Abraham Maslow said that the fully realized person transcends his local group and identifies with the species. But the election of Ronald Reagan might've been the beginning of my giving up on my species. Because it was absurd. To this day it remains absurd. More than absurd, it was frightening: it represented the rise to supremacy of darkness, the ascendancy of ignorance.
In the twentieth century nothing can better cure the anthropocentrism that is the author of all our ills than to cast ourselves into the physics of the infinitely large (or the infinitely small). By reading any text of popular science we quickly regain the sense of the absurd, but this time it is a sentiment that can be held in our hands, born of tangible, demonstrable, almost consoling things. We no longer believe because it is absurd: it is absurd because we must believe.
We live in a time which has created the art of the absurd. It is our art. It contains happenings, Pop art, camp, a theater of the absurd. . . . Do we have the art because the absurd is the patina of waste? . . . Or are we face to face with a desperate or most rational effort from the deepest resources of the unconscious of us all to rescue civilization from the pit and plague of its bedding?
Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. It would be a mistake to say that happiness necessarily springs from the absurd. Discovery. It happens as well that the felling of the absurd springs from happiness. "I conclude that all is well," says Edipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into it with dissatisfaction and a preference for futile suffering. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.
Nearly everything possible had been done to spoil the game: the heavy financial interest; the absurd transfer and player-selling system; the lack of any birth or residential qualifications; the absurd publicity given to every feature of it by the press; the monstrous partisanships of the crowds.
J. B. Priestley
My joy is that there is no such world at all, but that the substance of life is in everyone! There is no reason to be troubled because we are absurd, is there? For we really are: we are absurd, frivolous, we have bad habits, we're bored, we don't know how to look around ourselves, we don't know how to understand, we are all like this, all of us, you, and I, and everyone! And you aren't offended by my telling you straight to your faces that you are absurd? There is the basic stuff of life in your, isn't there? You know, I believe it's sometimes even good to be ridiculous. Yes, much better. People forgive each other more readily and become more humble, we can't understand everything at once, we can't begin with perfection! To reach perfection there must first be much we do not understand. And if we understand too quickly we will probably not understand very well. I tell this to you who have been able to understand so much and - do not understand.' p. 577
Albert Camus, a great humanist and existentialist voice, pointed out that to commit to a just cause with no hope of success is absurd. But then, he also noted that not committing to a just cause is equally absurd. But only one choice offers the possibility for dignity. And dignity matters. Dignity matters.
[The huge success of Curse of the Black Pearl] made perfect sense to me on the one hand, and at the same time, it made no sense at all, which I kind of enjoyed. Even now, with the dolls and the cereal boxes and snacks and fruit juices, it all just feels fun to me, in a Warholian way. It's absurd. It doesn't get more absurd.
God has told us Latter-day Saints that we shall be condemned if we do not enter into that principle of polygamy; and yet I have heard now and then (I am very glad to say that only a low such instances have come under my notice) a brother or a sister say, 'I am a Latter-day Saint, but I do not believe in polygamy.' Oh, what an absurd expression! What an absurd idea! A person might as well say, 'I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I do not believe in him.'
How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason.
If you say that this is absurd, that we cannot be in love with everyone at once, I merely point out to you that, as a matter of fact, certain persons do exist with an enormous capacity for friendship and for taking delight in other people's lives; and that such person know more of truth than if their hearts were not so big. The vice of ordinary Jack and Jill affection is not its intensity, but its exclusions and its jealousies. Leave those out, and you see that the ideal I am holding up before you, however impracticable to-day, yet contains nothing intrinsically absurd.
You need not search for uniqueness, you are unique already. There is no way to make a thing more unique. The words 'more unique' are absurd. It is just like the word 'circle.' Circles exist; there is no such thing as 'more circular.' That is absurd. A circle is always perfect, 'more' is not needed.
In the whole of your absurd past you discover so much that's absurd, so much deceit and credulity, that it might be a good idea to stop being young this minute, to wait for youth to break away from you and pass you by, to watch it going away, receding in the distance, to see all its vanity, run your hand through the empty space it has left behind, take a last look at it, and then start moving, make sure your youth has really gone, and then calmly, all by yourself, cross to the other side of Time to see what people and things really look like.
Now I can broach the notion of suicide. It has already been felt what solution might be given. At this point the problem is reversed. It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning. Living an experience, a particular fate, is accepting it fully. Now, no one will live this fate, knowing it to be absurd, unless he does everything to keep before him that absurd brought to light by consciousness.
