T.H.A.T.R: “an upbeat acceptance of meaninglessness”

Posted: November 18, 2009 in The Hardline According to Ren

Here it is, the nihilism post.  It’s timely even, as in a short few hours the totally meaningless celebration of my 38th year of life on this planet will commence.  That’s right..at roughly 5 am on one dark and snowy November 18th in the year 1971, I arrived.

Still here, oddly enough.    So let us begin:  Nihilism, the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated, that life is meaningless, that there are no moral or ethical absolutes, there is no truth and even if there were, we could never know it,  a state of thinking in which many assume amorality is the flavor of the day and absolute destruction- of the self and the world- is what is on the table for dinner.

I am 95 % a nihilist.  The 5% of me that isn’t is holding down the fort and madly clinging to some sort of hope, but hey, water is rising and all.  Heh, even I have my weak points.  We’ll get to them and the 5% in a minute.

I have before in my blogging career mentioned how even though most people dream of one day being exceptional, most of them will never make it and will, in the course of two to three generations even be nothing perhaps more than names and faces on a photograph to even their own families.  We will ant farm our way through existence; produce, consume, and die and in the end it will mean nothing…we are little more than a tiny line with a tiny number, lost amid countless other tiny lines and tiny numbers on a great big huge bar code.  Who we are, what we have done?  That, for almost all of humanity, will be dust faster than our bones.  There is no ‘real’ reason to get out of bed in the morning.  There is no ‘real” reason to do anything really, except that we think we should do, we are told we should do it, we are used to doing it.  What we actually do or don’t do?  At the end of the day in the big picture way, it means jack shit. 

And actually, no, I am not an atheist or an anarchist or any other such thing.  I think there is a god, but he either long stopped giving a shit or left the building, and why yes, we do need laws, but shit, things like the OJ Simpson trial should be enough to let you know they mean nothing.  There is no real fair or unfair, no great and shining hope for humanity.  We eat, sleep, fuck, kill -produce, consume- and that’s just the way of it.  No reason to do it, no meaning in it.  We just do.  Often because we think we are supposed to, or often because we feel we have to, or hey, even often we do things because they give us pleasure… and in my book any of those reasons are okay for doing things…but its doesn’t grant meaning to anything on any great scale.  It might hold meaning for the individuals involved, but in the grand scheme?  Jack and his cousin shit.  One day we’ll be dust, the world will be dust, and nothing any of us ever did will matter, thus it matters not now, and there is no meaning to any of it.   Hell, humans, life? We don’t get each other, we don’t really communicate with each other, we like to think we have some great things going with our little laws and little politics and little displays of awesomeness- but what are we actually really good at?  Eat, Fuck, Kill, Produce, Consume…die, leaving nothing behind aside from that which will be erased, and there is no great meaning-if any at all, behind it.  We can add that on a personal level I suppose…but that still doesn’t mean anything.

Oddly enough, I can live with that.  Doesn’t even depress me really.  It is, best as I can tell, the way of the world.  I’ve been creepin’ around on the planet for 38 years now, and really, I think this is just how it is.  I can roll with that.  I can even have fun, enjoy the roll as it were…in fact, I can have one hell of a time…but aside from what pleasure or satisfaction or fun I take out of that- what pleasure or satisfaction I might give others in doing that…when the whistle blows and the clock stops…it doesn’t matter.  None of it does, did, or will.  Because nothing about life does.  We’re ants, in an ant farm.  We build our tunnels and do our jobs and eat/fuck/kill….but we’re still pretty much little creatures in the sand behind glass and sure enough, we will get shaken up, watch our tunnels collapse, die, and it won’t have mattered- nothing we have done, good or bad, will have mattered.  So, you might as well enjoy the ride, eh, since you are going to be forgotten bone dust in a matter of years anyway and  thats pretty much all there is to it. 

That’s how I look at it, except for that five percent.  Because there really is that five percent that does not want what the other 95 percent of me believes to be true…cause I have a weakness.  Kids.  I don’t want kids to get thrown into the meat grinder of life thinking that there is nothing, that there is no meaning.  I mean, they will get their on there own I suspect, but when they are children?  Hell, children are supposed to believe in fairies and unicorns and that they can grow up to be superheroes.  They are supposed to believe that they can change the world and make some sort of lasting difference (that hope usually gets crushed out of them pretty soon anyway).   They aren’t supposed to know the one thing we are best at is obliterating ourselves and each other and anything else that happens to be in the way.  They are supposed to have hope, they want to believe in something rather than nothing…    And if they can, well, sometimes, that 5% of me does too.  A little bit.  On occasion.  Until the other 95% tells it to shut the fuck up and sit down so it can point out how right it is. 

And yeah, this belief does play into a lot of what is going on with me in a lot of ways, from my grimness to my – ahem – hedonism,  the kinds of music and movies I like, the characters I write, my focus on the more physical things in life, the fact that I do not get shocked over much of anything anymore.  Absolutely.  The 5% lurks around though, but is more focused on little tiny things:  good friends, good relationships, things that can be meaningful in a small little way to the people who are involved, that can let me look at the rest of the utter meaningless with a wise ass grin.  In the end it may mean nothing and there may be nothing, but at least there can be the occasional port in the storm and all. 

