Philosophical tale

by Marcel Délèze


The following characters appear in this tale:

The musician
Our musician is an artist in every sense of the word, even the less glamorous ones. He has composed melodies that have accompanied the most famous films, composed songs for famous singers. He leads a chaotic life, remarries every year, spends some episodes of his life in drugs, others in detoxification. He is invited to star-studded television shows. He is interviewed by the press, both on his musical work and on his latest conquest or relapse. He does not wallow in his relative unhappiness and seeks a way out that constantly eludes him.
The Philosopher
Whoever appears here is immensely cultivated and very productive. Being somewhat depressed and occasionally tempted to commit suicide, he has written moving pages about the nonsense of existence, which has brought his fame beyond the oceans. When he writes that man is irretrievably mired in the misfortune of his fate, he feels a great inner joy of being so brilliantly lucid, of being able to describe it and being recognised for it.
The believer
Following the death of a loved one, our believer decided to dedicate his life to God. He realised that what he had previously regarded as petty misconduct turned out to be in fact sins, some of which are deadly. To make amends, he was now going to devote himself as a lay auxiliary to the parish. He felt his work as a balm that soothed his feelings of guilt. Life is not more beautiful, but less painful.
An ordinary person
Our character, man or woman, has a modest profession, a family life which, without being brilliant, is rather happy. In philosophical or religious matters, he doesn't break his head and doesn't think too much about it. He does not ask for the moon when he foresees disappointment. A little lightness is an antidote to the heaviness of negative feelings. He lives from day to day, taking pleasure in the moment, but without sacrificing the future, keeping his head on his shoulders, as they say in his milieu. One must try to live as fully as possible, with the means at one's disposal. Life is beautiful as long as it is not ruined by the anxiety of an uncertain future. But happiness is something else.


A succession of major scientific discoveries and dazzling medical advances were made, capable of overcoming all mental illnesses. Following a thorough examination, a precise diagnosis can be made. A treatment, perfectly adapted to each case, can be prescribed. The result is a complete and definitive cure.

The musician and the ordinary person were declared sane.

As a result of the treatment, the personality of the philosopher changed. The pleasure of life returned. He became a writer. In his novels, he portrays desperate characters with a realism that makes for the greatest literary successes. What he dramatises in his work, he de-dramatises in his life. His pessimism has subsided. His novels now end with an opening to hope for a better future.

As for the believer, after a long psychological care, he found peace by becoming an ordinary person.


Especially when it comes to the meaning of life, madness is often the subject of misdiagnosis. One must weed one's inner garden to remove the sickly anxiety. It is religious indifference that heals the believer.

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