“This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”– Albert Camus, The myth of Sisyphus
Followers of my writing know that I depart from topics that I take up only to return to them eventually down the track somewhere at sometime. Many reasons I suppose for this behaviour. First amd foremost I am a writer that enjoys many topics and I am fascinated by many things. But the one thing that acts as a tree trunk for all the meandering concepts, stories, advice and rants is philosophy, and how we can take the deep thoughts, meditations and questions from dead and alive men and women and apply them to our lives.
An absolutely beautiful guidline of philosophy is it rarely ever has a set interpretation, rather it offers a new way to think about ideas or problems or indeed yourself. And that’s where we come to Sisyphus.
The long and short of the ancient myth is that Sisyphus was a great king who was hated by the gods. They had sent their version of death to claim his sole many times but each time he outsmarted them. Finally, finally hades hatched a plan to put a large boulder at the bottom of a long slope in a cave, at the top of the slope was a hole that lead to the outside world. Hades and death brought Sisyphus down here and told him “we are sick of this game we play, we only have one final test for you. Roll this boulder up to the top, then you you will claim immortality, but once you start, you cannot stop till you reach the top”
Sisyphus was bold and had already outsmarted the gods and death itself numerous times, so he flicked back his golden hair and placed his hands on the boulder. It was heavy but he could roll it slowly, and by the time he got to the tope he had expended all his strength. But then the boulder jumped out of his hands and rolled back down to the start. Hades had cursed the boulder to never reach the top, effectively trading Sisyphus in this constant pushing then walking back down and pushing for all of eternity.
How do we apply this to our lives? Well let’s look at his task. An unlikeable one to be sure. He could wallow amd lament. He could thrash his feet and cures the heavens. Or he could spite the gods that cursed him. If we imagine Sisyphus setting about his task with a broad grin, laughing as the boulder rolls to the bottom, then he hasn’t lost. He is the king of his own environment. Completely in charge of how he views his reality and not tossed about carelessly by forces beyond his control. And by reframing his outlook. His life will forever be positive.
If you enjoyed this please share and tell me what you think. I would love to delve more into philosophy at some point. Also follow my new writing instagram, – kj_thewriter