Monday, May 2, 2011

We Are All Sisyphus

The philosophical story that always intrigued me was Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus.  It is a mythological book about a man who seizes Death so no humans die.  Once Death broke free the gods punished Sisyphus by condeming him to carrying a giant rock up a hill for all eternity.  Once he managed to get to the top the rock rolled down to the bottom for him to carry it up all over again.

In Albert Camus' eyes, Sisyphus is seen as the hero who continues to defy any human recollection of doing something so dull for eternity.  We are all Sisyphus in that we live life to the fullest, fear death, and are slaves to a meaningless ongoing task or job.  This reflection of modern society is eye-opening.  Camus presents Sisyphus's ceaseless and pointless toil as a metaphor for modern lives spent working at futile jobs in factories and offices. "The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious."

With the absurdity of the task, Sisyphus gains some peace and acceptance in hoping that the impossibility of it will set him free.

1 comment:

  1. Given the moments that I become conscious that my job isn't fulfilling and in fact maybe sucking the life out of me, I am still thankful of having it...if anything, that is the depressing