August 15, 2021
From Libertarian Labyrinth
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joie de vivre

ApprĂ©cier la vie, goĂ»ter avec joie, avec voluptĂ© mĂȘme Ă  tous les instants infiniment brefs et fuyants, mais dont la succession forme la trame de notre existence, ressentir un plaisir Ă  entamer chaque nouvelle journĂ©e ; telle est la maniĂšre d’ĂȘtre seule dĂ©sirable pour un individu qui a tuĂ© en lui tout germe de mysticisme, et qui se moque de toutes les formes de l’ascĂ©tisme — tenant cette pratique pour contraire au sain Ă©quilibre, comme l’apanage des tempĂ©raments nerveux et des estomacs dĂ©biles. S’il ne possĂšde ce fonds d’optimisme, la vie, pour l’affranchi, n’a du reste aucune raison d’ĂȘtre.

Envisager la vie, en dĂ©pit des religions et des morales passĂ©es ou prĂ©sentes, comme un long jour de fĂȘte, allĂšgre et serein, tel est le seul Ă©tat d’esprit qui nous permette d’accepter d’ĂȘtre.

Mais quels seront les promoteurs et les artistes de cette fĂȘte? Aucun apprĂȘt n’est fait. Toutes les circonstances qui nous entourent sont presque toujours hostiles, les difficultĂ©s, les luttes lassantes, l’abandon des nĂŽtres sont notre lot — infailliblement. C’est par nos propres moyens, par nos propres forces, qu’il nous est donnĂ© de rĂ©aliser « la joie de vivre ». DĂ©couvrir en la vie un attrait profond, un attachement puissant ne dĂ©pend aprĂšs tout que de nĂŽtre vitalitĂ© intĂ©rieure, que de notre capacitĂ© de nous crĂ©er un univers individuel.

Probablement nous passons, ceux d’entre nous qui se rĂ©fugient en eux-mĂȘmes, pour ĂȘtre « dans les nuages ». Mais qui Ă©noncent cette ironique remarque ne feraient pas un pas en avant pour contribuer Ă  la satisfaction de nos dĂ©sirs; du reste, mĂȘme animĂ©s de la meilleure volontĂ© du monde, qu’y pourraient-ils ?

Car la joie humaine ne peut avoir d’autre source que la satisfaction intĂ©rieure provenant de l’accomplissement de l’ĂȘtre. Personne n’ignore l’incurable ennui de certains possesseurs de biens que d’autres n’imaginent mĂȘme pas et n’oseraient mĂȘme pas convoiter.

Personne ne peut mĂ©connaĂźtre l’intensitĂ© de vie et la plĂ©nitude attentes pur des artistes, des artisans, des voluptueux, bien maigrement favorisĂ©s quant Ă  la matĂ©rielle, mais possesseurs d’un ardent foyer intĂ©rieur.

Rien de nouveau dans ces quelques lignes : tous les sages et les philosophes l’ont rĂ©pĂ©tĂ© Ă  peu d’exception prĂšs. Si nous revenons quand mĂȘme sur cette vieille question, c’est en raison de sa primordiale importance pour un individualiste, persuadĂ© que son unique appui est lui-mĂȘme.

— Catherine Campoursy.

joy of living

To appreciate life, to taste with joy, even with delight all of the infinitely brief and fleeting moments, the succession of which forms the weft of our existence, to feel a pleasure in starting each new day; this is the only way of being desirable for an individual who has killed in themselves every germ of mysticism, and who scoffs at all forms of asceticism — holding this practice to be contrary to healthy equilibrium, as the prerogative of nervous temperaments and weak stomachs. If they do not possess this fund of optimism, life, for the free individual, has no reason to exist.

To envision life, despite past or present religions and morals, as a long day of celebration, cheerful and serene, is the only state of mind that allows us to accept being.

But who will be the promoters and artists of this festival? No preparation is made. All of the circumstances around us are almost always hostile. Difficulties, boring struggles and the abandonment of our own are our lot — infallibly. It is by our own means, by our own strength, that we are given to realize “the joy of living.” Discovering in life a deep attraction, a powerful attachment depends, after all, only on our inner vitality, only on our ability to create an individual universe for ourselves.

Probably we appear, those of us who take refuge in ourselves, to “have our heads in the clouds.” But those who utter this ironic remark would not take a step forward to contribute to the satisfaction of our desires; moreover, even animated by the best will in the world, what could they do?

For human joy can have no other source than inner satisfaction originating from the fulfillment of being. No one is unaware of the incurable boredom of some who possess goods that others cannot even imagine and would not even dare to covet.

No one can ignore the intensity of life and the fullness of pure expectations of artists, craftsmen and the voluptuous, very scantily favored in terms of material goods, but possessors of an intense internal fire.

These is nothing new in these few lines: all wise men and philosophers have repeated their sense with few exceptions. If we come back to this old question regardless, it is because of its paramount importance to an individualist, convinced that their only support is themselves.

— Catherine Campoursy.

Catherine Campoursy, “Joie de vivre,” l’en dehors 12 no. 250-251 (mi-Mars 1933): 71.

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]




Source: Libertarian-labyrinth.org