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Schopenhauer, Arthur - The World as Will and Idea - Reducing desires



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The World as Will and Idea – Arthur Schopenhauer

 As soon as any single relation to our will, to our person, even of the objects of our pure contemplation, enters consciousness, the magic is at an end; we relapse into knowledge [memory] which is governed by the principal of sufficient reason [learning].  We no longer know the Idea, but the particular thing, the link in the chain to which we also belong, and we are again abandoned to all our woe.

 Most people’s knowledge remains subject to the will; they seek, therefore, in objects, only some relation to their will, and whenever they see anything that has no relation, there sounds within them, like a ground bass in music, the constant inconsolable cry ‘It is of no use to me’; thus in solitude the most beautiful surroundings have for them a desolation, dark, strange and hostile appearance.

 ..We can deliver ourselves from all suffering just as well through present objects as through distant ones as soon as we raise ourselves to a purely objective contemplation of them, and so are able to bring about the illusion that only the objects are present and not we ourselves

The source of the experience

Schopenhauer, Arthur

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