Tagged: Mood

On Pessimism

Pessimism (n.); from Latin pessimus “worst.”

Pessimism can refer either to a disposition or a philosophy.

As a disposition, pessimism is the feeling that all expectations, in the end, will come to naught. The pessimist hangs his hopes on nothing because he has forsaken all hope to begin with. It’s a comportment towards the world in which all that exists is negative possibility. Pessimism in this sense expresses the loneliness of being in the world.

Philosophical pessimism is the belief that not-being is preferable to being; that existence is in some way or another inextricably tied with suffering, disappointment, and boredom. The universe is utterly indifferent to human desires and ends, and thus our world is the worst possible.  What’s best? To have never been born in the first place. Philosophical pessimism expresses the loneliness of the world.

The aesthetics of melancholia

Unlike sadness, there is an inner beautification that takes place when you find yourself plunged into the depths of a deep melancholic state. It’s the feeling of being swept away into a terrible dreamscape, an aesthetic experience where one, from the heights of despair, looks upon life with contempt and self-relates to the perpetual gloominess of one’s own being.

Whereas sadness is far too acute, far too focused and concrete to be aesthetic — melancholy is the feeling of being swept away in the creative destruction of a new horizon within the Self. To be sure, one undeniably suffers, while at the same time, one cannot resist the temptation to identify and relate to oneself through merciless and infinte despondency.

Heavyhearted joylessness creates and destroys — robbing the world and everything in it of meaning, but yet at the same time producing something altogether new, and capturing the essence of both the beautiful and grotesque.

Melancholy, for all its dispiriting effects, enables one to become reflective — a deliverance from lower to higher immediacy…a head-first dive into the interiority of the Self; the catalyst for the renunciation and rejection of the entirety of the external world precipitating the fall into self-creation and  self-annihilation.

This is why so many melancholic personalities excel in the creative and artistic fields; and why they are so little understood by everyone else.