The Bible is not absurd for the people who wrote it; it becomes absurd when people in our day insist on taking it literally. The Bible does not present us with material that is ridiculous in the context from which it came. The Bible springs from the context in which people then were thinking, searching, and trying to find answers.
The Theatre of the Absurd, in the sense that it is truly the contemporary theatre, facing as it does man's condition as it is, is the Realistic theatre of our time; and that the supposed Realistic theatre-the term used here to mean most of what is done on Broadway-in the sense that it panders to the public need for self-congratulation and reassurance and presents a false picture of ourselves to ourselves is ... really and truly The Theatre of the Absurd.
Ist es an und fu? r sich absurd, das Nichtsein fu? r einUbel zu ? halten; da jedes Ubel wie jedes Gut das Dasein zur Voraussetzung hat, ja sogar das Bewusstsein. It is in and by itself absurd to regard non-existence as an evil; for every evil, like every good, presupposes existence, indeed even consciousness.
Men of Oregon, I invite you to become students of your events. Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning, in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd past-time: life.
Absurd, irreducible; nothing "" not even a profound and secret delirium of nature "" could explain it. Obviously I did not know everything, I had not seen the seeds sprout, or the tree grow. But faced with this great wrinkled paw, neither ignorance nor knowledge was important: the world of explanations and reasons is not the world of existence. A circle is not absurd, it is clearly explained by the rotation of a straight segment around one of its extremities. But neither does a circle exist. This root, on the other hand, existed in such a way that I could not explain it.
He may not see the King's antique apparel on kids in the Hall, but he does feel a tinge of nostalgia. The amount of teens wearing the Led Zeppelin '77 tour T-shirts walking around the Rock Hall is absurd. Absurd, ... I saw them on that tour and didn't even buy a shirt. It tells you what these kids feel about music. People take music very seriously.
If you meditate long enough, deep enough, it is impossible for you to hurt anybody for food; it is impossible. It is not a question of argument, it is not a question of scriptures, it is not who says what, it is not a question of calculating that if you take vegetarian food you will become spiritual; it is automatic. It is not a question of cunningness, you simply become spiritual. The whole thing seems so absurd. Just for food, killing animals, birds, seems so absurd, it falls down.
It is therefore absurd to approach the subject of health piecemeal with a departmentalized band of specialists. A medical doctor uninterested in nutrition, in agriculture, in the wholesomeness of mind and spirit is as absurd as a farmer who is uninterested in health. Our fragmentation of this subject cannot be our cure, because it is our disease. The body cannot be whole alone. Persons cannot be whole alone. It is wrong to think that bodily health is compatible with spiritual confusion or cultural disorder, or with polluted air and water or impoverished soil.
The notion that Americans can be protected from "terror" by giving up the Bill of Rights is absurd. Democrats are complicit in this absurd notion. Many were intimidated into voting for police state legislation, because they lacked the intestinal fortitude to call police state legislation by its own name. The legislation that has been passed during the Bush regime is far more dangerous to Americans than Muslim terrorists.
Paul Craig Roberts
Today, specific travel attitudes and methodologies are as carefully calibrated as attire worn on a first date. Which is absurd. It's absurd when it means visiting only the most famous cities and landmarks, strictly hewing to the instructions of the latest Frommer's or Lonely Planet. It's equally absurd when it means avoiding cities or landmarks for the sole reason that they're popular. The net effect is the same, an attitude that views travel as a collection of merit badges to be earned, then flaunted: Saw This, Did That, Stayed at the Four Seasons, Slept in a Ditch. In some ways, both viewpoints are the legacy of Frommer and his generation of budget traveler, but each attitude completely misses Frommer's essential underlying point: what matters is not finding something your friends haven't found but appreciating and understanding that thing - that culture, that place, that food - on your own terms.
When I did a therapist education in USA 1984, one of the course leaders - who had given personal and spiritual guidance to thousands of seekers of truth from all over the world, and who I consider to be one of the best spiritual therapists in the world - said that I was going to get enlightened, that I would 'disappear into the silence'. I did not really understand what he meant then, and it was totally absurd for me when other course participants congratulated me afterwards. The thought that I was going to be enlightened was totally absurd for me. For me enlightenment was something that happened to special and chosen persons like Osho, Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tzu and Krishnamurti. I did not feel either special or chosen. I did not feel worthy of being enlightened.
Swami Dhyan Giten