knows that the days are counted to the end, how does that kill the happiness right? right. try cancer.

    “the longer the period of disease, the greater the joy when it finishes? i’m not even going to try that one.

  • At 6/10/2005 10:31 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Doshar, I agree giving in to despair is not the bravest thing one can do. It takes a lot of determination to get over everything that is bad and faith is always helpful.

    Anonymous, maybe I didn't make myself clear...I can think of reasons for which a disease can kill all good feeling in someone's heart. But I don't understand why someone would allow it. All of us have been through bad periods in what health is concern. I know I had to be taken to the emergency room twice and the days that followed were really awful. But, when all that was over, I felt so full of life, so happy and wanting to do everything and anything.

    Yes, it becomes more severe when it is a disease you cannot fight. But why would you chose to live your last days, months, years having dark thoughts instead of making the best out of it?

    If death is a certainty, why should we let it take more than it already takes? If it kills us, why should it kill our ability to enjoy the little time we have? This was my issue, actually...

    Indeed, Cioran said there is no truth, there are only truths. Indeed it is philosophy; the book presets his views on things which are not necessarily accurate or relevant. But still, that doesn't mean you cannot have an opinion on them...

    Moreover, Doshar can choose not to read the book after reading the two quotes, it is her subjective choice. I practically refused to read his books for years for one quote only: "Women are lovable nullities"...It's also from this book.

  • At 6/10/2005 10:32 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Anonymous, why don't you leave a name? It's not necessary to be yours, but calling you "Anonymous" sounds really weird! :)

  • At 6/10/2005 5:41 PM, Blogger doshar said…

    Dear Kayla and anonymous, you were just talking about disease and how it can be really hard to be optimistic especially with things like aids or cancer, well, I was just watching a programme on tv that I thought I would tell you about

    There is this girl called Reham, she is 25 yrs old, a pharmacist and teacher from a very wealthy family with her whole life ahead of her, a while ago she discovered she had a rare type of cancer in the bone that has no cure. She traveled everywhere , esp to the states and france, where the doctors frankly told her that she was dying, maybe some therapy would extend your life for 2 months, but that is it

    Anyway, it was amazing watching her so calm on tv. She was very optimistic and not angry at all. She said, we are all going to die, I will die when my time comes. This disease is from God and like I never objected when he gave me all the pretty and good things in life, I will not object to this. This is a test of my patience and content. She said it is easier to be patient (because you have no choice) than being content and not angry. She says, I am fine, I have faith in God, God is able to cure me. Whatever the doctors says. Sometimes when I am in pain I pray to God to ease the pain and I feel as if a numb feeling passes through my body and the pain goes away.

    She says, to all the people who are sick out there, don’t stop living, go ahead and go on. If you ‘re engaged get married, have kids . go to work. Never lose hope. And the only thing she wants from people who had seen her on the show is to pray for her and be religious. She says she thanks God that her father never was in a position where there was something needed for her and he couldn’t afford it.

    She says yes sometimes I cry, I am human after all, but overall I am content and loving God. The interviewer was crying, but she was not. She seems very strong, God help her always.

  • At 6/10/2005 5:49 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Very touching story, Doshar! That's just my point: life ends when you die, not when you find out that you're going to die! Because you really find that out when your a kid. What would happen if we all became desparate in that very moment?

  • At 6/10/2005 5:49 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Sorry, desperate...:))

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Name: Alina
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About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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