2 Answers

  1. You can leave the floor to Schopenhauer himself:

    “Suicide is a completely fruitless and insane act.”

    “Against suicide, one might say: a person must put himself above life, he must learn that all its phenomena and incidents, joys and pains, do not concern his better and inner self, that, therefore, life as a whole is a game, a tournament-a disgrace, and not a serious struggle; that therefore he must not interfere with seriousness, but he can manifest it in two ways: first, by means of vice, which is nothing does he take the game seriously; secondly, by suicide, by which he shows that he does not understand the joke, but accepts it as something serious, and therefore, as a mauvais joueur, does not bear the loss indifferently, but if he is dealt bad cards in the game, grumblingly and impatiently does not want to play any further, throws the cards and breaks the game.”

    For Schopenhauer, everything is a manifestation of the Universal Will.

    Suicide is the elimination of a single manifestation of this will, it does not affect the principle itself in any way, but only confirms it by being excessively serious about it.

    A suicidal person is a person who, instead of renouncing the will, destroys the phenomenon of this will: he has ceased not the will to live, but only life. <…>

    The will to live manifests itself to the same extent in the desire for death, the expression of which is suicide, <…> and this act is supported by the inner conviction that the will to live can never lack its manifestations and that, despite the death of the individual committing suicide, it lives in an innumerable number of other individuals.

    A person who has learned to curb the will to live turns it into himself and becomes free. The suicide deprives himself of the possibility of achieving this freedom, which, according to Schopenhauer, is the highest good.

    As for Montaigne, I must confess that I am not at all sure that he considered life miserable, and I do not remember from what fragments this conclusion can be drawn.

    He was a rich wine-maker from Bordeaux, who was distinguished by a fairly strong health and was convinced that man exists in order to be happy.

    I don't know the text of the Experiments very well, so I'll just refer to J. R. R. Tolkien. McGurk: “His ideal is a lover of life, convinced that pleasure is permissible, the body is important, and happiness is good.” Montaigne is said to have taught France the love of life, and now literally thousands and thousands of psychotherapists teach clients to love life according to the Montaigne method: do not interfere with enjoying simple “natural pleasures”, give yourself up completely to pleasant moments (“When I dance , I dance, when I sleep , I sleep”), be able to prolong them in memory, etc.

    “I didn't do anything today!

    How? Didn't you live? Just living is not only the most important thing, but also the most wonderful thing you do.

    “It is not necessary to win battles and conquer lands, but to restore order and establish peace in ordinary life circumstances.”

    This “easy” or even “reverse epicureanism,” as it is sometimes called, is the exact opposite of Schopenhauer's ascetic ideal.

  2. One of Schopenhauer's theses was that those who are overly optimistic are doomed to constant disappointment precisely because life itself is not fair and not ideal at all. His critique of unjustified optimism partly echoes the ideas of the modern critique of “positive thinking” in psychology.

    Schopenhauer also believed that it was necessary to develop a different model of perception of the world, not based on false, unfounded optimism and hope. He was sure that some pessimism and developing the skill of abstract perception of life (as if you were a spectator in a theater) is the way to peace of mind.

    The possibility of a comprehensive review of life as a whole, which, thanks to reason, constitutes the advantage of man over animals, can also be compared with a geometric, unpainted, abstract, reduced sketch of his life path. < … > And it is remarkable, even amazing, how a person, next to his life in concreto, always leads another life-in abstracto. In the first, he is left to the mercy of all the storms of reality and the influence of the present; he is doomed to search, suffer, and die, just like the animal. But his life in abstracto, as it is presented to his rational consciousness, is a quiet reflection of the first and the world in which he lives, it is the abridged sketch I have mentioned. Here, in the realm of calm reflection, it seems to him cold, colorless, and alien to the present moment that which there completely possesses him and strongly excites him: here he is only a spectator and observer. <…> From this double life follows that human calmness so different from animal senselessness, with which, after a preliminary reflection, once people have made up their minds or recognized the necessity, they calmly endure or commit the most important things, often the most terrible for themselves…

    I would venture to suggest that this attitude promotes a calmer, more balanced attitude to life, which means, among other things, less stress; and less stress is one of the factors for a longer and healthier life.

    However, Schopenhauer himself associated his health and longevity with regular walks and a sufficient amount of sleep. It's hard to argue with this recipe.

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