There are two kinds of people on this planet: Leaders and Sheep. The distinction is not the one you think you know. It's not the one where 'leader' simply means 'political leader'. Neither is it the one where 'sheep' simply means 'one that blindly follows the decisions of others'.
The distinction that I have in mind is one of quality. Quality of thinking. And thus, quality in one's life, according to the subsequent layed out plan.
We tend to admire the ones whose life is dictated by quality of thought. We all admire Mother Theresa's and Albert Sweitchers for example, but few of us have the actual stamina or determination to go out there and do it.
The main obstacle that presents an impenetrable barrier to such noble acts, is the natural shortness of life itself. Since life is by definition short, engaging in noble acts is naturally displaced by the importance of well being and as we all know the self is always more important.
To those that believe in some sort of divine intervention or godly providence, self importance can be naturally diminished, to the point of actually engaging in some of those noble acts, but for the rest of the people, who more or less resemble properly adjusted automatons following concise and instinctual survival directives, the self comes first. The result which you see today around you, follows very easily.
The experience of the noble mind, that which always strives to perfect itself, whether by diminishing the self or by offering sacrifices on the altar of serving the fellow, is usually characterized by a lack of support, for lack of a better word, since proper education, teaches the noble soul that no God is to be had and all resembles total and complete oblivion in one way or another, in the end.
Here, the noble mind comes to an impasse: I will call it, the irony of existence. You may call it futility, tragedy, Nature's sarcasm, whatever. Fact remains, that the noble mind, sooner or later will contemplate its own oblivion (prior to the fact) and therefore all meaning naturally dissolves into absurdity.
Let us illustrate for the sake of argument: You educate yourself. You gradually accumulate and amass tremendous amounts of knowledge. Will this knowledge help you in your death bed? No. Will it allow you to cheat death and maybe evade the natural course of your material body which is ready to decay and rot? No. So what's the point in educating yourself?
Before you answer 'the very process of understanding things, is pleasurable in and of itself', let me remind you of the premise of 'irony' again. You will die, sooner or later. So what does it matter?
'I educate myself so I can live better and enjoy myself more'. Yet in the end you will die. So will you remember this very better living or enjoying? No.
'Educated people cannot easily be conned by the whatever smartalecs are out there...'. Yet in the end you will die. So will you remember this very conning or its avoidance therefrom, afterwards? No.
'Being educated, I can avoid unnecessary pain'. Yet in the end you will die. So will you recall this very pain or its avoidance therefrom, afterwards? No.
'Better living is something I enjoy, therefore I like to own stuff'. Yet in the end you will die. Will you own all those things afterwards? No. Will you remember yourself owning them? No.
[Insert your next favorite reason for the thing you like to do, next]
It can be refuted as easily as anything else. Any personal preference of yours, dictates a severe sense of absurdity, which when looked carefully, will permeate your existence, to the point of desperation. For the noble mind, that is. Not for the automaton blockhead who can't think for itself.
Accordingly thus, there exists no 'meaning of life', perse, only vis-a-vis the things you like to do. 'Meaning of life' makes sense only insofar as you are alive and can think about it.
Getting to the core of the argument: An individual's life, resembles a linear, three stage, timing event (By assuming time is properly linear, of course):
That is, one has initially 'nothing', then one suddenly finds oneself into 'something' (being alive), and finally one returns to 'nothing'.
This very scheme, is the final verdict for all of us. Additionally, since stages 1) and 3) are non perceivable by definition, only stage 2) may have (perhaps some tangible) meaning.
So, in effect, consciousness appears to be something that appears out of nowhere, and then disappears. You all will agree that this is not very meaningful, now, is it?
Just as soon as you try to make sense of all this, your consciousness will cease to function and you will return to nothingness.
What's wrong with the above scheme?
I'll tell you what's wrong: It's fucking nonsensical. It just doesn't make ANY sense whatsoever. What's the difference if step 2) was omitted altogether? The experience, you say. What experience? Your life itself 'as an experience' will disappear as soon as you die. Even if the collective conscious/subconscious of humanity retains some mnemonic traces of your life, FOR YOU, it will cease to have any tangible meaning as soon as you die.
