As a Day, 3 Passions Could Be the Meaning of Life
Love, knowledge, and humankind resembles the mornings, afternoons and nights
The searches for the meaning of life is the hardest part of a philosopher’s job. Despite logic, mathematics, or epistemology that has a specific metric, this search looks like a speculation work.
Excellent epigraphs are happy works that synthesize a thought. Bertrand Russell, a titan of contemporary, writes a metaphor for your life in the prologue to autobiography. We can see a parallel with the phases of the day: morning, afternoon, and night.
Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind
Mathematician and philosopher, Russell lived until 1970 when he was 95 years old. He married four times, won the Nobel Prize for Literature, writes “History of Western Philosophy” and “Principia Mathematica.”
#1 Longings for love
Mornings are as inspiring as love. They refer to births, beginnings, new chances.
“Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness,” explains Russell. The philosopher shows that love as a passion that takes you out of loneliness. It was through their union that a vision of dreams and poets as possible.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined
#2 Search for knowledge
Afternoons realize knowledge. It is the moments of insight that make us human. Russell claims to have “sought knowledge” with equal passion.
I have wished to understand the hearts of people.
I have wished to know why the stars shine.
Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens.
#3 Pity for the suffering
The nights remember that everything has its end. In the 1956 text, Russell states that when life seems in heaven, there is always a pity back to earth.
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to ease the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer
The philosopher concludes: “I found it worth living.”