Sisyphus understands that he has to roll the boulder up, and when he achieves this goal while standing at the top of the hill he experiences happiness, momentary happiness. He wanted us to imagine Sisyphus happy so we ourselves can face the absurdity of life, and only when we acknowledge the absurd we can overcome it, and thrive towards some kind of happiness.
Camus claimed at the beginning of the Myth of Sisyphus that the only important philosophical question is suicide, the rest is secondary.
It’s a great follow-up, as an original text, to that book The Age of Absurdity, I recommended last year. One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought.
Albert Camus was a French philosopher, author, and journalist.
In Camus’ view, our actions are also as meaningless and fruitless just like Sisyphus’ boulder-rolling.
Camus Albert. The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays
Surely this sounds horrifying, a life lived with utter despair, but Camus tells us that we should imagine Sisyphus happy, he writes: I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile.
All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. Camus held that suicide amounts to a confession that life is after all not worth living.
And this confession is linked to “feeling the absurd”.
One of the most influential works of this century, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays is a crucial exposition of existentialist thought.
Influenced by works such as Don Juan and the novels of Kafka, these essays begin with a meditation on suicide; the question of living or not living in a universe devoid of order or meaning.