Monday, July 25, 2011

"The Schopenhauer Cure" by Irvin Yalom

Kindle edition and Paperback.
  • "Live your life to the fullest; and then, and only then, die. Don't leave any unlived life behind."
  • "he knew exactly what to do and how to spend his final year. He would live just the way he had lived the previous year - and the year before that and before that. (He loved being a therapist; he loved connecting to others and helping to bring something to life in them.)"
  •  "A curious thought experiment. . . Nietzsche's message to us was to live life in such a way that we would be willing to repeat the same life eternally."

  • "As soon as we are born we begin to die."
  • "no part of us escapes the destiny of aging"
  • "Death had come to stay, it never again left his side, and all the horrors that followed were predictable postscripts."
  • "His reputation? The no-bullshit doctor's doctor."
  • "Strong and sincere eyes. Eyes that could be trusted, eyes that could hold anyone's gaze."
  • "How startling it was to realize that suddenly the was no longer the supreme life form. Instead, he was a host; he was nourishment, food for a fitter organism whose gobbling cells divided at a dizzying pace..."
  • "So death, he thought, has finally made its appearance on stage. But what a banal entrance"
  • "a stack of unread novels unaware that their time would now never come. A whimpering, disappointing finale."
  • "a flood for compassion for her and for all his fellow humans who are victims of that freakish twist of evolution that grants self-awareness but not the requisite psychological equipment to deal with the pain of transient existence."
  • "through the years, the centuries, the millennia, we have relentlessly constructed makeshift denials of finiteness. Would we, would any of us, ever be done with our search for a higher power with whom we can merge and exist forever..."
  • "He had always despised the tools by which religions strip their followers of reason and freedom: the ceremonial robes, incense, holy books. . . the paraphernalia of the most powerful and longest-running con game in history, a game which empowered the leaders and satisfied the congregation's lust for submission."
  • "his vehemence has lost its bite"
  • "Nothing wrong with honoring the death . . .  not the dead, but honoring the life of the one who died."
  • "the silence felt sacred"
  • "If anything is to be honored and blessed, it should simply be this - the priceless gift of sheer existence. To live in despair because life is finite or because life has no higher purpose or embedded design is crass ingratitude. To dream up an omniscient creator and devote our life to endless genuflection seems pointless. And wasteful, too: why squander all that love on a phantasm when there seems too little love to go around on Earth as it is?"
  • "Better to embrace Spinoza's and Einstein's solution: simply bow one's head, tip one's hat to the elegant laws and mystery of nature, and go about the business of living."
  • "he had always known of finiteness and the evanescence of consciousness. But there is knowing and knowing. And death's presence on the stage brought him closer to really knowing. It was not that he had grown wiser: it was only that the removal of distractions - ambition, sexual passion, money, prestige, applause, popularity - offered a purer vision."
  • "he preferred the path of the Greeks: everything in moderation. Too much of life's show is missed if we never take off our coats and join in the fun. Why rush to the exit door before closing time?"
  • "One thing he resolved was not to make that one good year a bad year by grieving that it was not more than a year."
  • "This Spake Zarathustra was a brave book which more than any other, Julius thought, teaches how to revere and celebrate life. . . . "To change 'it was' into 'thus I willed it' - that alone shall I call redemption."'"
  • "Consummate your life." "Die at the right time."
  • "the imp of doubt continued to make its presence known"
  • "Philip Slate was so alienated from himself that he never thought to look within, preferring to skate on the surface of life and devote all his vital energy to fornication."
  • "Maybe he was a late bloomer - one of those patients who needed time to digest the nourishment given by the therapist, one of those who stored up some of the therapist's good stuff, took it home, like a bone, to gnaw on later, in private."
  •  . . . to be continued.

1 comment:

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