Everything is fine. Until you learn that a loved one is dying from cancer. You then panic. You do not know what to do. And it is really bad that the very good film 50/50 shows how the only way out of such a situation is talking to a social worker or to a foreign psychologist. What happened to friends? What happed to the help pure good philosophy can give you? I could say a personal experience. But I will keep that to me (and my loved ones). I will say what a modern philosopher said instead. His advice is simple but good. Alain de Botton suggests that you let Seneca help you. (thanks opyrgos for reminding me that) Once upon a time the great philosopher thrived and prospered. Until one day Nero ordered him to take his own life. The philosopher’s pupils were devastated. They were crying and falling to pieces in the face of the great disaster.
Seneca just asked them: “What happened to your philosophy?”
Behind every great disapointment lies our inability to fully embrace our true mortal nature and grasp reality for what it really is: ruthless and not at all related to our desires. “Be prepared” was the motto Seneca postulated. Be prepared for anything to happen, because what you wish is another thing and what happens another.
Be happy when you are. And KNOW that everyone one day dies. Think as a philosophers every passing moment, try to build your own philosophy. Try to know your Da-sein in order to know your Sein as well. Your fear to face the innevitable as days pass by, only worsens the panic when something bad happens. Why would you think life owes you something “good”? Why would you think that other people dying are just “news on the TV” while you are some kind of Highlander? He who loves KNOWS that his love is always tragic – one day his loved one will go. But that does not stop him from falling in love!
Once upon a time Socrates wanted to die and by mocking the court sealed his fate. But he did not cry for that. He accepted it and even had a dream during his last night sleep.
One upon a time an unknown person was crucified instead of a murderer. He did not hold hatred in his heart for that.
Once upon a time a woman had lost her son. He went to Buddha to ask him why such a tragedy had hit her. Buddha told her to go and bring him a mustard seed from a house where death had never struck. The woman went and tried to find one. When she failed to find a house where death had never struck, she went back empty handed.
She understood. And started following him.
Behind every great disapointment lies our inability to be a philosopher.