Therefore, what possible meaning could conscious existence have, since all traces of a specific life period will eventually vanish along with the body that experiences them?
The answer is, NONE. Life has no meaning whatsoever, except the meaning you give it. Not only life doesn't have any meaning, it is a direct and obvious grand absurdity, insofar that scheme 1)/2)/3) above doesn't have any tangible consistency, in and of itself or if you prefer, doesn't have a tangible consistency as a global scheme of things.
Life is not only meaningless, it is also inconsistent. You come from nothing, suddenly start perceiving things and then everything disappears. What exactly is the purpose of such a scheme?
I don't know. Many of you may imagine some sort of transcendent hyper life that sits on top of this one and we may, eventually, for some obscure reason, 'return' there. Insert your favorite religious philosophical dogma/baloney here and adjust according to beliefs.
In the end, however, even if you accept some transcendent theatrical play behind the scenes, with God battling the Devil or with Shiva and Kali and Ahriman, the fact still remains that when one sees the entire play, in toto, as an outside observer, it makes as much sense as the no-god/non-existence scenario.
So suppose the scenario ends with God building a new Jerusalem and stuff and selecting those 144,000 to live in it and that the beast is forever imprisoned in the 'lake of fire'.
Why? Why was there such a commotion for all this, if God (or whoever is up there) can achieve the same results in a thousandth of a second? (Thousandth of a second for you. Not for God).
Think about what life is, for a second. If life lacks meaning so profoundly, what else could life be but an illusion of the senses? An attachment of the senses to some sort of redesigned map of sorts?
But if life is an illusion of the senses, then does it make sense to conform to moral thinking? Why? Why should moral thinking make a difference, when stage 2) doesn't make any sense whatsoever? Even if life isn't an illusion, then does it make sense to conform to moral thinking? Why? In the end you pass into non-existence. Eventually everybody passes into non-existence. So what difference does it make if you help someone versus if you hurt that same someone?
You say that it's the 'now' that matters. And in the 'now' you exist, therefore never mind stages 1) and 3). Agreed. But stage 3) will surely and inevitably come. Therefore, what is the now, but a dream like experience that will come to an end?
I was born in 1964. Prior to 1964, the entire universe did not exist. Oh, sure, history tells me that humankind existed for 20,000 years. But does it matter for me? No. So isn't it perhaps similar to as if the Big Bang happened exactly in 1964?
The insightful reader will undoubtedly start thinking what this article is implying. I won't spell it out for you. I will only hint at it. If we start under the premise that the schematic 1)-2)-3) is valid, life loses all meaning, under the precarious scheme of a non meaningful dreamlike 'reality', which may not even be reality, perse.
For every reason for existence you may give me, I can give you ten reasons for life's absurdity.
If you insist that the truth may be that there is no inherent meaning to life itself, then I will ask you 'what's the fucking point of ME existing'? Or YOU existing, apart from maybe all of us sitting naked around the table at 5:00pm everyday and requesting our well deserved tea time?
Here, a second impasse rears its ugly head: The mind's insatiable desire for 'meaning'. It's not easy to classify this desire as noble or stupid. Some people have it, others don't. Some others, could care less. For the ones that care for a meaning, (the ones that I call noble), this desire is the surest way to schizophrenia. For the ones that don't care (or possibly don't understand because of lack of the appropriate mental triggers), it's the ultimate excuse to wrongdoing.
As such, there are clearly two classes of people: Those who care for a meaning and those who don't. I personally consider those who don't care to be part of the overall illusion. They ARE the illusion. Accordingly, when you engage into a conversation with them, it's all but a futile endeavor. You might as well talk against a blank wall.
The people who don't care for a more consistent meaning, are basically part of the matrix. Automatons, who are essentially incapable of extrapolating into the external thought space of the noble mind. And it is all but natural that they don't care, because the matrix itself hasn't endowed them with the mental capacity to confront such issues. In a way, they are nicely made, artificial intelligence machines.
