“Look at your body—
A painted puppet, a poor toy
Of jointed parts ready to collapse,
A diseased and suffering thing
With a head full of false imaginings.” -The Dhammapada



“Generally, we do not face up to our own death, but instead we evade it in a myriad of ways. We tell ourselves that death is not relevant to the living and that to think about it is morbid and a waste of time. Or we relate to death impersonally. We recognize that others die and that one day we will too, but we tell ourselves, “not yet.” We fail to recognize both the importance of death as well as the ever-present possibility of it.” -Academy of Ideas

“It is uncontroversial to say that
1)The presence of pain is bad and that 2)The presence of pleasure is good
However, such symmetrical evaluation does not seem to apply to the absence of pain and pleasure, for it strikes me as true that
3)The absence of pain is good even if that good is not enjoyed by anyone, whereas 4)The absence of pleasure is not bad unless there is somebody for whom that absence is a deprivation.” -David Benatar

“Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimistic. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die? -Emil Cioran

"Try to be free, you will die of starvation." -Emil Cioran

“Pleasure is never as pleasant as we expected it to be and pain is always more painful. The pain in the world always outweighs the pleasure. If you don't believe it, compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is eating the other.” -Schopenhauer

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.” -Cary Grant

“Pleasure is nothing else but the intermission of pain.” -John Selden

“For all the happiness mankind can gain, is not in pleasure, but in rest from pain.” -John Dryden

“How singular is the thing called pleasure, and how curiously related to pain, which might be thought to be the opposite of it; for they never come to a man together, and yet he who pursues either of them is generally compelled to take the other.” -(Socrates) Plato, Phaedo

"The truth is that as the struggle for survival has subsided, the question has emerged: survival for what? Even more people today have the means to live but no meaning to live for." -Viktor Frankl, Unheard Cry

“This is one of the most urgent problems for civilized man. He has created civilization to give himself security. Security for what? For boredom? His chief problem seems to be that most human beings need a certain amount of challenge, of external stimulus, to stop them from sinking into the blank stare and blank consciousness of the idiot.” -Colin Wilson

“Man who wants to perpetuate himself at any price is scarcely to be distinguished from a dog.” -Cioran

“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” -Ecclesiastes 1:18

"But better than both is he who has not yet existed, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun." -Ecclesiastes 4:3

“Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It’s reached when a person deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost” -Thomas Merton

“What kind of people are those whom men wish to please, and for what objects, and by what kind of acts? How soon will time cover all things, and how many it has already covered.” -Marcus Aurelius

“If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of s**t. And I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible. You gotta get together and tell yourself stories that violate every law of the universe just to get through the goddamn day? What’s that say about your reality?” -Nic Pizzolatto

“The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.” -J. Robert Oppenheimer

“It is curious that while good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place.” -David Benatar

“Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.” -David Benatar

“What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?” -Emil Cioran

“The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.” -Emil Cioran

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” -Henry David Thoreau

“I am impassioned for independence; I sacrifice all for it… And am tortured more by the smallest strings than others are by chains.” -Nietzsche

“Moreover, what is doomed to perish brings pleasure to no one; very wretched, therefore, and not merely short, must the life of those be who work hard to gain what they must work harder to keep.” -Seneca

“There is not one single living being who does not secretly harbour an unrest, an inner strife, a disharmony, an anxiety about an unknown something or something he does not even dare to try to know, an anxiety about some possibility in existence or an anxiety about himself...an anxiety he cannot explain.” -Kierkegaard

“For if anything in the world is desirable, so desirable that even the dull and uneducated herd in its more reflective moments would value it more than silver and gold, it is that a ray of light should fall on the obscurity of our existence, and that we should obtain some information about this enigmatical life of ours, in which nothing is clear except its misery and vanity.” - Schopenhauer

“an immense field entirely covered with skeletons, and took it to be a battlefield. However they were nothing but skeletons of large turtles, five feet long, three feet broad, and of equal height. These turtles come this way from the sea, in order to lay their eggs, and are then seized by wild dogs; with their united strength, these dogs lay them on their backs, tear open their lower armor, the small scales of the belly, and devour them alive. But then a tiger often pounces on the dogs. Now all this misery is repeated thousands and thousands of times, year in, year out. For this then, are these turtles born. For what offence must they suffer this agony? What is the point of the whole scene of horror? The only answer is that the will to live thus objectifies itself.” -Schopenhauer

"We are each either among the demoralized showing the way to a future of eternal nightmare, or we are losers celebrating our moment in hell." -Ligotti

