Delusions of Well-Being

According to the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran a person would be better off not to have been born. He determined suffering is the rule in life and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. All actions, he says, are or will be cause for regret.

The notion of well-being for Emil is an illusion that many people will harbor off and on during their lives but will in the end be unable to sustain. Apparently Emil thinks it would be better to be, now, where he was before he was born-which is where he must be since he died in 1995.

I guess Emil spent most of his life under a dark cloud; his mother told him at one time, had she known he was going to be so unhappy she would have aborted him. The notion of the accidental nature of his existence seems to have been somewhat of a lift, leading him to the idea that, potentially, suicide is always a possibility.

Emil’s lack of empathy for his fellow man led him to embrace the totalitarian politics of World War II Europe; no doubt he has to be seen as the quintessential misanthrope. Still, he had good friends, companionship and wrote quite beautifully in a lyrical style. He was an artist, really.

It makes me wonder if there wasn’t a certain Stoic resignation in Emil’s behavior; perhaps writing all those negatives provided the opportunity to not have to think about them so much.


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