— Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher 1632 - 1677
Contexto: For Spinoza, philosophy originates in the very personal... feeling of emptiness that in the philosophical tradition has earned the distinguished name of contemptu mundi, the contempt for worldly things, or, better, vanitas.... Spinoza says that... success in life is just a postponement of failure;... pleasure is just a fleeting respite from pain; and... the objects of our striving are vain illusions....
The feeling of vanitas Spinoza describes is... a dire encounter with the prospect of descent into absolute nothingness, a life without significance coming to a meaningless end.... The experience Spinoza records... establishes... the moment of extreme doubt, fear, and uncertainty that precedes the dawn of revelation.... the journey... is one trodden by poets, philosophers, and theologians too numerous to mention, who for millennia have recorded this feeling that life is a useless passion, a wheel of ceaseless striving, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and so on.<!--pp. 55-56
Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic (2006)