Another quote from Colin Wilson

“We live in a culture which is saturated with pessimism”

Is this true? And if it is, what can we do about it?

If I understand Wilson, he suggests that when looked at rationally, pessimism is false while optimism is true.

Hmmm, on this one I would be inclined to say that both pessimism and optimism are vices, and by virtue of what they are, blind us to what truth is. Optimism can make one just as foolhardy and ignorant as pessimism can. I think one of the errors of modern Western thought is that to seek happiness, contentment, and so forth are prime virtues. In my experience, these very rarely collude with truth and rightness. But they are not as sexy. So it is easy to say that optimism is a preferable state to pessimism because it puts a person into a state of semi-euphoria much of the time, but should they be?

I’m not entirely convinced either way, but my gut sense leans toward a more balanced world view, where neither happy-seeking, optimism, pessimism nor resignation are optimum paths for a human to endeavour toward. But on to the quote, I might disagree with that notion, too. I think there is just as much a case for culture being saturated in optimism. Unrealistic optimism, in many cases. So much so that it can cause a feeling of hopelessness and resignation in the minds of the participants of it.

As relevant to us, consider the standard story structures that are embedded in culture all around. The happy ending, the ultimate victory of good over evil, and so on. None of these match reality as we know it, but are inherently optimistic in their view of reality. Since things rarely ever do have happy endings; since there is no clear evidence for good being a superior strategy over evil; this can lead to pessimism in our daily lives.

Both pessimism and optimism are in reality just personal perception.

How you perceive the world is solely up to you. How someone perceives you is up to them.

Presentation is a reflection of your perceptions but leaves vast room for interpretation, an interpretation based on someone else’s perceptions.

We are ruled by our perceptions and our presentations. Everything else is a result of that.

As a personal working mindset I prefer optimism.

As a business working mindset I prefer pessimism as I know full well people will lie and let me down.


…always? Surely not. That`s more cynicism than pessimism, and very sad. A bi-product of negative experiences, perhaps?
Take care

In a business setting I have to hope for the best and plan for the worst. Reliance upon suppliers of goods and services without adequate “planning around” means you are in for a stressful time.

It may appear cynical but most people can’t find their own arse with both hands. I plan around it.

I collect stupid events.
Scene; Bus at Waterloo station.
Female Passenger: Driver-does this bus go via the Strand ?
Driver: No.
Female Passenger: Why not ?

As if the driver was going to explain the logic of the bus route planners of possibly 70 years ago with a bus full of waiting passengers.
Her stupid mindset blinded her to the fact she needed to make a journey not attempt to bully and bluster her into making a bus divert for her.
Most people are so stupid they should be on a leash not roaming the streets.
Cynical ? Your judgement. I consider it a positive practical view of life.

That mindset gets me through the world safely.

I know that woman, her name is Alice and she lives next door. Sometimes she is like that, but you should taste her queen cakes. Yummy!

No, Alice is OK.
This was Cynthia whose purpose in life is to get her own way at whatever cost to you.

She really did believe she could bully the driver to take a detour.

I laughed at her openly and she scowled and wanted to attack me.
But at that time I looked like a psycopathic skinhead so her aggression wilted.


Me its my personal working mindset is confidence.

My business working mindset is capitalism.

I usually profit from both of these because I do not expect much from anyone and am thankful for anything.

A kind word but a stern hand may be old fashioned to some but that is how I was raised. :slight_smile: