On the Virtues of Sponges

Brain Pickings explains how Nietzsche argued that human suffering is necessary for the soul's growth and admonished against "the religion of comfortableness," which he believed hindered true happiness. Like Albert Camus, he envisioned happiness and unhappiness as "sisters and even twins that either grow up together or … remain small together". Nietzsche might have killed God but he would have spared Buddha Well, not really, having seen the rise of science, Nietzsche put an end to all things supernatural but stay with me here. In her book "Stay: A history of suicide and the philosophies against it", Jennifer Michael Hecht writes:

"Nietzsche urges us to see that human suffering is necessary, but what is not necessary is painfully regretting that suffering. Our condition hands us difficulty, and unless we are careful to stop ourselves, we add more difficulty to our lot by fearing and loathing that difficulty. We suffer and then hate ourselves for suffering. We are much better off accepting the pain, seeing it as universal, noting that it can be borne, and, when possible, expressing it."

Now! Brace yourselves for Alan Watts :) "It (living in the moment) consists in being completely sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive. This is not a philosophical theory but an experiment. One has to make the experiment to understand that it brings into play altogether new powers of adaptation to life, of literally absorbing pain and insecurity. It is as hard to describe how this absorption works as to explain the beating of one’s heart or the formation of genes. The “open” mind does this as most of us breathe: without being able to explain it at all. The principle of the thing is clearly something like judo, the gentle (ju) way (do) of mastering an opposing force by giving in to it"

Absorb! How much more beautiful than "accept" or "allow" or "surrender". Like Spongebob squarepants! But more importantly, this flips the idea of personal freedom on its head, the same way Slavoj Zizek already has in his book "Demanding the impossible". Just as acceptance is the first step towards self-discipline and is a form of initial awareness, Zizek quotes Herbert Marcuse saying : "Freedom is the condition for liberation""The first step towards freedom is to become aware of your situation - the situation of injustice and unfairness". Better yet, "Revolutions sometimes do happen, maybe in time of chaos. but they usually happen when there's neither a war nor chaos". Absorb and thrive fellow Impossibles :)

This connects the dots with an older Impossible called Flip It and with a blog I wrote about the necessary long shortcuts called Life is a Lebanese bouncer.