Modern capitalism has to make life seem more worth living than it actually is. It has to keep increasing the decimal places of your attention span, so that you keep delving further and further into minute triviality.
Social life is basically the same. People make a lot of noise and fuss, which distracts you into thinking it's worthwhile.
They do this because they themselves have to believe their own hype. If they didn't, they would be depressive realists (i.e. true philosophers).
One of the reasons we moderns have an obsession with cute little animals is this: Animals, helplessly in the grip of the will-to-life, are role models in that they still have the motivation to act wildly and playfully despite there being absolutely no purpose to their joviality.
I want to try and express a Platonic Idea which, although it sounds weird, has strong intuitive force for me.
Firstly, life is the left-behind—the rejected outsider—of thermodynamic decay. It is left behind in the cold as others pushed toward the hot centre (as described below).
As an outsider, it was aloof and lost. It found a certain happiness in being aloof, but at the end of the day, it still felt like thermodynamic decay. It wanted to join in on the hot decadent freedom, but it's slower and more gentle nature cringed when it tried.
Thus it was stuck in a strange contradiction. On the one hand, it wanted to decay, but on the other hand, it felt diminished by the decay. In neither case could it find happiness.
In the midst of its exclusion, it builds up a worldview which accounts for its predicament.
The wise person can sympathise with this, because he felt this same way when he was in his teenage years. The difference between him and the common person is that he actually tried to build a picture of the world which didn't put him at the centre, and thus got past the delusion.
It's amazing at first to realise just how similar the human experience is. The most wildly varying people experience basically the same thing.
A black stripper's tweet went viral the other day. It was a truly relatable Contempus mundi rant, despite her radically different life.
Imagine you are walking a cliff edge, and then you look down.
The mere fact that falling down the prescribed kinetic route seems so eminently possible is actually what draws you into falling. This is also why the thought of failure (e.g. during a speech) inclines you toward it.
The route which intuitively seems most possible is the route which you *tend* toward.
The difference between the tendency to fall off a cliff and the tendency to be immoral is that the former has an obvious dead-end, whereas the latter doesn't obviously pose a dead-end.
...All cells are electrically charged, i.e. have ionic imbalance; it's just that nerve cells have a more expansive and ordered domain.)
Because of this excess of sensibility (i.e. nerves), we are axiomatically inclined to check for problems even when they aren't near.
Alcohol and opiates appeal to humans because they depress the central nervous system, and bring you to the present moment. A high enough dose will reduce you to mere vegetative function, and maybe even less than that.
Being in the present eliminates desire, and is thus pleasant.
If, instead of that, you had built up potential without view to a kinetic outcome, you would not notice either way.
What makes you feel shame is not the build-up of potential, but the fact that you were *looking for the kinetic outcome*.
You feel ashamed of your lack of naivety. The fact that you checked afterwards makes you feel enslaved. If someone caught you looking, you would be embarrassed that you demonstrate that you care too much about what others think.
One of the main barriers to ideal behaviour is a touch of embarrassment.
As will-to-life, one of your main priorities is securing a position in the animal kingdom. When you start talking about God, or when your ethical output seems excessive, you come off strange and irrelevant.
a) The problem today isn't that the masses don't have enough bread and healthcare. The average person today behaviourally resembles an Oriental despot in their manner of consumption and attitude toward life. Punishment is required.