I’ve been spending a good portion of the day today reading Schopenhauer’s Essays’s and Aphorisms; my new favorite book. This passage in particular I wanted to share as it resonated strongly with me…
“And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on straight course.
Work, worry, toil and trouble are indeed the lot of almost all men their whole life long. Any yet if every desire were satisfied as soon as it arose how would men occupy their lives, how would they pass the time? Imagine this race transported to a Utopia where everything grows of its own accord and turkeys fly around ready-roasted, where lovers find one another without any delay and keep one another without any difficulty: in such a place some men would die of boredom or hang themselves, some would fight and kill one another, and thus they would create for themselves more suffering than nature inflicts on them as it is. Thus for a race such as this no stage, no form of existence is suitable other than the one it already possesses.”
-Schopenhauer, On The Suffering Of The World, Aphorism #5 (emphasis added)