Blogs


Notices

The Myth of Sisyphus

Old 04-10-2011, 11:37 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 270
The Myth of Sisyphus

Hello all? Anyone here read "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus?

It is available in many places online, but there is a copy that has been on Professor Julia Evergreen Keefer's of NYU for a long time, available here:

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

It is very short, but I find a lot of inspiration from it sometimes in this often seemingly absurd quest some call recovery.

What are your thoughts?

Some quotes:

The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy...

When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged.
Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing...

At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that silent pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling...

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Some of the professor's questions would be applicable:
What is it about your "recovery" that resembles Sisyphus' plight?

What is your relationship to your rock?

Is the struggle itself enough for you?
JohnBarleycorn is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JohnBarleycorn For This Useful Post:
Lenina (04-11-2011), luckedog (04-11-2011), recycle (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 04:14 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Ethanol Intolerant
 
recycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 665
Blog Entries: 3
I guess I don't relate to recovery being a Sisyphean task: I did this, the Gods did not set me to it. I can stop whenever I want. (Drinking myself to death is still an option.) And when I stop pushing the rock does not roll backwards. In fact, sometimes not pushing is exactly the right thing for me to do. The rock just coasts along under its own inertia.

The first few weeks were a battle. I really enjoyed having the demon of addiction adversary to battle against, and I missed the struggle when it was gone. After that it was a process of accepting things as they are. There is no rock, no demon, just me.
recycle is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to recycle For This Useful Post:
Beardo (04-11-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), LaFemme (04-10-2011), luckedog (04-11-2011), Supercrew (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 04:52 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
luckedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rural OK
Posts: 329
John,
Although I found it interesting, I would hesitate to articulate in fear I might deviate from the actual course of rectitude, because I fear the article is to copious for my dominium comprehension.

Thanks
luckedog is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to luckedog For This Useful Post:
azureseas (04-11-2011), Beardo (04-11-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), LaFemme (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 05:59 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
Some who attempt recovery feel the need to try and push the rock up the hill when all you really need to do is walk around the rock and continue your journey up the hill leaving the rock behind. Climbing the hill is hard enough, leave the rock behind.
AnthonyV is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to AnthonyV For This Useful Post:
Beardo (04-11-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), LaFemme (04-10-2011), luckedog (04-11-2011), recycle (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 06:06 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Hmmmm. Interesting thought process and I can see how it might be an apt analogy for some.

For me I would say that upon embracing the rock I realized it was not only lighter than I had thought while standing at the base of the hill but in fact the rock is buoyant and lifts me higher.

That which seemed insurmountable has become the fuel which lifts me higher.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
Beardo (04-11-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), luckedog (04-11-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 06:10 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
Recycle hit this out of the park, at least in my experience. It's all about me and acceptance now. Great thread and great post Recycle!
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
Lenina (04-11-2011), luckedog (04-12-2011), recycle (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 06:53 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by recycle View Post
The first few weeks were a battle. I really enjoyed having the demon of addiction adversary to battle against, and I missed the struggle when it was gone. After that it was a process of accepting things as they are. There is no rock, no demon, just me.
Two things:

First, I wonder if "missing the struggle" is for some a cause of relapse? I recall quitting smoking many times, and in some perverse way enjoying the withdrawal.

Second, is not acceptance of things as they are, without the easy escape of synthetic pleasure, the real, ongoing struggle we are facing here?

I do not see "struggle" in a negative context, and neither does Camus. He is saying, in effect, that our daily struggle itself can be a source of joy.

He concludes the essay with "The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
JohnBarleycorn is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JohnBarleycorn For This Useful Post:
luckedog (04-12-2011), recycle (04-10-2011), Supercrew (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 07:19 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Tonight my therapist said to me....you can make this as easy as you want (the flip obviously would be to struggle)...I choose easy.

I see what you are saying....I just choose the alternative.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
Beardo (04-12-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), recycle (04-10-2011), Supercrew (04-10-2011)
Old 04-10-2011, 09:04 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
With me I don't feel acceptance is an on going struggle. Acceptance seems to be when the rock/struggle disappeared. Although I gained power from winning the battle, I wouldn't want the battle to be any longer than it lasted.

The initial battle was enjoyable because I knew I was gonna win it once I was on the path, it was like when an athlete talks about being in the zone. I was totally focused and I knew at the time nothing was going to stand in my way, and even though it was only for a couple of weeks I could see the changes in myself mentally and physically and that made it exciting.

