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Dear Euphoria,

Melancholia is one of the more destructive downfalls in existence that one can suffer. Once engaged, it is easily the most difficult humour to surrender, the most difficult companion to forswear or to repudiate.

It is thus no exaggeration to solemnly declare and aver to another that Melancholia—of all humours—is best when avoided at all costs; it is not to be courted or to be carelessly entertained. Whenever confronted with the opportunity to make its acquaintance, decline the offer through all means at one’s disposal—even having false hope would be better than to acknowledge its rude presence. When it is seen on some busy avenue approaching in one’s direction do not hesitate to quickly turn the other way! One’s judiciousness in doing so will be bountifully rewarded. And when it perchance deigns to entice one with a kind word where none will graciously offer any, promptly refuse it. For by not accepting its ruse it is discouraged from trying again. Furthermore, regarding Melancholia, the much-used truism that ignorance is bliss cannot be emphasized too much or to the point of triteness.

Melancholia delights in currying favor with the afflicted and the habitually morose. It gives false hope to the simple, and comfort to the bereft. By endless promises it lulls the unwary and the incautious, and seduces the dejected and disheartened. Through guile it wins the confidence of its victims and entices them with sweet assurances of its faithfulness, that there is none like it. With a false mirror, it deceives the weak-willed into believing in its deceitful reflection, an image of ostensible benevolence and goodwill. Through incessant reminders it precludes its deceived victims from forgetting the unwavering cruelty of this world, and to religiously recall the superabundant kindnesses and generosity of none other than it. Through deceit and half-truths Melancholia erects and builds its crestfallen lovers into a false picture of security and unconditional, positive regard; only to watch them fall headlong from the precipice with their hopes and false sense of safety dashed to the hard, unforgiving ground below forever whenever the mood suits it. Throughout all this orchestrated tragedy Melancholia works insidiously, conscientiously, employing and using methods that it knows only too well and always with a single-minded goal to destroy. Be forewarned, therefore, that Melancholia employs several principles for mental siege of its hapless prey.

The first principle of Melancholia is to prefer falsehoods and prevarications over truth. Where a true friend always tells a companion what he needs to hear, Melancholia tells that soul only what he wants to hear and thereby does him a great disservice. Though Melancholia beguiles with relish, it is of the mind that every iota of knavery goes the distance, that a trail of breadcrumbs entices as much as a meal of mutton. Unending weariness and a listless look invited destruction, but Melancholia protests in abundance that ennui and boredom are “health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones.” As Jonathan swore his faithfulness to David in the Old Testament, so swears Melancholia to them who would give ear to it; and feigns as a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Melancholia is in reality friend to none and an unchaste blight and scourge to all. It counsels against chastity and good sense, and delights in causing the young bride to abandon the husband of her youth. Melancholia dances to the music of psalteries and harps and cymbals and entices one to drink and be merry when mirth is in the house of fools and when deliverance is in the house of thoughtful only. When vigilance is required, it makes an exception for a little sleep and a little slumber. By bearing false witness against one’s neighbors, it works discord and strife where there is only peace and harmony. And through theft and fraud, Melancholia reaps where it did not sow.

Melancholia’s second principle is to spread belief that all is not for the best in the end. It contradicts and overrules master Gottfried Leibniz’s dictum that we live in “the best of all possible worlds” is absolute rubbish. Melancholia would have us all believe that we quite literally live in the worst of all possible worlds—in a Hell on earth, in fact! Melancholia blesses those cursed souls that heed Pessimism; and curses those blessed souls that instead heed Optimism. It deceitfully declares that all of God’s benisons are really curses, an onerous loan to be repaid in the future at great interest. “God’s blessings are essentially usurious!” protests Melancholia. Also, it would coax and canoodle everyone into the belief that Hobbes is right about the state of life and nature—that we all are condemned to lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” To hear such dark tidings is rude when one is feeling merry; but to hear the same woebegone news is bane when one is already crestfallen and morose. Indeed, to heed Melancholia is to reject all hope and to embrace the abyss. Even a happy death is preferable to the delusions of Melancholia. A caveat to all that it is better to immediately disown Melancholia upon its birth in the homestead of one’s mind by surrendering it to the wilds of your mental forests where the cognitive wolves can devour it, rather than let it grow to adulthood and take root in your psyche as an arch-rival to the throne of your psychological “kingdom.”

Melancholia’s third and final principle is the dissemination of nihilism, the philosophy that nothing actually exists or that existence or values are meaningless. It was Melancholia’s suggestion that moved King Solomon of ancient Israel to proclaim in the Book of Proverbs: “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” Melancholia would distort and warp this Solomonic proverb to mean that all is utterly valueless, meaningless, and useless. However, despite Melancholia’s wishes King Solomon provided a qualification to his proverb: the one and only real meaning in life is to work, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and worship the Lord your God. But Melancholia instead protests and insists, “God is dead! Read Nietzsche if you do not believe me!” If Melancholia had its way, it would have us all believe in the delusion that all is dead and meaningless and without value: that Life and the Self are meaningless, purposeless and intrinsically valueless; that Morality is non-existent and void; that Faith is subjective, relative, and thus devoid of reality and meaning; that Anomia is the norm du jour and the ne plus ultra! “Deal with it,” mocks Melancholia, “for you matter to me not at all. You are temporary, short-lived, transitory…here today and gone tomorrow like a fleeting vapor. You do not even outlive the very dust that you trample on!” So how does one disregard and put aside Melancholia’s nihilism? The answer is simple enough. Avoid, resist, and put out of your priceless psyche—where the war is either lost or won—Melancholia’s seductive, but baneful voice and suggestions. Do not let it or its lies in your mind. Instead, always guard it against Melancholia. Always be vigilant and watchful of your thoughts as well. If you follow these simple instructions, you shall be safe and well from Melancholia’s nihilism.

In conclusion, my dear Euphoria, simply avoid Melancholia and all appearances of it to the highest degree. Do not flirt with it or carelessly court it. Do not let it beguile and charm its way into your mind and psyche with its frequent indulgences of your occasional, but temporary moments of emotional weakness, self-pity, or sorrow. Finally, never admit or allow Melancholia into your realms of thinking and believing and hoping.

Godspeed from Your Mentor and Most Loyal Friend,

Laetitia


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"To have the soul of a poet is to feel with the mind, and to think with the heart."

--Ngoc Nguyen




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