We enter this world, frigid and crying. For the vast majority, indeed for each and every single man who does not count himself among the great ranks of philosophers, life degenerates or, at best, plateaus from that very humble beginning.
Our humanity, our very success as individual living creatures can be judged, with relative ease, as the natural and personal conclusion to the question of ‘how do we deal with our humanity?’. The weak man attempts to defy the simple truth — a truth to which even the very stars testify — that just as we began from nothingness, to nothingness will shall all eventually return. In times past, achieving immortality through the construct of ones peers be it ballad or bust or play or verse, was the order of the day. In times present, the new more fanciful paradigm of theology is equally simplistic and quixotic as models past.
Many is the man who concocts or conjures or, far more likely, adopts a transient delusion of happiness to muffle the cries and dull the cold. These men are many in number because to delude oneself that respite from cold is simply a lifetime away, or to forget about the cold but for a while is easier than the basic sustaining function of respiration. But blessed is the man who upon seeing the world around him, understands the uncertainties and complexities of life.
Blessed is he, and for he happiness is owned who, by no act of self delusion or conviction of an uncertain promise of a quieter and warmer life to come, finds respite from his woes and the turmoil of this life by means in and of themselves.
The weak man uses distraction either by sport or company, by art or science or by prayer or drug to convince himself that the cold shall end and the cries shall pass or to otherwise forget of their presence. This man, that master of doublethink, may indeed take a fleeting moment of bravery and plunge into self-contemplation only to curtail this endeavour should he accidentally stray too deep.
The blessed man and the philosopher, who, being one and the same, more properly could be titled ‘the warrior of life’, conversely braves the cries, the slings and arrows of life, without the rosy-coloured lens of delusion, or a soul-searching that neither scratches new depths or pursues ideas to their natural conclusion. Rather, the warrior of life finds a contemporary joy unsullied by illusion, between the cries.