This too shall pass?

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010

The eternal return, refers as its name may tell you about the never ending cycle of things, how everything will happen again in the same way for all eternity. This may sound like Hindu reincarnation, and it actually is, but it's not an idea that has only passed trough religion, there are models in physics explaining a cycling universe, ancient alchemical believes of the never ending cycle of all, and philosophers who have described the universe as one self-repeating cycle. And so all of our actions, all of our mistakes are bound to happen again, forever, and so they will always exist and nothing will ever pass, things will only exist.

A lot of Nietzsche's work was around this idea, the idea of the eternal return, how everything would always happen, we were not learning from our mistakes, we were not developing towards something greater or better, we were walking in circles in the same old crap. It is life's greatest burden, nothing will ever be forgiven because everything will be there again and again, and so everything becomes more real and redemption is not achieved ever.

And so the idea of a happy ending fades, forgiveness and simplicity is lost and instead we are chained to reality in a way that we are never to leave or stop existing, no rest. Now there is the true idea of hell if you ask me.

But then... there is the other side, there is the idea of "This too shall pass", thinking that time will erase everything, and time will only move forward leaving everything behind. This idea seems more soothing. It doesn't matter how much people ever died in which war or how much suffering someone lived, it will all be forgotten, it will all pass. And so this contrary idea kind of gives us hope, all the wrongs will be righted with time.

But what happens with reality?

Doesn't it become less... real? Doesn't it make you think that no matter what you are irrelevant? Isn't this lightness a dead sentence imposed since the moment we are born? Because if everything ends, then what's the point of making it start? Doesn't the burden is what makes it all real and alive? And the lightness all full of mist, doubt and death?

Because we can try to escape the burden, we can deny deny deny. In the suffering we can try to evade and be happy, but in the lightness... what escape is there to infinite freedom? What other exit is there to dead if there is no life?

At the end, isn't the lightness unbearable?

[while they are all my words Kundera does need some credit for this]

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