About three times the material in The Pessimist Handbook – free download.

You are fucked. Let’s not beat about the bush. You will live a life with small pleasures, not so small pains, and then die. That being the case it seems surprising that trees are not to be found everywhere with ropes hanging from them. Well, despite all the moaning and gloom, it turns out we have a body that wants to live and will do almost anything to ensure it keeps living. The head can whinge as much as it wants, but the body will still insist on food, shelter, warmth, sex and some level of general care. In fact, the head is the slave of the body, in any case, it spends all its days working out the best way to get the things the body needs – and the rest of the time it spends complaining.

Seeing as we tend to avoid pain and gravitate toward pleasure (even if the only pleasure we have is complaining), it would seem to make sense to find ways of dealing with life that encourage pleasure and minimize the pains. The seventy or so aphorisms, with their brief commentaries, should help you do this. If they don’t well – personally I don’t care – you are fucked anyway.



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There is an idea that the world could be other than it is. If strict causality holds then this is the only way the world was ever going to be, and in the sense that it is unfolding in strict accordance with causality, it is perfect.

Life is like a spider’s web - the harder you fight against it the more entangled you become.

The only thing that should be taken seriously is that you should take nothing seriously. As Plato said - all things that are born and die never really exist. Hard to take something that doesn’t exist seriously.

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