Will to Life

1 - "For Schopenhauer, the Will is an aimless desire to perpetuate itself, the basis of life. Desire engendered by the Will is the source of all the sorrow in the world; each satisfied desire leaves us either with boredom, or with some new desire to take its place. For Schopenhauer, a world in thrall to Will is necessarily a world of suffering. Since the Will is the source of life, and our very bodies are stamped with its image and designed to serve its purpose, the human intellect is, in Schopenhauer's simile, like a lame man who can see, but who rides on the shoulders of a blind giant.

"Schopenhauer's aesthetics is an attempt to break out of the pessimism that naturally comes from this world view. Schopenhauer believed that what distinguished aesthetic experiences from other experiences is that contemplation of the object of aesthetic appreciation temporarily allowed the subject a respite from the strife of desire, and allowed the subject to enter a realm of purely mental enjoyment, the world purely as representation or mental image."

"In proposing that art could offer deliverance from the Will, Schopenhauer elevated art from mere artisanry or decoration, and held that art potentially offered temporary deliverance from the aimless strife of the Will in nature. In effect, Schopenhauer turned art into a substitute religion by offering a doctrine of salvation through aesthetic experiences. Artists were not merely skilled hands; they were priests or prophets." (more...)