The abyss ain't that interesting

So Freddy the Neat (OK, gotta pause to laugh at this one: Nietzsche would ultimately argue the impossibility of an evolutionary explanation of the human aesthetic sense) is quoted as having said He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. I have no quarrel with the first part; it is well worthy to be borne in mind by those who seek to righteously improve the world. However, the bit about the abyss is silly romantic twaddle.

The abyss does nothing – it just is (insofar as it even is; mostly it only exists in the minds of those staring into it). The problem with staring into the abyss is what you do inside your own stupid head while you're doing it – notably including any vain delusions of self-importance such as imagining that the abyss notices your attention, much less cares in the least about it. The abyss never does gaze into you. The abyss treats you with the utter indifference that, from its perspective, you deserve. I encourage you to look at the world from some other perspective. I've done free-fall down the abyss for a few years of my life and I can attest that it's not healthy. Life goes on and paying attention to it is more rewarding.

Freddy was way too fond of the elegant turn of phrase. Just because it sounds cool, doesn't mean it means anything or is worthy of attention.

Other voices

While finding the links for that, I stumbled on some interesting philosopers of the century leading up to my childhood: Albert Schweitzer and Walter Kaufmann.

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