What should I read to break out of the endless loop that brings me back to the absurdity of (my?) perceived reality? (I'm not talking on a human scale but on an endless time scale) If the question has been asked in some other form could you please point me to it?

Furthermore, this wikipedia article on Absurdism states: "The Absurdist's view of morality implies an unwavering sense of definite right and wrong at all times"

What does right and wrong mean in a context of an absurd conclusion? And why/how did this particular philosophy corner itself into such a simplified interpretation of things?

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    Can you tell me what order relation you're using to compare absurdities? Otherwise I can't tell you what lies beyond it.
    – user4894
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 2:05
  • @user4894 there is/are no hierarchy(ies).
    – val
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 2:22
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    then what does "beyond" mean? It implies order: one thing is beyond another.
    – user4894
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 5:36
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    There is no ABSURD and everything is ABSURD. Your absurd is an invitation to search for what you called endless timescale JOY. Reading may prepare you for breaking out of this loop. But only experience will help you. Last but not least, maybe first - YOU can NOT break out if you will not THINK yourself. Take mental/moral responsibility for ALL absurd around as IF you created it.
    – Asphir Dom
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 15:36
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    Do you think an answer discussing the logic of "Reductio ad Absurdum" and "Ex Falso Quodlibet" would be inappropriate to your question? The classical idea that "absurdity" is a kind of trivialization functor on a theory might be worth thinking about, but I don't really know enough about Absurdism as a particular thesis on the human condition to know whether it's that closely tied to the logical concept.
    – Paul Ross
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


Several things.

I think you misread the Wikipedia article re:

The Absurdist's view of morality implies an unwavering sense of definite right and wrong at all times

or at least took it out of context. Reading the previous sentence in the article, "The absurdist is not guided by morality, but rather, by their own integrity", should illumnate that.

With that in mind, one can easily extrapolate that they recognize the validity of your question. Right and wrong are meaningless, temporal, and subjective; adding up to absurdity. However, they don't then throw the baby out with the bathwater and become nihilists; the ground of integrity is considerably more solid than morality, and gives one a stable path to walk on under all circumstances. Morality hangs witches; integrity does what this guy does.

And why/how did this particular philosophy corner itself into such a simplified interpretation of things

Where did you arrive at this conclusion? There is nothing at all simplistic about this philosophy. Unless of course you consider something simplistic that does not claim to know or attempt to answer all questions definitively.

Consider this quote from the Absurdism Wikipedia article referencing Camus on Elusion:

filling the void with some invented belief or meaning as a mere "act of eluding"—that is, avoiding or escaping rather than acknowledging and embracing the Absurd. For Camus, elusion is a fundamental flaw in religion, existentialism, and various other schools of thought. If the individual eludes the Absurd, then he or she can never confront it.

That is called taking fantasy as reality. That is called inventing a belief system; a point of view; a scientific perspective; etc. and elevating it to the status of dogma. To embrace the absurd doesn't imply (as I suspect you might be intimating) simply throwing up your hands and adopting a worldview of lethargic agnosticism (in fact doing this would be called eluding), but rather confronting life as it is and as it isn't without inventing fantasies to avoid confronting the absence of known external meaning and the certainty of your own death.

One of my favorite all time quotes comes from a little book called The Pocket Zen Reader, and is attributed to Dogen. It goes:

One need not necessarily depend on the words of the ancients but must only think of what is really true.

Simply put. To attempt to avoid the absurd, shield yourself from it one way or another, is to willingly blind yourself to what is right in front of you. It isn't to say that there isn't incredible and immense joy to be found in this life, but without seeing what's true (I mean this at the most basic level, like I am certainly going to die at some point;or I keep worrying, but I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow;), one invents or subscribes to myths - taking them as facts - and sees life through the filter of those myths.

To embrace the absurd is to see the fantasies you create about reality (to create stories about our lives is a seemingly inescapable aspect of being human) as fantasies; as nothing more than fiction, and then to love the fantasies and be their author rather than being a mere instrument of some novel written by someone else (God?). Seeing life as it is and as it isn't without adding anything or garnishing the future with hopeful thoughts allows one to go beyond the absurd.

The best quote I could find to illustrate the real power of the Absurdist viewpoint is by James Carse:

“What will undo any boundary is the awareness that it is our vision, and not what we are viewing, that is limited.”



[It wants more characters. Ok. Abutment follows absurdity in the dictionary. That's an absurd answer ... in the spirit of the question.]

  • OK but that answer still assumes a "direction". So could one say that absurdity defines a type of "edge" at the boundary to the logical universe?
    – val
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 12:36
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    Well, "one" wouldn't say it. I'm asking the OP to define "beyond" in this context. You can't have a beyond without a direction. Oh I'm sorry. You are the OP. Ok. So what does "beyond" mean unless you tell me what your order relation is? Given two things, how do I know whether one is beyond the other? If you don't tell me this, then how can anyone answer your question?
    – user4894
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 17:39
  • sometimes when you are solving problems you come to an impasse, then you get help or search/study a little more and you are able to work your way past the problem (or at least someone is able to get past it). I've come to a conclusion that everything turns absurd. So now I'm trying to get "past" it and I'm wondering how other philosophers might have done this. Otherwise... it feels like I've reached an eternal dead end. Is that a flaw in (my) thought or is that the conclusion everyone reaches?
    – val
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 16:43
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    The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne. -- Chaucer
    – user4894
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 20:52

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