The Prison vs The Jungle


The famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer says the best way to accustom yourself to life is to view it as a prison. “That’s depressing,” I thought. However, the prison does ensure certain securities.

There is less uncertainty and danger in a prison compared to, let’s say a jungle. The prison is constructed by man to impose order. The jungle, abiding by the laws of nature, is pure chaos. Chaos is the law of nature; order is the dream of man.

Humans are order-making machines. What makes us most unique as animals (besides our neocortex) is our ability to create tools and cooperate with others (mind that engineering and the legal system are the institutionalizations of those skills). So people forget how well endowed we are to live enjoyably in the jungle if and when we choose to–after all, we are the animal atop the food chain.

In this world dominated by chaos, doubt, and uncertainty I value my Freedom. I reject the prison and choose to live in the jungle.

In prison you’re prescribed a routine, you’re given a bed and a room to sleep in, you are provided with meals. Some prisons are more comfortable than others, some may be larger, but they are still prisons with limited freedom.

In the jungle you embrace the stresses of nature to make you stronger. You work to create and sustain your own order. You must build your own routine if you want one. You must be prepared to defend your security.

The prison is more predictable and the jungle is more free. But I believe with freedom, you can always pursue happiness.


Jules Hamilton (@julesphamilton)