An Exhausting Illusion

In Our Western culture, though not in all cultures, man seems so constituted that he can never rest upon his laurels. The moment he has achieved something, be it a position in the world, marriage and a family, a successful piece of research, a new book, painting, or musical composition, he is driven to question its value and look for something more. If problems are not there, he will invent them. Man seems to be a problem-seeking as well as a problem-solving animal. We are programmed to change, develop, and meet new challenges until we die. We are compelled to be perpetual travellers. If we travel hopefully, that is as much as we ought to expect. If we do not, we become depressed. The idea that we can ever arrive at a stable state in which life’s problems are settles is an illusion. The only “final solution” is death.

-Anthony Storr, Churchill’s Black Dog and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind

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