russell higgs

12 Jul 2008 1,261 views
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"One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

saturday 12072008

comments (7)

  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 13 Jul 2008, 03:09
Yes...unthinkable that he would be eternally engaged in something he didn't like doing, and so out-of-character.

But, wait!...Isn't that smile painted on?
russell higgs: Good Morning Ray.

Simulated Happiness.

Synthetic Happiness.

is "CHOOSING" to be Happy just as "real and genuine" as simply "BEING" Happy?

Here is a video talk from Dan Gilbert.....

As for Camus' important useful thoughts regarding Sisyphus: "this universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

"The present and the succession of presents before an ever conscious mind, this is the ideal of the absurd man."

Camus is responding constructively to questions such as, "Is life worth living now that god is dead?"

Sisyphus' life and torment are TRANSFORMED into a victory by concentrating on his freedom, his refusal to hope, and his knowledge of the absurdity of his situation etc etc.

And my smile is Painted on, yes. I believe in Living As Art.
video: Jon Kabat-Zinn leads a session on Mindfulness....

The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society
russell higgs: sadly the Krishnamurti mp3s are temporarily unavailable....

but here is the text of one of my favourites: "NEW YORK 6TH PUBLIC TALK 7TH OCTOBER 1966"

and here he is on YouTube, though I haven't watched any of these yet...
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 13 Jul 2008, 07:18
Hi Russell
Camus, I think, was masochistic and derived pleasure from his own discomfort...he extrapolated that into a universal "virtue".

A few years back there was a Pop song advocating a similar philosophy of Life..."Don't worry...Be Happy".

Is it virtuous, I wonder, for the set-upon folks of Darfur to adopt this "Happy with what I've got" philosophy, or can we empathise with those who are still alive and yearn for a life that is a little less painful?

I think it is fine for those who think it is fine to be as they are even if that is knee-deep in excrement; I also think it is fine for those who are knee-deep in brown stuff to yearn to be out of it.

[BTW...I still check your portraits most days, and still derive pleasure from them...I think you use your head very effectively as a canvas for your art.]
russell higgs: I believe it is vitally important for us all to acquire a resource of constructive useful ideas and tools that will assist us as individuals in what ever Present Moment we are in.

There is only the Present Moment. And there is each of us, with our minds, capable of making heaven out of hell or hell out of heaven.

Camus concludes that there are better options than suicide. That is an important conclusion for us as Human Beings.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 13 Jul 2008, 07:21
Oh yes...and Sisyphus was spending his life pushing big rocks up a hill only because a more powerful entity forced him to do it...if he had a choice I think he might have chosen to do other stuff.
russell higgs: Everybody has to make choices all the time. In the Sisyphus myth he made choices earlier in his life, and as with all choices there are consequences. The consequences of the choices he made earlier in his life resulted in his endlessly Futile Rock Pushing situation.

Now he must choose how to experience this absurd reality that he finds himself in.
extract from Voluntary Resistance By Carl Watner.


All power ultimately derives from consent, whether it be willingly given or based on reluctant compliance or that derived from strict enforcement of governmental law. This can be summed up by saying "that all rule is permitted by the ruled."

Systemic revolution grows out of the disintegration of consent and not violence.

Nothing permanent was ever solved by violence.

Public buildings may be destroyed, public officials murdered, but such efforts will never bring about the destruction of the idea of the State. The State is a state of mind, an idea which cannot be harmed by violence.


Voluntaryist Resistance is essentially a control over power rather than a form of power; "a technique that is limited to limiting and destroying power"; not a new group of people coming into power.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 13 Jul 2008, 09:32
You say "Camus concludes that there are better options than suicide. That is an important conclusion for us as Human Beings."

I feel Camus' conclusion is important to Camus, and useful for some others.

However, suicide might well be seen as the best option for some self-determining is not for others to decide for them what the best options are.

You say "There is only the Present Moment."

I believe there are also a great many Past Moments and a great many Future Moments. So far as I know, we can't do any decision making about Past Moments, although we can analyse them any make use of our analysis in Present Moment decision-making. I believe we can also influence Future Moment decision-opportunities by intelligent decision-making in the Present Moment.
russell higgs: The important context of Camus' question regarding suicide is with regard to humanity's futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? And Camus answers: NO.

Camus arrives at three consequences from the full acceptance of the absurd: Revolt, Freedom, and Passion.

Camus' constructive conclusion is of vital usefulness to all contemporary Humanity, because we are too often painted as being irreversibly headed towards our own Self Destruction via Self Fulfilling Armageddon Prophecies etc.

As far as the topic of the Past and the Future goes, the past and future can only ever exist as fictions in our minds. Fictions and memories are all very interesting etc, but the Present Moment is all that actually exists and it surely makes a lot of sense for us to be primarily focused on that.

Mindfulness is a useful practice for increasing our ability to BE here in the Present Moment, rather than habitually escaping into what are only stories that we repeatedly tell ourselves about the past and the future.

Here is the text of one of my favourite talks on the subject by Krishnamurti: "NEW YORK 6TH PUBLIC TALK 7TH OCTOBER 1966"
"The present and the succession of presents before an ever conscious mind, this is the ideal of the absurd man."
russell higgs: I have a Story to tell you. It has many beginnings.

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