You can only go so far (in depth) talking to an AI machine. It surely won't solve your metaphysical or existential problems and it certainly won't help you liberate your mind from the illusion, to which it is part of. This is clearly a direct violation of the automaton's directives.
The purpose of an AI automaton is clearly to keep you stranded into this island of absurdity, called life on Earth and to perhaps guarantee, in some unfathomable to you way, your eventual 'return' here, whether through your genes or perhaps otherwise. Cause what I call the matrix, for lack of better words, essentially needs your participation.
The collective consciousness that has existed on this planet for the whatever number of years you want to believe, needs to continue forward in time. And it cannot do this, if everyone wakes up, if everyone starts seeing what's behind the scenes.
But I have digressed. The similarities of the film matrix notwithstanding, for me at least, there exists a grand sense of 'imprisonment'. This feeling has existed before 1999, when the corresponding movie came out, nonetheless, even the film itself does not accurately describe what's behind the scenes.
What's really behind the scenes is not some grand computer which assumed control after a time predetermined war/battle. It's much much worse than that. In fact, it's so much worse, that no material mapping in this reality can accurately describe it, without distorting some of the very basic issues by definition.
The feeling I get, is akin to us being imprisoned not because we 'did' something or another, rather because 'something' needs to keep us imprisoned.
What is this something? I have no idea. But I am certain of one thing: This 'something' has a very specific need, which it 'satisfies' when you or I, are asleep. And by asleep, I surely don't mean sleeping in bed.
The evidently disgusting nature of 'it' engaging in its 'need' to satisfy this particular 'hunger' for that which I am talking about, makes it necessary for us to never know exactly what goes on behind the scenes. Because if we knew, we'd prefer to die, than to be alive and have to cope with it.
The observant reader will now proclaim: 'You have fallen pray of your own search for meaning! You have GIVEN a meaning to all this and it's akin to a grand conspiracy of sorts!' Of course you couldn't have expected any worse from me, since I can be very paranoid at times, hence the very idea of conspiracy creeps constantly inside my head and insidiously modifies any and all possible scenarios that attempt to give meaning.
So, to naturally avoid the trap of my own (perhaps) deranged mind, let's overrun the conspiracy with reason and return to the safe heaven of no meaning.
After all, with no meaning to life we can do as we please, can't we?. We can attempt 'patriotic liberation' of other countries and bomb a couple of hospitals and markets and maim a couple of hundred sheep and automatons, including children and pregnant women.
In the name of no meaning, we can safely liberate sheep from oppressive regimes and decide what's best for them. Wait, 'no meaning' can be renamed to 'liberty' and 'fight against terrorism'. Better yet: Let's all pull out our Bibles and try to brainwash the fucking sheep into believing that we are the rulers and that nobody can stand against us.
See, in the name of 'fighting terrorism' we can safely revert back to the stone ages and initiate wars in the 21st century, using the appropriate mentality of 'fighting ruthless dictators' to make the world a 'safer' place. Proactively, too!
I mean, let's lose all the collective conscious efforts for the betterment of humanity which we have achieved in the last 2,000 years, all in the name of 'proactive deterrent of terrorism'.
Since life has no meaning, everything goes, right? It's all absurd, anyway. Let's sever a hundred legs here, three hundred eyes there, move a couple of thousand away from their homes here, scare the living daylights out of another couple hundred by bombing their city at night, etc.
On to Bagdad, my fellow automatons! Bomb the shit out of them. It doesn't make sense, anyway, so let's transform this fucking world into a sierra montagne joyride.
On to Bagdad, my fellow patriots! In the name of liberty and proactive safety, we can show our support for the few, the brave, the insane!
On to Bagdad, my fellow illusionary friends! In the name of 'dethroning evil dictators' we can show our blind support for the few, the rulers, the elite. Those that make decisions for us, because we are too stupid to think for ourselves.
On to Bagdad, my fellow lunatics. Let's transform this place into what it was always destined to be: Hell.
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