Beyond the Myth of Sisyphus


Ever since Camus we have imagined Sisyphus happy, pushing his boulder
This “hero” accepts his fate and is devoid of hope
The perfect absurdist hero

What a hopeful chap that Camus, but such hope, he fails his own test
His boulder rests firmly atop his absurd postmodern hill

Camus can go no further, yet Sisyphus persists
Do not ask if he is happy (surely he is not)
Instead ask, does he accept his fate?

He ought to throw up his hands and beg forgiveness to the gods
Yet he persists
Why?

His actions speak for themselves
What do the actions of Sisyphus indicate about his beliefs?

What do your actions say about your beliefs?
What do you believe, really?

that pain is real, that suffering is real
that there is life, that there is death
that there is good, that there is evil
that there is truth, that there is knowledge

that truth is knowable amidst lies and deceit

that chaos is real, that order is real
that beauty is real
that God is … ?

For all our talk, we sure do act as if we believe

evidenced by his actions, there is only one belief Sisyphus holds
he fails — and he fails — and he fails
yet he tries again — and again — and again

It is as if the infinite power of the gods
to knock his boulder down back down the hill
has been matched by his stubborn refusal to give up

If the story is to be believed
Sisyphus once chained death and escaped the underworld
That is why the gods punish him

But clearly something still motivates him
He must believe that this impossible task is in fact doable
He once saw past the gods, he rejected them

I imagine his mind is freed of ego
and yet he is not happy, far from it
His torment is real — and – it – is – frustrating

He persists despite his
liberation from the unnecessary suffering of false beliefs
the gods of these traditions punish him daily
And he pushes against them eternal

He toils in a meaningless way
I do not see him as a hero nor as happy
I do not believe his fault was for defying the gods
No
Sisyphus once knew a path out of hell
His fault is a lack of wit and ingenuity,
a lack of wisdom and creativity,
to truly surpass what he must know can be surpassed