Cruel Games—Anhedonia*

Entering the final stretch of a meaningless search

“No considerate God would destroy the human mind by making it so rigid and unadaptable as to depend upon one book, a Bible or a Quran for all the answers. For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency”—Alan Watts

“Today or tomorrow sickness and death will come (they had come already) to those I love or to me; nothing will remain but stench and worms. Sooner or later my affairs, whatever they may be, will be forgotten, and I shall not exist. Then why go on making any effort? . . . How can man fail to see this? And how go on living? That is what is surprising! One can only live while one is intoxicated with life; as soon as one is sober it is impossible not to see that it is all a mere fraud and a stupid fraud! That is precisely what it is: there is nothing either amusing or witty about it, it is simply cruel and stupid.

Had I simply understood earlier that life had no meaning I could have borne it quietly, knowing that that was my lot. But I could not satisfy myself with that. Had I been like a man living in a wood from which he knows there is no exit, I could have lived; but I was like one lost in a wood who, horrified at having lost his way, rushes about wishing to find the road. He knows that each step he takes confuses him more and more, but still he cannot help rushing about. It was indeed terrible. And to rid myself of the terror I wished to kill myself”—Leo Tolstoy

The cruelest of games is being taught to pretend were not pretending”—Unknown

Our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego, yet the whole of experience is one process.

For humanity to continue chasing in circles, generation by twisted generation to find meaning, yet in the end all dead and buried with a divisive belief that he was more, and failed to love—and to live in fear and denial of nature.

Anhedonia: without pleasure, inability to enjoy what pleased you. Often developed on the realization religious life is a fraud