The Schopenhauer Cure

By Irvin D. Yalom

4.24 - ratings 18,130

Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine checkup, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work -- and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured -- miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer -- Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a...

Book details

November 10th 2020 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics

(first published June 4th 2000)

Edition Language
English

Quotes From "The Schopenhauer Cure"

"Life is a miserable thing. I have decided to spend my life thinking about it."
"Religion has everything on its side: revelation, prophecies, government protection, the highest dignity and eminence. . . and more than this, the invaluable prerogative of being allowed to imprint its doctrines on the mind at a tender age of childhood, whereby they become almost innate ideas."
"Live right, he reminded himself, and have faith that good things will flow from you even if you never learn of them."
"And what is the most terrible thing about boredom? Why do we rush to dispel it? Because it is a distraction-free state which soon enough reveals underlying unpalatable truths about existence—our insignificance, our meaningless existence, our inexorable progression to deterioration and death."
"If we look at life in its small details, how ridiculous it all seems. It is like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with protozoa. How we laugh as they bustle about so eagerly and struggle with one another. Whether here, or in the little span of human life, this terrible activity produces a comic effect"
"It has often been noted that three major revolutions in thought have threatened the idea of human centrality. First, Copernicus demonstrated that Earth was not the center about which all celestial bodies revolved. Next, Darwin showed us that we were not central in the chain of life but, like all other creatures, had evolved from other life-forms. Third, Freud demonstrated that we are not masters in our own house-that much of our behavior is governed by forced outside of our consciousness. There is no doubt that Freud’s unacknowledged co-revolutionary was Arthur Schopenhauer, who, long before Freud’s birth, had posited that we are governed by deep biological forced and then delude ourselves into thinking that we consciously choose our activities."
"The freedom of an unscheduled afternoon brought confusion rather than joy. Julius had always been focused. When he was not seeing patients, other important projects and activities-writing, teaching, tennis, research-clamored for his attention. But today nothing seemed important. He suspected that nothing had ever been important, that his mind had arbitrarily imbued projects with importance and then cunningly covered its traces. Today he saw through the ruse of a lifetime. Today there was nothing important to do, and he ambled aimlessly down Union Street."
"The greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the supreme object of life because that is the only reality; all else being the play of thought. But it might as well be our greatest folly because that which exists only a moment and vanishes as a dream can never be worth a serious effort."

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