And that, true believers, is the good part in a world full of nothing…those occasional ports.  The rest is shit and nothing with no meaning and in time, no consquence…so enjoy the hurricane days with those you can while you still got ‘em, cause in the end, you won’t even have those, and it won’t have mattered.

Birthday advice from the God Emperor of Rome…

Enjoy life as much as you can, because when nothing else matters, that shit does.  When everything really is nothing, the little things can mean a lot.

Comments
  1. To me, a lot of this sounds like existential angst rather than out-and-out nihilism as I understand the terms. But my understanding is vague, so I could be getting my philosophical schools mixed up.

    I think I gave up on the “big picture” approach to meaning a long time ago. The big picture only matters because it has an effect on all the little pictures (hence my tendency towards “individualist collectivism” ideas like anarcho-communism) and ultimately all the little pictures also lead to the big picture.

    So we live our lives as if they have meaning because nobody knows which butterfly causes the hurricane and which is simply pretty to look at; and who knows? Maybe if the pretty one hadn’t existed then the one that flapped its wings wouldn’t have and the whole thing breaks down again.

    You talk about “most of them will never make it and will, in the course of two to three generations even be nothing perhaps more than names and faces on a photograph to even their own families.” But my feeling is that even those people, their effects live on in myriad ways, scattered across humanity in ways we can’t possibly trace – it still matters that they existed and did ‘x’ instead of ‘y’ on such-and-such a day. I’ve been tracing family history and discovering at least the broad strokes of the lives lived by my relatives in the distant past; we think they didn’t affect the “big picture” but the fact they existed at all must have touched the lives of thousands, and been touched by thousands.

    Besides which, life is meaning in itself. That we have the capacity for pleasure, joy, excitement, intimacy: these things seem like miracles to me (and I think that even when I look at it from completely secular angles). I’ve been reading through a book written in 2005 about all the theories about consciousness held by various physicists, neurologists, psychologists and philosophers and this abiding mystery of how experience comes from dull matter is a biggie. Somehow we were given these gifts, using them seems to me like meaning enough!

    The other thing is, yes – we are short-lived sparks that fade away, and so is everyone around us. So we should notice them, make them matter as much as we think or hope we do, because that way their gifts don’t die but live on as well.

    The only meaning I find to the term “wasted life” is a life that touches no one, and it is we who choose whether or not to be touched by those around us. I say, choose not to waste lives.

    All of which I think fits neatly into this phrase:

    Enjoy life as much as you can, because when nothing else matters, that shit does. When everything really is nothing, the little things can mean a lot.

    • technically I think this is what they call existensial nihilism’ that there is no objective meaning/intrinsic value to life, and that any and all concepts of morality are false or rather we need to admit they are just contrivances of our own psyche and have no basis in any truth in the world’s nature.

  2. Mr.Grim says:

    If I dont see you Ren……Happy Birthday.

  3. see I disagree wth you on the good anand the how of the living ot mattering. And it’s not because of any future generatios. Fuck them is what I say.

    But it matters in the end because yuo’ll know at least until oblivion how you lived your life and you will know every small compromise to the soul you’ve made along the way. People should live their lives well, not becasue of society or morality or future generatios, but for themsleves. Becasue in the quiet empty moments in the middle of the night we all know what we really are, and it matters how we’ve answered the howling nothingness that is the universe. BEcasue we all know ourselves when we are alone. And it is our answer that lets us go foward and draw sometihng out of this pointless journey. When life gives you something pointless, it’s the greatest act of will to give it a point, even if int he big picture that point only matters to you.

    And Ren, I see the answer youy make to life, and it’s not shabby at all. In fact it’s pretty damn good, as are you.

  4. Roy Kay says:

    I’m an Atheist, which presumably would make me a nihilist. However, when I freed myself of god-partisan-universe thinking, I found how much *I* mattered. That which I wrought would be the sum of my existence as it reverberates in others and in society as well. That doesn’t mean I should be focused on acquiring all links of power over world, but rather that virtue (as I determine it to be) has to start somewhere.

    We seem not too far apart on that – a sort of stoic hedonism blend. Do what is right, bear what burdens must be borne; but, by and large, enjoy life. Personally, I think this is a better path to “good” than pursuing “good” in it’s own tight. For one thing, and this is sort of Calvinistic, people follow joy more than martyrdom – so when you honorably enjoy life you set yourself up as a leader, and in so doing make the world better for those like you. And you are a pretty good example of what life should be like. Not perfect of course, and you have indicated those torments you find yourself living with; but I’d gleefully replace a lot of people with your philosophical kin.

    I do quarrel with acceptance of most of legislation. Much passes into law unseen and with little regard for other that the self-important bigotry and mindless power seeking of those in office. Having trumpeted what glories they are, most politicians are loath to re-examine their creations, much less admit to totally fucking up in ways that were always obvious. Considerable effort goes into creating sinecures for their own advocates, and rewards to supporters – all at public expense, including the expense of the opposition. There is little boundary in the law makers and enforcers mind between their own aspirations and those of society. I would not place much truck in such people or processes.