As far as cause for a relapse, I did, but I attribute that to me being curious whether I really overcame a real battle to begin with, and I learned that I did.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
Beardo (04-12-2011), JohnBarleycorn (04-10-2011), LaFemme (04-11-2011), luckedog (04-11-2011)
Old 04-11-2011, 05:17 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
azureseas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 223
Blog Entries: 1
For me the Sisyphus' plight resembles my drinking life, not my sober life
Booze was my rock
azureseas is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to azureseas For This Useful Post:
JohnBarleycorn (04-11-2011), LaFemme (04-11-2011), Lenina (04-11-2011), recycle (04-11-2011), Supercrew (04-11-2011)
Old 04-11-2011, 11:13 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Ethanol Intolerant
 
recycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 665
Blog Entries: 3
What great answers:


            Perhaps the Augean stables is a better metaphor for recovery?
            recycle is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to recycle For This Useful Post:
            JohnBarleycorn (04-11-2011), Supercrew (04-11-2011)
            Old 04-11-2011, 11:42 AM
              # 12 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            LaFemme's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jul 2010
            Location: New England
            Posts: 5,285
            Ok, had to look up the Augean stables...y'all are getting too esoteric for us mere mortals!

            Cleaning out sh*t though is a pretty apt metaphor
            LaFemme is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
            luckedog (04-11-2011), recycle (04-11-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 03:56 PM
              # 13 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            luckedog's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jun 2009
            Location: Rural OK
            Posts: 329
            Please overlook my attempt at sarcastic humor. What's funny to me may be offensive to others! (my post above)

            LaF- You sure you are from New England?? Y'all-- I'm used to it here in Oklahoma Just never heard a yankee use it. They usually say "useguys".........Love it though!!
            luckedog is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to luckedog For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-12-2011), Supercrew (04-12-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 04:08 PM
              # 14 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            Supercrew's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jul 2010
            Location: SoCal CA
            Posts: 1,319
            Originally Posted by luckedog View Post
            Please overlook my attempt at sarcastic humor. What's funny to me may be offensive to others! (my post above)

            LaF- You sure you are from New England?? Y'all-- I'm used to it here in Oklahoma Just never heard a yankee use it. They usually say "useguys".........Love it though!!
            No need to apologize I just didn't respond because I didn't feel like looking up all of the words.
            Supercrew is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-12-2011), luckedog (04-12-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 04:14 PM
              # 15 (permalink)  
            Ethanol Intolerant
             
            recycle's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Sep 2009
            Location: Cascadia
            Posts: 665
            Blog Entries: 3
            lukedog, I liked your elubrication.
            recycle is offline  
            The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to recycle For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-12-2011), luckedog (04-12-2011), Supercrew (04-12-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 05:11 PM
              # 16 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            luckedog's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jun 2009
            Location: Rural OK
            Posts: 329
            OK some of you "got it". I'M glad I'm not the only one with a twisted sense of humor!
            luckedog is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to luckedog For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-12-2011), Supercrew (04-15-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 06:10 PM
              # 17 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            luckedog's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jun 2009
            Location: Rural OK
            Posts: 329
            Supercrew, I know it gets frustrating; I get alot of good info. from your posts! Dont quit!!
            luckedog is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to luckedog For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-12-2011), Supercrew (04-15-2011)
            Old 04-12-2011, 06:43 PM
              # 18 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            LaFemme's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Jul 2010
            Location: New England
            Posts: 5,285
            Originally Posted by luckedog View Post
            OK some of you "got it". I'M glad I'm not the only one with a twisted sense of humor!
            Y'all....I got it thought it was right funny too

            I have a weird ear and pick up phraseology and accents all over the place...confuses the heck out of people at times. I was once in Chinatown with some Hong Kong friends and was told I had a better accent then them...too bad I only have like three phrases in the language

            Useguys is a New Yorker thing and bad grammar....y'all is somewhat charming despite being incorrect as well....so I tend to use it more.
            LaFemme is offline  
            The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
            luckedog (04-12-2011), Supercrew (04-15-2011)
            Old 04-13-2011, 02:05 PM
              # 19 (permalink)  
            Member
             
            Artoro's Avatar
             
            Join Date: Mar 2011
            Posts: 82
            I read all of Camus' books I could get my hands on when I was twenty and backpacking for a couple of months around Europe. There was some "feeling" in his writings that I just could relate to.

            I've often thought about this myth (especially when working a very repetitious job for many years) and although I could understand Camus' reasoning that Sisyphus could be happy in his absurd situation, I somehow always found it irrelevant because he would most definetely be more happy without it. But if Camus' point is that one can find a meaning to his life in any circumstances, then I agree and think that it's a vital point-of-view for my recovery.
            Artoro is offline  
            The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Artoro For This Useful Post:
            LaFemme (04-13-2011), luckedog (04-14-2011), Supercrew (04-15-2011)

            Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
             
            Posting Rules
            You may not post new threads
            You may not post replies
            You may not post attachments
            You may not edit your posts

            BB code is On
            Smilies are On
            [IMG] code is On
            HTML code is Off
            Trackbacks are On
            Pingbacks are On
            Refbacks are Off




            All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:28 PM.