"Also worthy of mention is a clique among the suicidal for whom the meaning of their act is a darker thing. Frustrated as perpetrators of an all-inclusive extermination, they would kill themselves only because killing it all is closed off to them. They hate having been delivered into a world only to be told, by and by, “This way to the abattoir, Ladies and Gentlemen.” They despise the conspiracy of Lies for Life almost as much as they despise themselves for being a party to it. If they could unmake the world by pushing a button, they would do so without a second thought. There is no satisfaction in a lonesome suicide. The phenomenon of “suicide euphoria” aside, there is only fear, bitterness, or depression beforehand, then the troublesomeness of the method, and nothingness afterward. But to push that button, to depopulate this earth and arrest its rotation as well—what satisfaction, as of a job prettily done. This would be for the good of all, for even those who know nothing about the conspiracy against the human race are among its injured parties." -Ligotti

"Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are—hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones." -Ligotti

"There is nothing innately impressive about the universe or anything in it." -Ligotti

“As we have seen, nobody is lucky enough not to be born, everybody is unlucky enough to have been born – and particularly bad luck it is.” -David Benatar

“It is not only the ratio of pleasure to pain that determines the quality of a life, but also the sheer quantity of pain. Once a certain threshold of pain is passed, no amount of pleasure can compensate for it.” -David Benatar

"Life is bad, but so is death. Of course, life is not bad in every way. Neither is death bad in every way. However, both life and death are, in crucial respects, awful. Together, they constitute an existential vise—the wretched grip that enforces our predicament.” -David Benatar

"There is always a disguised optimism in the phrase "Life is terrible." One must say following Pessoa that "My life is terrible." That is the most one can hope to say with any accuracy." -Anonymous

“The real world is simply too terrible to admit. It tells man that he is a small trembling animal who will someday decay and die. Culture changes all of this, makes man seem important, vital to the universe. Immortal in some ways” -Ernest Becker

"Thank heaven he could make up his mind to be neurotic." -Carl Jung

"You can only find truth with logic, if you have already found truth without it." -G. K. Chesterton

"Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are—hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones." -Thomas Ligotti

"The more things change for the better, the more they progress toward a reliable end." -Thomas Ligotti

“There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.” -Woodie Allen

“I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” -Woodie Allen

“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!” -Woodie Allen

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.” -Woodie Allen

“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.” -Woodie Allen

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” -Woodie Allen

"the little space I fill engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces whereof I know nothing, and which know nothing of me, I am terrified." -Pascal

"So you ask whether I would choose to be unborn? One must be born in order to choose, and the choice involves destruction. But ask my brother in that chair over there. Indeed, it is an empty one; my brother did not get so far. Yet ask him, as he is traveling like the wind below the sky, crashing against the beach, scenting in the grass, reveling in his strength as he pursues his living food. Do you think he is bereaved by his incapacity to fulfill his fate on the waiting list of the Oslo Housing and Savings Society? And have you ever missed him? Look around in a crowded afternoon tram and reflect whether you would allow a lottery to select one of the exhausted toilers as the one whom you put into this world. They pay no attention as one person gets off and two get on. The tram keeps rolling along." -Zapffe

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:4

“The perpetual hesitation of the neurotic to launch out into life is readily explained by his desire to stand aside so as not to get involved in the dangerous struggle for existence. But anyone who refuses to experience life must stifle his desire to live – in other words, he must commit partial suicide.” -Carl Jung

"Know yourselves-be infertile and let the earth be silent after ye." -Zapffe

"The last of us could be the very best of us who ever roamed the earth, the great exemplars of a humanity we used to dream of becoming before we got wise to the reality that we are just a mob always in the market for new recruits." -Ligotti

"As a survival-happy species, our successes are calculated in the number of years we have extended our lives, with the reduction of suffering being only incidental to this aim. To stay alive under almost any circumstances is a sickness with us." -Ligotti

"All things chain together in causes and effects, and everything [man] wants to grasp dissolves before the testing thought. Soon he sees mechanics even in the so-far whole and dear, in the smile of his beloved." -Zapffe

“When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental process. In learning to write, the pupil goes over with his pen what the teacher has outlined in pencil: so in reading; the greater part of the work of thought is already done for us." -Schopenhauer

“To repeat to yourself a thousand times a day: ‘Nothing on earth has any worth,’ to keep finding yourself at the same point, to circle stupidly as a top, eternally… Why do you lack the strength to escape the obligation to breathe?” -Cioran

“I do nothing, granted. But I see the hours pass-which is better than trying to fill them.” -Cioran

“Are we not, with this tremendous objective of obliterating all the sharp edges of life, well on the way to turning mankind into sand? Sand! Small, soft, round, unending sand! Is that your ideal, you heralds of the sympathetic affections?” -Nietzsche

“When a Russian cosmonaut returned from space and reported that he had not found God, C.S. Lewis responded that this was like Hamlet going into the attic of his castle and looking for Shakespeare.” -Timothy Keller

“Flight from life does not exempt us from the law of age and death. The neurotic who tries to wriggle out of the necessity of living wins nothing and only burdens himself with a constant foretaste of aging and dying, which must appear especially cruel on account of the total emptiness and meaninglessness of his life.” -Carl Jung