Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I want to live for a long, long time. Only half in jest do I say that I hope (and expect) to live to be 112; the good news about that is that I’m not even quite yet middle-aged, even though in calendar years (not to mention dog-years) I’m well on the way towards my dotage.

Nonetheless, and perhaps informed by Albert Camus famous (or infamous) claim that the only serious philosophical question is whether to kill oneself or not, I do, along with, I would suppose most thoughtful people, occasionally entertain thoughts of suicide—although that might be to overstate it; it’s more like I sometimes think about thinking about suicide.

It happens most frequently as I ride home from school, usually when it’s been a day, like today, when administrative duties incline me to forget what I’m actually doing as a teacher—teaching students!—and as I pedal along, even if, again, like today, the weather is lovely and the trail pretty much all my own, the inevitable observation of Buddhism’s first noble truth that life is suffering overtakes me and I can begin to imagine what it would be like to have just a little less dopamine coursing through my brain or something and can sort of conceptualize what it would feel like to take more seriously the idle thoughts running through my head about ending it all with a dive from a bridge, or muzzle in the mouth, or more likely, a handful of barbiturates and a bag over my head.

Wittgenstein observed that death is not an event in life and so I guess the same would go for suicide; people who kill themselves are not committing an act that takes place in their lives, which is odd, in a way, because that’s where it starts.

I’m way too curious about what’s going to happen to ever serious consider doing myself in; although maybe by the time I’m 112, I’ll feel differently.


Anonymous Andre said...

"it’s more like I sometimes think about thinking about suicide."


11:12 AM  

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