What if there is more going on within us than we realize? The philosopher Kierkegaard once asked, “What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding, what if laughter were really tears?”
In The Stranger, philosopher Albert Camus wrote,
Do you feel “something stronger” pushing back against the world?
In his classic War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy explained that pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy. It seems our emotions are often more intertwined and complex than we understand. But, what if the distance from hate to love or chaos to calm is shorter than we think?
Can one simply decide to choose love, joy, or calm…?
In the final chapter of The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus compares the absurdity of man’s life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat the same meaningless task of forever pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.
Although Camus insists one must imagine Sisyphus as happy,
It is easy to forget the agency we have to push back against life. As the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus put it, “If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” We can find meaning in the face of the absurd, choose love over hate, and find calm in the chaos of life. It simply comes down to choices.
To quote Camus a final time,
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