Monday, March 23, 2009

Existentialism*

One of my favorite things that I have written in my journal is a quote from the book 'Another Roadside Attraction' by Tom Robbins. (It is in my oldest journal. Judging from the ink, writing and time I remember reading this book, I would say I was about 18 or 19 years old.)
"Happiness is a learned condition. And since it is learned and self generating, it does not depend upon external circumstances for it's perpetuation."
I have always considered myself an existentialist, for no other reason than the absolute inability to see things from any other perspective but my own. I believe that happiness IS learned and self generating but what to do with those pesky external circumstances that come along to muck up your inner bliss? Our country has very specific laws in place to prevent us from eliminating these inner peace invaders and I have never been good at meditation, despite having carried around my little copy of The Pocket Dalai Lama.

*ex·is·ten·tial·ism
n. A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

My other favorite quote from the same book:
"Amanda became pregnant during a fierce thunderstorm. 'Was it the lightning or the lover?' she was sometimes heard to muse. When her son was born with electrical eyes, people no longer thought her foolish."

1 comment:

edwardnbella said...

Love the subject! Very good post. I relate to that quote and have found it, at times, hard to keep the happiness inside especially when the external circumstances (EC) eat away at your internal happiness. Think of your happiness as a shield, gold preferably. Every time an EC tries to get at your happiness, beef up the shield, make it GLOW, baby!, and all unhappiness and negativity will bounce off of you. It takes a while, but it works! I usually beef up my shield before going into Wal Mart! Keeps me from beating the white trash moms who yell at their kids. However, I sometimes do or try to see things from other's point of view and that alone can make one pause and ponder at the why's and WTF were they thinking: That is best left to a psychologist, I can barely wrap my mind around my own problems. I think I'm getting off the subject here. I'll sign out with one of my favorite quotes: "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." ~Eleanor Roosevelt ... same goes for unhappiness, I think.