Dangling Man.

I was leafing through Goethe’s Poetry and Life and I came upon this phrase: “This loathing of life has both physical and moral causes…” I was sufficiently stirred by this to read on. “All comfort in life is based upon a regular occurrence of external phenomena. The changes of the day and night, of the seasons, of flowers and fruits, and all other recurring pleasures that come to us. that we may and should enjoy them- these are the mainsprings of our earthly life. The more open we are to these enjoyments, the happier we are; but if these changing phenomena unfold themselves and we take no interest in them, if we are insensible to such fair solicitations, then comes on the sorest evil, the heaviest disease- we regard life as a loathsome burden.”
-Saul Bellow’s, Dangling Man.

I find this to be soul searching literature. This is the philosophy by which I live my life. Hence, my love of a falling leaf. Although that alone doesn’t summarize the depths of that simple thought/phrase. That ‘one’ leaf changed my life. I can only hope we all find a leaf of such magnitude. The proof of all things.

Saul Bellow, along with using a bit of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poetry, masterfully lays out a path for any individual to break down happiness and how to apply it, if so inclined. It’s not the things, certainly NOT the things, we buy and stuff into our already full garages to show to our ‘friends’ just how far we’ve made it; at a very young age I realized just how fake that was while watching adults parade their facades.

As an adult I’ve found that writing is not only my outlet, but a space for my soul to become tangible. Whether my writing is any good or not, well that’s not for me to decide, but I will write. And I will read literature that touches my heart and forces me to look from the page and dive into my thoughts while staring at a blank wall and processing what I’ve just learned.

I wish you all the best,

Matt

I’m thankful for the support so many of you have so unselfishly given me.

8 thoughts on “Dangling Man.

  1. You just built upon my own thoughts this morning, my love of the shining moon.. “It’s not the things, certainly NOT the things, we buy and stuff into our already full garages.”

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  2. What a wonderful writing and view on life for our interaction and appreciation of it. I’m so glad that you found writing and it’s become such an integral part of your life. Write on.

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  3. Hume, coming from a different direction, also asserted the power of our sensory apparatus to grant us happy moments. (Hume, being a skeptic, also argued that was a major reason why humans were rarely reasonable; at least he had the decency to extend that observation to himself.)

    It’s been a subject of science fiction speculation and medical research how sensory deprivation affects us. Some COVID-19 sufferers who lost their sense of taste are finding their lives less savory.

    As you well put it, writing allows us to savor, repeat, and even create these senses and emotions for the good of our souls.

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