“Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a dealer in souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?”
– Soren Kierkegaard
I do apologise for banging on in this tone, but I really do need to try to articulate myself as fully as possible, just to try to understand myself. Writing on here, is like untying what seems initially like an endless plethora of knotted thoughts.
I really do want to start concentrating on my political opinions again, but it’s a monumentously difficult task, when I feel like I’m descending into madness. Okay perhaps it isn’t that serious, but I cannot think on my usual level, I feel trapped in some kind of whirlwind of thoughts and feelings that just cannot be articulated in any particular way, or any particular outlet, as my previous blog entry proved. Chances are, I wont be able to concentrate on actual Political issues for a week or two. I hate when I go into this odd mode. It’s a little demoralising.
My mind becomes a mix of thoughts, surrounding the eternally unanswerable existential question; what the fuck is the point of me?. I’m coming to the horrible realisation, that perhaps there is no point to me. Perhaps “purpose” is a man made concept that outside of our quite ignorant version of reality, is actually a big empty nothingness; meaningless. Perhaps I have no purpose. Perhaps every hour of every day I spend either working or learning, is ultimately pointless. Perhaps all I’m doing is existing. Perhaps the laws of cause and affect apply only to the past and the present, there is no future goal. Perhaps, there is no future. Professor of Law at Harvard, Roger Fisher, once remarked “There is a fundamental human need for guiding ideals that give meaning to our actions”. Perhaps there is no absolute, black and white meaning to our actions. And so, by that logic, perhaps purpose is, as previously suggested, merely another man made concept designed to worry each one of us. Even if I’m horribly wrong, that’s how my mind currently operates, and I don’t know how to change it. Perhaps absurdism is in essence, making an important point that man’s search for harmony and reason, is at odds with the very nature of a chaotic, disorganised and ultimately meaningless universe that he inhabits. Perhaps the smell of the Office at 9am every morning, is as potent and soulful as life for some of us is ever likely to get. Perhaps the only worthy purpose, is the preservation of the species, improving the quality of life and maximising the chance of happiness for everyone. Because as once stated by Buddhist Philosophy Gyatso in “The Art of Happiness” – the purpose of life, is the chase for happiness. The chase itself though, is fucking difficult, especially for me. It’s confusing. It is the only aspect of life, that can bring me close to tears, because I’m forever locked into this relentless battle in my mind, that I cannot escape. However, and quite the juxtaposition, the realisation and acceptance that your existence is relatively nonsensical is almost a great weight off of your shoulders. I want more from life, and yet, perhaps there isn’t more.
This isn’t to say I’m depressed, or emotionally woren out. I do love life. I love the subtleties. I love people. I love the natural World, which I’ve started to appreciate a hell of a lot more recently. I love the feeling of extreme tranquillity. And I love how calm I am. I wonder though, what my value is to anyone. If anyone actually gives a shit. And I just absolutely hate that there’s a set path we’re all expected to take. There is almost a framework that we must all cling to, and build on. We must all be educated a certain way; jump into a career that we’ve been pressured into choosing for quite some time as soon as possible; earn lots of money; have a holiday once a year; feel utterly demoralised by a job you hate; ignore or embrace as little as possible any externalities that actually make us who we are; retire; die. I do not like that framework, and yet that’s the only way to live. It’s forced upon us. We are told how the World works, forced to understand beauty and serenity, and yet, no one understands it. Not me, not a scientist, not a businessman. The World, humanity, is a great mystery.
“With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can’t start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It’s like quicksand… hopeless from the start.”
– Sylvia Plath
The only way I can describe my need to question everything around me (which by the way, irritates me endlessly) is to compare it. I had this conversation with a friend the other day. I do not see anything in black and white. There are no absolutes with me. There are multiple shades of grey. Everything is obscure. As pointed out in another blog I wrote not too long ago, language itself confuses me, and demoralises me, and strips away beauty for me. It is like viewing the entire World through a frosted window. Nothing is obvious. It is a skewed reality. But then, my argument is, that my frosted window reality, may be just as ridiculously meaningless as what others consider to be their clear windowed version of reality. Someone said to me not too long ago “do you always have to question everything, can you not just accept things as they are?“. I was quite taken aback by it. I immediately thought “My way must be wrong“. It added to the confusion. When people challenge my vision of life, I tend to worry that I’m horribly wrong.
I constantly need attention when I start to feel like this. And I start to feel like this every few months I constantly need to be listened to. I constantly need to be reassured. But a paradox of wanting to express my deeply mixed feelings, in a fountain of words, at the same time, forcing myself to keep quiet through the unnerving fear that I’m disastrously boring everyone around me, is quite the challenge to overcome. An incessantly tormenting empty feeling, like I have nothing to cling on to, or put my full attention into. It’s almost hopeless, like standing in the middle of a twister, where everything around you is chaotic; and yet you’re in blissful ignorance and the calmness of the centre, but you cannot get out. You’re stuck. You can either jump into the madness and hope you keep up, or you can exist on this quite serene yet ultimately isolated and lonely plain. Either way, you’re stuck.
French Author and Philosopher, Albert Camus once said “There is not love of life without despair about life”. It’s a voice I find myself deeply fond of, because it speaks on my current level. Not a suicidal, angry, depressive level. Simply a questioning, reasoning level, like a child trying to figure the World out.