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The Schopenhauer Cure

Beat Mango

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My therapist told me about this book she was reading called The Schopenhauer Cure. It's written by a psychotherapist called Irving Yalom who is interestedin exploring the link between philosophy and therapy. In this book, the main character is supposed to be a modern image of Arthur Schopenhauer: aloof, hyperintellectual and disengaged from the social world (sound familiar?). For someone like me, who has turned to philosophy as a kind of therapy, a means to improve the quality of life, this is obviously a very intriguing topic.

For anyone else who's turned to philosophy as therapy, or for someone who's sought to overcome their nihilistic, ascetic or schizoidal tendencies, I'd be interested to hear what you think of this book, which does attempt to provide a solution to these. It's also just interesting as a fan of Schopenhauer, half the book is a biography of him intertwined with the rest of the story.
 

Da Blob

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Thanks for the heads up, it sounds like a really interesting book. I will have to put it on my wish list...
 

Da Blob

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No, I haven't been able to get to the library in 2 months!!! (a long Story)

Having to create my own "sci-fi/ fantasy universes" for entertainment...

I wish I was more adept with this new-fangled Internet thingy, which I just picked up last year. .. I am quite certain that there must be more out there than the intpforum, that is worth reading...
 

Da Blob

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Thanks I just read the first chapter, and needless to say I can identify with the main character.

However, I can't deal with this "All Believers are deluded fools" thing again. I know Whom I believe! I am too much of a cynic for it to be otherwise.


Again why exalt Thus Spake Zarathrustra? It is a textbook for suicide written by a mad man... I believe that if the book did not feed the egos of a certain class of intellectual snobs, it would ceased to have been published a long time ago. The book allows them to "look down there noises" at millions of those who have dedicated themselves to the Cause of Belief - without having to offer the slightest dribble of respect for those willing to make sacrifices for an ideal. Bah Humbug, what have the Nihilists done to help there fellow Man, compared to Us, the deluded fools, that believe in the possibility of something greater and grander than mere humanity at work in the Universe?

The author discounts all religion, and expresses pity for believers and then goes on to state that it is Nietzsche that offers life not Our God...

However, I do believe that philosophy makes for good therapy and I hope the book is not just a believer trashing manuscript

Side note: crud it took me ten times longer to write this comment that it did to read that chapter:slashnew:
 

Beat Mango

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I'm surprised you picked that up - I had to re-read the chapter to see which part you were referring to. No, the book does not take up the idea of religion as a major theme or even a minor one. I think that section there is the only time it's mentioned. It could well be considered, however, anti-rational, or certainly pro-Feeling.

I think by the way that your reading of Nietzsche is incorrect. TSZ does not advocate suicide (there's a specific passage on it (if you want real pro-suicide stuff check out the Hagakure of the Samurai - and look how romanticised they are in pop culture!)), nor is it nihilstic (he does not believe in nothing - he believes in the übermensch for one), nor was
its author insane (there is no evidence to this claim). If there was one word to describe it, it would
be transhumanist.

Yalom does romanticise Nietzsche and TSZ though which I think is equally incorrect, going to the other extreme of the spectrum - he tries to be humanistic AND Nietzschian which I think are incompatible.
 

Da Blob

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I agree, and perhaps I over reacted. Nietzsche does not = nihilism. However, I just see the thing as causing far more damage and depression than anything positive. If he had not made a least a few valid observations in it, even TSZ would have been dropped from the atheists 'required' reading list.

The concept of the Ubermench has been particularly destructive, it was the basis for Nazi atrocities on a grand scale. While nihilism as a philosophy reinforces certain mental disorders: depression, sociopathy, and Narcissism - to name a few. While it may have therapeutic value for a very few individuals, I just can not see it as a legitimate philosophy because of its inherent elitism..
 

snafupants

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That book sounds pretty cool, I may have to read it. I can def relate to the talk of overcoming schizoid, ascetic, nihilistic tendencies - victim of arguably all three.

No therapist myself, but I think balance is a wise goal to strive for. Balance between reading and being outdoors, between being alone and with others, and between hedonism (easy) and asceticism. This would be wise.
 

Cognisant

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Lol, the Nazi movement was based upon an elitist value set, at most a reaction in rejection of nihilism, because nihilism itself is without inherent values, whereas the Nazis believe in their inherently superior master race, Nietzsche just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you want to continue your slander, make a thread for it.
I'll be there :smoker:
 
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