The Myth of Sisyphus

“The Myth of Sisyphus (French: Le Mythe de Sisyphe) is a 1942 philosophical essay by Albert Camus. The English translation by Justin O’Brien was first published in 1955.

In the essay, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd, man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers, “No. It requires revolt.” He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man’s life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. The essay concludes, “The struggle itself […] is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.

A friend told me the other night that in struggling as I do I am like

Sisyphus, pushing a boulder up the hill; and as I have reflected on his comments he is correct. In the last few months I have found myself pushing a boulder that is reflected in many areas.

My friendship with my closest friends is pushing a boulder up the hill, I fail, and I fail a lot.  I have yelled at them, over nothing, I  have let things slip to a mom, simply trying to do right, and I wonder why they even like me, I am very insecure with them, and they have been closer to me than brothers,  but I keep on pushing, the boulder up the hill the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

Work on the streets is difficult, very difficult, and we see people frustrated, and threats are made, yet in pushing the boulder up the hill I find myself happy.  It is not easy to have people cuss you, have your life threatened, but in pushing the boulder up the hill there is happiness;

With my shoulder in a sling, and doing physical therapy, there is often much pain, and fear, and I am so tired, but I keep on pushing the boulder up the hill the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

I have failed with a lot of people, and peoples expectations of me are often off. My doctor told me to day, you are going purely on will, right now, and you are suffering, but I keep on pushing the boulder up the hill, the struggle fills my heart, I am happy;

I find meaning in my life through my faith, but the reality is life is absurd, and I struggle with that absurdity through pushing the boulder up the hill; experience  extreme loneliness, and see people sleeping on the street as absurdity, and I keep pushing the boulder up the hill, and the struggle fills my heart and I am happy. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sim, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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