Probably, there cannot be just one answer, just as Victor Frankl concluded in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Frankl survived the concentration camps created by the Nazis seventy-some years ago. His wife and his family did not.
I have not been called to deal with such adversity, but every day I wrestle with a kind of existential darkness that doesn’t go away.
Is there anything, really, that matters?
I’m in counseling. I take medication. I don’t think the fact that I ask these questions can be fixed. The questions themselves are not pathological. Clearly, however, given by the means of how they inhibit my work and the enjoyment of my life, the questions of “Why?” have given rise to a set of thoughts that make it difficult to write the fiction I want to create.
When I go to counseling there are tests to take. Honest answers, every time. Allow me to a paraphrase a few of them, and my answers that take the form of a mark in the relevant box.
-Do you sometimes feel like you’d be better off dead?
I always answer ‘not at all’ to that one.
-Do you feel as though something awful might happen?
I always answer ‘not at all’ to this one as well.
Both good answers, right? However, they do not get into why I answer them the way I do.
Not at all. Not at all.
Of course, I don’t think I would be better off dead. No one knows what death means, but the simplest answer is that it is the end.
Logical thinking should lead one to prolong what we know as life as long as possible.
What’s that saying? “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
I suppose that’s true. Partially.
Of course I don’t feel as though something awful might happen. I live with the certainty that the worst is yet to come. And some day, the worst will happen. My life, and everything I have done will end in as pointless a fashion as I have lived it so far.
That second one is the worse of the two. I may have completed the logic test of existence.
We do not know if life has any meaning or purpose. We do not know if anything we do matters, or if nothing does.
This is the ultimate conclusion of existential logic. All we know is we are, for a brief few moments of history. Each of us only knows ourselves, and the not-unreasonable inference that others are as real as we are.
However, time will cut every one of us down. Some works of art will last a few years, decades, centuries longer than their creators, but we do not know if that means anything. And in the long-run, everything made by humanity is also doomed to dissolution.
Immortality through one’s work?
Don’t make me laugh. To be sure if I did laugh, it would not be from mirth.
Why do I engage in this kind of destructive post? This kind of writing must be damaging to my mentality, of that I am fairly sure.
Yet, I have plodded back and forth to this subject. Logic is a useful tool, but not in every situation. Just look at where is has led me over and over.
Oh, I’ve heard philosophers say that at least we’re free while we live.
Shit, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, maybe because it is completely indeterminate as being fact or simple hope.
To claim your belief as fact is completely abominable is it not?
To claim your as absolutely useful is also a flawed premise, because ‘tis reason brought me to this state.
As Dead Can Dance sang, “How fortunate the man with none.”
We cannot rely on logic in an absolute sense. All absolute certainty is based in faith, and faith is so out of favor in the world right now I have felt the popular opinions weigh me down.
After all becomes nothing, what then?
What good is your science, your glory, your power, in the void of non-existence that we know awaits humanity?
I am still young, but have for years been told I often seem older. Perhaps my mental age is what leads me to this horrific conclusion. Perhaps this is a conclusion I can abide only because of the idols crafted by pundits with whom I otherwise find myself in agreement.
Make no mistake, your idols are nothing, whether they be material or mental. Thoughts are ephemeral, and ideas are as mortal as the brains that contain them.
I hate being agnostic. Is that the point of this post? I suppose it may be.
I certainly have wandered down this line long enough.
How does one make oneself believe again? How does one boot logic when it gets drunk on grief? How does a young man with a mind that has dreaded death for over a decade cope with reality?
I am not sick, except in the mind. Would that I could find a cure for a monkey mind.
Thanks for reading.
I am so sorry.