Philosophical Spotlight: 5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Existentialist Thinker Albert Camus

Life Lessons From Albert Camus Philosophy.

Albert Camus was a 20th Century French existentialist thinker. He reshaped philosophy and existentialist thought by attributing to the absurdism in living.

As an ambassador for the individuals freedom of choice, Albert Camus underlined the concept of personal empowerment. In doing so, his philosophical thinking painted a bleak, but optimistic outlook into coping with the absurdity of life.

In this modern and maddening world,

Here are 5 elements to walk with from the revolving life and philosophy of Albert Camus:

1. LIFE IS MEANINGLESS, BUT NOT MISERABLE

Life is meaningless, Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • Like most existentialists philosophy, Albert Camus would agree that life is utterly meaningless. To further on this quote he epically defined meaning as:
    • “The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself.” — Camus
  • As bleak as it seems, Camus was actually a very upbeat, and optimistic individual:
    • Ironically, he acquired a taste for the finer things in life, as he rather enjoyed maintaining his image, dress, and style.
    • He was also a very sociable person, and it would probably be an understatement to simply state that he was quite popular with the ladies.

2. WE MUST CREATE OUR OWN MEANING

We must create our own meaning. Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • Although there is an absurd meaninglessness of life, he firmly believed it a necessity for us to continually search for meaning.
    • In this regard, Camus was a firm believer in creating subjective meaning within your own life, regardless of meaninglessness.
  • Camus largely attributed his own happiness to this personal philosophy.
    • Though he FIRMLY believed in meaninglessness OUT THERE– He created a life that was ultimately meaningful to him, DOWN HERE.

3. PLAY SPORTS AND ENGAGE IN COMPETITION

Play Sport, Engage in Competition. Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • The very basic foundation of his moral code was derived from sport, sportsmanship, and team spirit:
    • At a young age, he was a goal keeper for the Racing Universitaire d’Alger (R.U.A). — A former multi-sport team of Algeria.
    • Their football team competed for the North African Cup — a small territorial football competition bordering few select European, and African countries.
  • Though brief, organized sport largely shaped his personal life. He attributed a large amount of weight to the importance of socialization through organized sport.
    • “Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football.” — Camus
  • He was very appreciative of camaraderie in the pursuit of a common goal. Not to mention the sense of determination, and communal bravery that was met in overcoming adversity and challenges.

4. PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

Perspective is everything. Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • Given the nature of existentialism, it really paints a very negative outlook on what we are faced with in living. But in the bleakness, Camus is able to maintain a flicker of light through the sense of hope.
    • Though ridiculously grim, we can choose to overcome these daunting concepts in order to live happy, and fulfilling lives.
  • In this regard, he finds great positivity, by embracing the negative aspects in living. A perfect, and harmonious balance of the natural.
    • He also founded the Revolutionary Union Movement and Europe, which aimed to literally shed light on the lighter side of surrealist/existential thinking.

5. ACCEPTANCE IS KEY

Acceptance is key. Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • In addressing the possibilities of coping with the nature of absurdity, Camus builds on three main strategies.
    • Suicide:
      • He viewed this as an irrational physical escape from living the madness. Camus firmly dismissed this as a feasible solution. He stated that this would only add to the absurdity of experience.
    • Finding faith:
      • Through typical, or other unorthodox means of transcendental belief. Camus identified such beliefs as philosophical suicide a metaphysical escape from dealing with the absurdity.
    • Acceptance:
      • By actively falling into the physical and mental trials of living and absurdity, you cultivate the most freedom for yourself as an individual. Bound by no moral judgments in this life, you can be personally selective in cultivating meaning. You create yourself, and your living experience. The comfort of control in the uncontrollable event of things. This was Albert Camus’ core belief in how to live life.

“When life gives me lemons, I make beef stew” — Andy Milonakis

BONUS

6. HIS DEATH WAS INTERESTING

An interesting death. Albert Camus Philosophy.
  • At 46, he died in an automobile accident on January 4, 1960.
    • He was a passenger driving with his publisher– Michel Gallimard. Camus was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, while Gallimard passed away 5 days afterwards.
    • Though there is really nothing to say regarding the tragedy of a car accident, The contents of his lined pocket illustrate an interesting concept:
      • His pocket contained an unused train ticket that he deferred in using at the very last-minute. He opted to hitch this “deadly” ride with his publisher instead.

It can be ascertained that Camus was supportive in the sense of control brought on by the ability to make choices within our lifetime. But in this regard, what can be said about fate, free will, and determinism. Is it coincidentally an interesting story to tell, or something fated/fundamentally orchestrated?

In any case,

Albert Camus‘ had a profound impact on 20th century philosophy, as the concepts of his words continue to shape thinkers of today.

In hoping to take something from his ideas, feel free to share or build on this list by commenting below.

Happy Thinking,

Littermature.


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Tranquility: What Thunder And Lightning Feel Like.

rainfall3

**Damp reflections on what thunder and lightning feel like.**


Thunder & Lightning

I sit here staring through the middle of the night. That, and not much more.

The rain trickles, and pours… Then trickles… Then pours.

As it struggles to find an enduring rhythm, the subtle but unmistakable flashes of lightning that dance in the accompaniment of thunder.

What feelings wash into my being?

As my surrounding environment washes within itself, I continue to sit and stare; feeling.

It’s funny to witness playing within the boundaries of such moments.

These moments, where nothing seems certain; a complete obscurity,

A desolate experience in itself, though contrastingly relaxing.

Perhaps my yearning for solitude is being embraced in this moment,

Where nothing more but rain, dropping and spreading itself over the cold hard pavement, has been spread into existence to navigate this vast urban infrastructure.

Where is this damp moment taking me?

The outside is in, with my own inside’s out.

Cleanse this emotional obscurity, Quickly.

As I remain sedated in this state of solitary tranquility.

With Introspection,

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Transient Memories That Don’t Belong To Me.

scarydriftwood.jpg

Well, I happened to stumble onto this ‘Transient’ challenge laid out by Andrea Badgley.

Immediately, I began to form visuals and associate images of the past, a past that is now very late.

Perhaps a pirate’s past, sailing the open seas in search of new opportunities to plunder.

Perhaps a life spent upon the helm; does the helmsman steer the ship, or does the ship steer the helmsman?

It is very interesting to ponder upon how such a destiny unfolds, as all of it does within a momentary second.

And here now, as I strike key after key without any real effort I can feel the yearning and power of such a moment, an identity of experience, through stored memories of a past that is hardly known.

And just as quickly as it surfaced, it’s gone.

A transient memory, or fantasy?

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