So here I sit at my desk at 4am. The screen is open. I’ve been wanting to write a continuation of my fictional universe for some time, but the words refuse to follow. Instead I’ve decided to at least write my thoughts out since there are plenty of those, and with the hope that it’ll help produce more writing.
Often I find myself being like King Solomon without God; that is, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes. For the uninitiated, it’s the guy who yells out: Everything is meaningless! He hands out the ‘Meaningless Card’ like he’s Oprah giving out free stuff.
Depressing? Sure. Let’s not sugarcoat it.
Most books on wisdom, no matter the culture, tend to say the same thing. I suppose that’s just a human theme for the wise.
So why is everything meaningless? I suppose I could go into a metaphysical view on the hollowness of reality. No one would be interested in that I think.
Just cheer up. Go outside. Find a girl. Get drunk. Get laid. Something something go discover America (Wait, can’t do that anymore).
Those are the typical responses. Other responses are usually something along the lines of “You haven’t lived life! You haven’t experienced it!”
I guess that since I haven’t done everything life has to offer, I therefore am unable to complain.
Ecclesiastes complained about it, and he literally had everything. Yeah but he doesn’t exist.
Ad infinitum why I’m not allowed to say things are meaningless.
I’m not the first to have this, nor will I be the last, and I wouldn’t classify it as depression either. There’s a whole philosophical shelf devoted to it. To me, it seems there’s a greater mystery at hand.
If I might offer a critique, mostly because no one can argue with me at the current time of this writing, the typical responses above seem to me more like a diversion from the situation at hand. [Kierkegaard goes in depth about this kind of activity. Sadly, since its so late (or early) I can’t recall the exact book.]
Man is great at deceiving himself. Reality is too much to bear (Burnt Norton, T.S. Eliot).
I have my own diversions. I’ll freely admit this. Do they help? Not at all, or at least they just stave off the existential dread for a little bit.
You know those moments during the day where life is great. It seems wonderful. Then when you enter your room to sleep, but you are unable to, because you are by yourself? It’s comparable. Although I have little issue with being alone; in fact, I prefer my solitude like a monastic hermit.
I think I may have side tracked.
Right. So the whole King-Solomon-without-God thing. Taken at its core, it’s depressing for your average, materialistic/ambitious person. If you don’t believe in God, its really depressing, if not out-right drivel.
I can already read the comments in my mind about how a person doesn’t need God to enjoy a fulfilling life.
Then why are you reading this? Go on and enjoy life. Don’t argue with some internet stranger. Heaven forbid someone is wrong on the internet.
For the rest of us, I think it’s important to think about this.
If St. Augustine were born in our times, I’m sure he would’ve been the horny teenager I believe him to be (especially with the internet and condoms), but also his statement our hearts don’t rest until they rest in you would be especially meaningful to him.
Those who know first hand of what I’ve been rambling on about: We’re restless. Everything seems meaningless. Material pursuits do not fulfill us. Why is this? Well, let us assume the Christian understanding of the person: Man was created for God. So it makes sense that everything else cannot compare.When we try to go after lesser goods, it’s the equivalent of a kid trying to force a square into a triangle shaped hole.
It’s not really going to work. Surprise!
I believe C.S. Lewis said this, but in this train of thought, we’re not really being ambitious. We’re settling for something lesser, and by settling for something lesser we’re not really happy in the end. So what happens? Either we learn from this and try to become ambitious and aim for the Ultimate Good (which is God, duh), or we try to fill our lives with a whole bunch of lesser goods to fill up the void in our life.
Oh, look at that. We’re back to the typical responses that people have given me about the whole matter. Big surprise.
All in all, my guess is that religion is a worthy pursuit, if you’re in the kind of situation I am. Myself, I tend to sway between believing and not believing. It’s hard. I wonder as to why some people perceive the world as such and others don’t. As I write this, I am recalling another blog writer’s opinion about how spiritual perception is stunted during growth, much like how speech or social skills can be impeded. I’ll have to inquire about this.
But these are just the words of some guy rambling on. Maybe I’ll make a coherent post and dissect the whole matter.
Author’s note: Jeez. Rereading my post, I can see my inner philosophical workings and their tie-in to everything. Creation-sin-beatitude. If you know what I’m talking about, kudos. If not, don’t worry about it. Basically I covered large theological grounds in the framework of a rant.