Can we bend the time

Way of life: Should i bend? Or should I bend the world?

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"I'm happy when it rains," said comedian Karl Valentin once, "because if I'm not happy, it rains too." A nice saying. What if it's pouring rain? Really wet and cold gray gravel until you get stuck in your shoes? And nobody calls? And the municipal utilities turned off the electricity? When you are out of luck and have no money to buy some?

Well, then you are all the more happy. Doesn't change anything. Or?

The Valentine slogan is around a hundred years old, but it seems to be more popular than ever. We wrote it down everywhere so we wouldn't forget it: in the Twitter bio and Tinder profile; in the advertising leaflet for the philosophy seminar, on the joke postcard and the coffee mug. To be happy because it would eventually rain would make you sad: This is the maxim of the present. The categorical imperative for the delicate beginnings of the 21st century.

Heard a thousand times.

Unfortunately still wrong the thousand and first time.

The sentence is so wrong, it even kills us. But about that in a moment.

What is the sentence supposed to mean anyway? What does that mean: that one should be happy when it rains? Anyone who thinks like this wants to love his fate. Amor Fati, that's what the philosophers call it. Accept things as they are. You can even hug her tightly and give her a heart. Approve what is now.

Example of a Cupid Fati: a woman in her mid-thirties. Your relationship with her boyfriend is in the sixth, seventh, eighth years. The romance of the past has given way to the routine with which one works together Lanz falls asleep and argues about little things. But separation would be costly. And, she thinks, aren't all long-term relationships deformed? And isn't that the way adult love works? Does she love him? Or does she just love the fact that they have become a couple? Does she just love her fate?

Another example: a man in his forties, boring job. But well paid. Nobody reads the reports he has to write all the time; and if he skipped the three meetings a day, the world would never know. But not all jobs are like that, he thinks. Don't we have to make money? Who can ask for work that is also a pleasure? Work has to hurt, one way or the other. It has always been that way, and it will stay that way. That's why we continue. Another meeting soon, then hold out until Lanz This evening. Be happy when it rains. This is how the love of fate works.

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When we are really brutal, there are exactly two ways to fight our lives. Just two philosophies of life to which all advisory literature, talk therapies and age wisdom can be broken down. The American ethicist Steven Luper once called these two philosophies the "Eastern" and the "Western".

"There are two ways to pursue happiness," he writes. "The 'western' way, which we call 'optimization' - we try to fulfill our desires. And the 'eastern' method, which one could perhaps call 'adaptation'. We control our desires until we stop at nothing can hurt - until we become invulnerable. " Invulnerable because we do not face any battle: We always adapt our wishes to the circumstances that we find. And where the circumstances are adverse, we don't try to change them - we give up our wishes.

Luper calls this method the Eastern one because it is often associated with the Buddhist tradition. Wishes, as Buddha's teaching is often summed up, bring suffering. If you want to avoid suffering, you have to drop your wishes. He has to train to no longer wish for anything. The scholar Nyanaponika wrote: "If a child breaks a beloved toy, it will surely be sad and cry. But will an adult behave in the same way? Certainly not. And why? He no longer has any desire for the toy, so he feels when it is lost there is no pain, no suffering. So we see that the desire, the wanting to possess, is the actual cause of the pain, but not the external fact of 'breaking'. "