Of course, everything became absurd – has become absurd – just look around you.
We sit on this ball of rock, as it hurls through the abyss of space at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour…
And what do we do?
We cry and whine about the pointlessness of it all.
We hate and lie and cheat and steal, kill each other, and put ourselves at the center of it all.
We are fools.
I think it’s not a coincidence that we all think we want the same thing (truth).
One day, walking after class through the Jardin des Plantes on the Left Bank, they said to each other—as Raïssa recalled in 1940, writing from their apartment in New York—“ that if our nature was so unhappy as to possess only a pseudo-intelligence capable of everything but the truth, if, sitting in judgment on itself, it had to debase itself to such a point, then we could neither think nor act with any dignity. In that case everything became absurd.” “I wanted no part in such a comedy,” Raïssa recollected. “I would have accepted a sad life, but not one that was absurd.” She and Jacques agreed that for a certain period they would continue the “experiment” of living, to see if “the meaning of life would reveal itself.
But then, of course, they turn to the most important and basic philosophical question of humanity.
How can we avoid it?
But if the experiment should not be successful, the solution would be suicide; suicide before the years had accumulated their dust, before our youthful strength was spent. We wanted to die by a free act if it were impossible to live according to the truth.