My grandma died today. My granddad died last week. My mum went missing on Friday night and I was up all night, whilst my dad was out searching for her at 4am until around 8am. We were panicking hugely.
She then came home and said she’d met someone else and left, on Sunday, and hasn’t spoken to us since. It has been an awful week. Life slowly crumbling in less than seven days is difficult to rationalise, but I am trying to remain logical. I do not get overly sensitive or upset easily. I recognise that life is absolutely insane at all times. I recognise this, because I recognise that the universe is insane. Humans tend to try to rationalise the insanity and try to pretend order exists. It doesn’t. Chaos ensues. We lie to ourselves, and that in itself is absurd.
It is virtually impossible to have a week like this, and not want to laugh at every other triviality of life. At work, we’re told to we’re not allowed ‘designer stubble’. Am I supposed to take that seriously? Laughable. Pointless. A waste of a life adhering to. We pour drinks for rich people and occasionally get shouted at by management for absolutely no discernible reason. Food has to be presented at a specific side of the table. Bullshit after bullshit after bullshit. What is the point? Perhaps the point of my life, is to always be entirely at odds with that World. I tend to see the entire World, as Theatre. When my boss has important meetings and wears expensive suits; it’s a game. One big game. Like little kids with their toys. Often I will stand there, as still as a tree, in the middle of serving a rich person a drink, and think to myself “What the fuck is the point? What am I doing?” You start to question whether you’re actually alive. Conflictingly, I do not ever want to accept the bullshit, as if it is necessary and meaningful. I like that I reject it.
But then I am suggesting life has a point.
There can be no point in a universe void of point.
There is no purpose, there is no reason, there is nothing beyond the physical World. Even that, is simply the way our eyes and our ears and our nose and our touch perceive soundwaves and rays of light. It isn’t real. We invent the idea that our lives are supposed to have meaning or purpose. We will always find that the World does not have the sort of meaning we try to attribute to it. Absolutely nothing makes sense. God is nothing but a man made personification of fear, in all its various guises.
Perhaps we make our own neat little abstract theory on purpose. Perhaps my purpose is to recognise that life is absolutely pointless, and live life accordingly. I know what it is that makes me happy; so perhaps that is the pursuit of my ‘meaning‘.
Gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
– Albert Camus
In talking about the death of my grandparents, I keep hearing people tell me “Well at least they’re together again” and “They’ve gone to a better place“. I find this a little bit unnerving. As if my intelligence is being insulted, with make-belief stories. It is a nice little story we all tell each other because death is something humanity hasn’t yet evolved as a species enough to reject silly little stories of comfort. Religion fills this gap nicely. A kind of weakly tied bandage over the hole of absurdity. For the most part, if you look through all the evidence, and the contradictions, you will find that religion and the idea of a God in the organised religious sense, is absolutely unnecessary and illogical and a barrier to human advancement in the psychological, social and medical sense. The idea of an afterlife, whilst it is a comfort to people, is absurd. Not in the sense that it is obviously untrue; no one can possibly know that. But purely because humans are limited by our senses, and our perception of the World. That perception does not include an afterlife. We cannot know an afterlife. It is far beyond our scope of understanding, and always will be. So it is absurd to pretend that we do. It is absurd to wear religious garments. It is absurd to pray. It is absurd to follow religious rules in the vain hope that you will be rewarded (surely a God would reward true morality, rather than coerced morality?) Belief is absurd. I would rather not be comforted by something that to me, makes no sense, and in fact, I find an abhorrent mask. I prefer to look at the life of the person, rather than the death and ridiculous notion of the after-life of a person. The life, is what I know.
I am getting my first tattoo in January.
I have chosen to have it written on the left hand side of my torso, from the bottom of my chest, to my hip. It will be an Albert Camus quote. Camus is my favourite Philosopher. I find myself relating to everything I read of his. He recognised the pointlessness of much of what life offers, but the realisation and the happiness one feels when recognising how absurd life is. The simple things that make us smile. That is what one should be living for. Everything else, is bullshit.
The tattoo will read:
“At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”