The emotions known as Weltschmerz and Ichschmertz are invariably described as juvenile; when they recur thirty-five years later, however, in men they are called the midlife crisis and in women, raised consciousness of patriarchal oppression.

But why are we so quick to condemn the feelings as adolescent in the first place? For what is their opposite? It is surely the person who feels no pain at the nature of the world into which he was born who has something wrong with him; surely the only way to achieve this sanguine awareness is to narrow down the world to some tiny fragment, which one can dominate and in which one feels comfortable, and then to crow happily on one’s own dunghill. This is the middle-class strategy. Likewise, what should we say of someone who is wholly content to be what he is? He must either be very enlightened or very ignorant.

When parents laugh at the Weltschmerz and Ichschmertz of their children, therefore, it is not because they have risen above these adolescent sentiments, therefore, but because they have fallen below them.

Posted on February 20, 2011 at 11:52 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: AGAINST NATURE, Defying The Demiurge

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