“odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
I hate and I love. Why do I do it, perchance you might ask?
I don’t know, but I feel it happening to me and I’m burning up.”—Catullus, Carmen 85 (via locaantiqua)
This is a 1,905 page suicide note written by a man who took his own life on Harvard’s campus. I’ve been reading it for a while and it’s a really interesting piece. It argues for the liberation of death and the equality of living and dying. Parts of it mirror Stoic philosophy, others nihilism, and others biology. I suggest you give it a look.
"Never until now had the human creature even imagined that the mind of man would be capable of creating the means for destroying the human race. And only visionaries ever foresaw that man would finally extricate himself from the terrestrial conditions out of which he first arose. These achievements- that power of self-destruction and that bursting of earth’s bonds- have simultaneously shown the ways and means that will free at least a part of the human race, at least some nations, from existential peril and at the same time will spread out men’s discord and creativity into cosmic space. Man is discovering that he is a being of cosmic possibilities, but that his mind is capable, at the same time, of destroying his own race.
Yet man will never rule the cosmos, nor will he unleash the forces necessary to commit suicide. Man and nations will go on as they have until now, merely less confined in their destroying and creating, their knowledge and belief.”
Milovan Djilas, “Of Prisons and Ideas”
This was in the reading for my Anthropology class, Communism: An Ethnography. I’m so lucky to have professors trusting enough to assign readings saturated with such abstract concepts to mere students!
"These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia called the Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its distant pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush; (l) etcetera; (m) those that have just broken the flower vase; (n) those that at a distance resemble flies.”
-Jorge Luis Borges in “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins”