chapter  13
7 Pages

Dying as the Real Aim of Life: Schopenhauer

S c h o p e n h a u e r begins as f o l l o w s a chapter ent i t l ed ' O n the V a n i t y a n d

S u f f e r i n g o f L i f e ' :

Awakened to life out of the night of unconsciousness, the w i l l finds itself

as an individual in an endless and boundless w o r l d , among innumerable

individuals , al l striving, suffering, and erring; and, as if through a troubled

dream, it hurries back to the o ld unconsciousness. (II.573)

If this ant ic ipates F r e u d , it is a lso true that Schopenhauer ' s p h i l o s o p h y

represents a c o m p e l l i n g s u m m a t i o n o f p r e v i o u s w r i t i n g a b o u t m u t -

a b i l i t y , loss a n d the f u t i l i t y o f desire , a n d the c o n v i c t i o n that u l t i m a t e

f r e e d o m lies i n d e a t h , a n d , before that , p a r t i a l f r e e d o m i n those states

o f b e i n g w h i c h a b o l i s h s e l f h o o d .