Omar Khayyam and Max Stirner

Translated by Ulrike Hirschhäuser

I Determined To Rely On Nothing !

1) A philosophy bordering on the limits of rational thinking

It is the indescribable ego and all its special characteristics which are behind everything. It is the focus of attention in Omar's poetry as well as in Stirner's works. Willpower, pleasure, good health etc. everything is part of its nature, but both do not define its nature in detail, i.e. they do not name it. The only motivating force that induces man to live and to develop is his egoism according to both Omar and Stirner, and his own free will, which adds to his uniqueness all his life. Suffering and happiness are results of the efforts of a creative human being, suffering and happiness depend on man's creativity. Both philosophers apply all those abilities they have been endowed with in search of the truth. They make use of the material world as well as the metaphysical world. Their philosophy of life cannot be captured by a generic term. The road they follow is not a straight one. It is not based on reason, intellect or religion. Whatever religious beliefs there may be, Kaaba and idolatry, holy cord, Tasbi, rosary and crucifix, they all truly mean slavery. Each individual person is given the opportunity to find himself/herself by detaching himself/herself from dogma and determination by others. Both philosophers represent the freedom of will and their own will opposes all gods and rulers. Consequently all ethical and social standards like right or wrong, good or bad are determined by the ego itself. No matter whether people are faced with religious laws or secular laws or scholarly principles, they all are foreign rules and may imply the oppression of one's own decision. Thus a passionate struggle begins against intellectual and spiritual rulers. No brilliant mind, no superior power can enforce limits on man's thought process, his thoughts are his own and therefore cannot be controlled by anybody else. Each variant of control over the individual may become the target of harsh criticism, be it convictions or enforced philanthropy, fate or whatever state constitution, all those fixed ideas must not govern the individual's thinking. "In cathedrals, mosques and synagogues man will be robbed of his peace of mind." The individual is free from thought and thoughtful at the same time. Therefore the ego turns into a radical fighter for the freedom of thought. If a thought develops into a constant guiding principle, the individual will be drilled to behave or think in a narrow-minded way, but if a thought is a useful one, it will be welcome until it becomes useless.We, too, should remember that the belief in reason and common sense and its advocates must be strongly criticized after all. It is reason and the firm belief in reason that makes the Bible important to the Christian and the law important to the citizen. As Omar sees the origin of all human evil in all those ideologies, which Stirner attacks heavily, too, he draws the conclusion that we have to get rid of those detrimental ideologies to create a world free from evil. In other words: the self-centred motivation of man's own will has to be freed from such ghosts so that his individuality can evolve. An individual's development does not require any standards foreign to its will, any type of upbringing, but it is to act according to its own free will and is to rebel against enforced organizations like the state and the church, against taboos and everything sacred. Up to Stirner's time the western world had consisted of suffering and pain for nobody had criticized those standards as fundamentally as Stirner. Now a new era was to begin in which the enjoyment of life became the meaning of life to a greater and greater extent.


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