…the rest of us just need a job, and we pack passion in our lunch pails as part of finding joy in daily living.
THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS
Sisyphus was a brilliant king and founder of ancient Corinth. According to Greek mythology, he was condemned for eternity to push a rock up a hill, only to let it roll down the hill and then push it back up again.
It is very easy for anyone to get to feeling that way about his or her own life: Same hill, same rock, different day.
French writer/philosopher Albert Camus wrote a great essay called “The Myth of Sisyphus.” With a beginner’s understanding of French, I read the essay in French. The experience was kind of fun and all the words I learned did not hurt yet limited French vocabulary.
Before you say hot-diggity, a great book to read, and then go out and buy a copy, please let me warn you that of “The Myth of Sisyphus” is the most never really read pieces of literature in the world. The subject of the book deals with that dreary period of philosophy and literature in the late 1900′s and early to mid-20th century when a group of disillusioned geniuses pronounced life as pointless to the point of absurdity and that we should all rush along and die.
The reason that I say that “The Myth of Sisyphus” is the most never really read piece of literature in the world is that every person I have ever heard discuss it has the conclusion backwards. The book evaluates all the life is absurd philosophers and looks at their point of view over the first three of four chapters.
In chapter four, however, Camus says that the only logical way to view Sisyphus and therefore to view life is to look at the flowing moments between Sisyphus and the rock. From Camus’s point of view, the joy in Sisyphus’s eternity was not reaching the top of the hill and then finding despair in letting the rock roll back down the hill. The joy in Sisyphus’s eternity is in pushing the rock.
Nearly everyone has experienced the disappointment at least once if not more often of reaching a goal only to find they had to move onto another goal. Goals are like meals and showers. You are always going to need another one.
The joy is work involved in going for the goal and then getting up the next day and going for another one. True some goals are once in a lifetime goals and can have great value. Sisyphus founded Corinth. That was a pretty deal goal.
Yet if you study enough about ol’ Sisyphus, he reveled in handcuffing Hades and in tricking Hades to believe that Sisyphus was not dead. He was cunning, and he was a make it happen guy who loved doing and probably set up the whole rock thing for his own eternity. I hope you can see the joy in pushing your rock.
The World’s Noblest Headhunter.