The Last Abyss
Back cover :
A philosopher prepares to spend a long night in a tomb somewhere in the Egyptian desert near ancient Thebes…
The reflections inspired by this unusual place open new perspectives on the great themes that have preoccupied human beings for all time: the meaning of life, eternity, the infinite void, and the freedom of man in the face of the immensity of the universe. This work does not rely on any belief system, nor belong to any mainstream philosophical movement – it is addressed to those who would accept seeing a certain number of their comforting certainties vanish. Throughout these pages, science and poetry are mixed with philosophy to sing the praises of gratitude and marvel before the beauty of existence.
Extract (pages27-28) :
I feel the need to light my candle again, and seeing the shadows flickering on the walls, I find myself once more in a space of human dimensions. And yet I have the impression that the anguish that gripped me could enable me to discover new horizons, as though the profound meaning of my life had been slightly unveiled to me. Most of us confuse anguish with fear. Fear enslaves us; always definable, it only concerns our instinct for survival. Anguish, on the contrary, reigns over the world of uncertainty and over the world of the indefinable – where we lose our bearings and our habits. Behind all anguish lies the search for new values. Anguish engenders a noble fight and helps us to overcome our self-importance and our limited expectations in the face of our considerable potential; anguish leads us to ask ourselves the real meaning of things. The physicist Steven Weinberg ventured to say: “The more we understand the universe, the more it seems void of meaning.” Man has a habit of seeing meaning in all things, because if nothing had any meaning, he wouldn’t have any either. He will perhaps discover that his desire to find – at any price – a meaning for his existence, can become an obsession that he must overcome if he wants to be free. To opt for this freedom – wouldn’t this be a fight worthy of him? Refusing the easy way, he could – in supreme detachment – take anguish by the hand like an old friend who would lead him where fear no longer exists. He would then feel a wonder that no word could define, a feeling surpassing even that of bliss.