by Devina Gunawan
Albert Camus believed that absurdity, or the true happiness, formed from a man and the world.
A man and the world, not together but as separate beings, bring absurdity.
And for a lot of you who know the Myth of Sisyphus will know that in many ways, we are the punished king. If you know that King Sisyphus defied the gods and was stripped away from his privilege to die in peace, you would understand that death means an easy way out.
Sisyphus was then punished in an eternity of endless labor. He had to push a rock up a mountain, only to have it roll back all the way down. He would have to repeat it, endlessly, in a deadly routine without end. Let alone death.
Camus wanted us to imagine Sisyphus happy.
Because if there is anyone who can reach absurd, that is Sisyphus.
If we were placed in his place, we would have complained and questioned the world, life, the rules of the world, and everything else related to our fate. We would wonder if there was any glimpse of happiness left, any joy in the punishment that became our life.
And at some point, we would realize that this was all we had. Pushing a rock all the way up, watching it roll back down, and repeating the work. And while the rock was rolling back down, we would have moments of no work, of freedom, of seconds that could define what life truly was.
And that in the moments of empty space, the moments out of the routine, we could see the world as is. We could accept that this was it, that to be honest, it could be much worse. And the acceptance that we held no importance to the world, that we were alone in pieces, and yet we were a part of it – this realization, this acceptance – would free us.
That even in doing our routine, we could find freedom. Freedom in knowing that it was not to go for the best living, but for most living.
And it might sound horrible. It might sound as if there should be more to it, but it really isn’t. And you might be surprised to find out just how freeing absurdity can be.
Still, in any case, absurdity needs both the world and a man. And if the thought of death crosses our minds, we should always remember that it is not what happiness looks like.
Suicide will take a man out of the equation, and without it, there will be no absurd. So, as easy as it sounds, to take away your life, to walk out easily, and to not deal with the deadly cycles of life, it is not the route to happiness.
To live, and to accept, to understand that we can’t understand everything. To live knowing that we know nothing. To fully embrace our fate and be at peace with it.
To find absurdity, and to actually let it come to us. To not run away from it by taking ourselves out of the equation.
That, that is our best shot at finding true happiness.