    • Dead_Vladimir says:

      there’s an old saying that democracy only works until someone figures out they can vote themselves rewards at the expense of the public

  5. rootietoot says:

    I live for the Big Picture. I know that ,by myself, I don’t mean much in the grand scheme, but little bits add together to make bigger bits, like ants make a colony, and I’m happy with that. As Christian, I know that all the parts make the whole body, (Paul said that somewhere) and no one part is more important than another, even tho one part may get the glory and another may just be in the kitchen washing pots. I don’t require or even want the attention a more glorious part may get. I’m just happy knowing I can contribute somehow.

    As parent, my greatest hope is in my descendants. I hope my kids do a better job than I have of (whatever). I hope theirs will do a better job than they did, and so on. Each generation of humanity as, in some ways, improved on the one before, and each one has regressed from the one before. My hope is that eventually the improvements will outweigh the regressions. I’m not actually optimistic that this is so, but hopeful.

    This is what keeps me going.

    Now, I don’t know much about philosophy and the various schools of thought, but from what I do know about nihilism, I don’t really see that in you. You seem (to me) to be more of a realist, certainly more than I am, but that 5% bit of hope you have keeps you from being The Comedian.

    Anyway…Happy birthday! 38 is indeed sort of a non-event, but 40 is Life-Alteringly fabulous, and you’re on the short slide there.

  6. Hanna says:

    What, no Big Lebowski jokes yet?

  7. Ren says:

    @ et-all;

    Heh. See, I must be psychic too. Seriously. I have no thoughts or plans to make anyone change their minds about how they view the world (after all, it would mean nothing…hahahahaa!) But see, I knew when I made this post that there would be the whole…gah, you don’t actually think that, you’re not like that, but, but, THINGS matter! Vibe.

    Why do y’all think I rarely talk about these things, eh? Because on them (like so many other things) folk end up assuming that I am telling them they are doing it wrong (not the case) or that I am not really like that (which I beg to differ, seeing as I know me better than anyone). You do have to realize two things though: I do not think having a nihilistic outlook makes one a bad person by default, nor do I find it depressing in the least. I do not, in essence, think it is a bad thing. Matter or not, people still have the ability to make choices about how they act and what they do in life and they still have the ability to make themselves and others enjoy things. I just tend to think that our socities and social codes and laws and all those other things truly mean a big fat nothing and only serve as an excuse for us to hate and destroy each other, and every time we do that to each other shows just how meaningless all those things, from laws to lives, really are. Doesn’t mean I am gonna pick up a gun and jump in on the proving of my point.

    Meaning or no, there are pleasures and good things in life. I have an exceptional sense of humor which allows for me to see the world this way and not want to off myself or others (okay, off others MOST of the time). Hence, the title of the post.

    But y’all, please do me a favor, do not think that I am telling you that your out look is wrong, think that I am going to see your view as right, (actually care about any of that too much because hahaha, it does not matter), or that you know me and how I really see it better than I do.

    • rootietoot says:

      You know, it takes all sorts. I can understand your nihilism, even if I don’t wear the t-shirt. Please don’t *you* think I’m saying your wrong in your belief, because I don’t think you are…even though we believe differently (most of the time. I am a nihilist from January to March every year, and medication is what keeps me from blowing things up for the hell of it). Give it a couple of months and I *will* be wearing that t-shirt.

      You think, and that’s what makes you stand out from the ordinary idiot, and why I like you :)

    • That’s why it’s “The hardline according to REN” , meaning that you can’t speak for anyone else as far the way that they view the world. You can only speak for YOU.

    • Dead_Vladimir says:

      hey wait a second you tell me all the time my life view is wrong and smack me in the back of the head!

  8. Roy Kay says:

    And I wish to add “Happy Birthday!”.

    I’m glad you were born and became you. My wish for you is that much of life rest easier on you in the coming year. Of course, the is also the wish that much else in life abide harder IN you. ;-)

  9. Erik says:

    Many happy returns of the day! Re. your 95% nihilism: well, I tend to get dyspeptic around my birthday too. Though nothing like as black as I can get at Christmas. Goddamn Santa.

    I would like to respond to one small piece of your post. You write that you believe in god, but you think he has withdrawn. There is a term of art for such a theology: deus otiosus, the “idle god.” A number of the founders of our republic were Deists and subscribed to such a theology. Perhaps more to the point, after the Holocaust many Jews felt that god had withdrawn from caring about the world, or at least from honoring his covenant with them.

    Theological or intellectual arguments against such a view are pointless. It is founded upon lived experience, and it can be dissipated only by a different kind of lived experience.

    I hope that as you ease into your prime of life you connect with the world of spirit. I believe you to be a person of sensitivity, compassion and an acute awareness of the miseries and injustices of life – the very qualities which fit one for spiritual progress. Hindus say that material life is nothing more than “eating, slleeping, mating and defending,” much like your formulation. The life of ants, or of animals. (Not including spoiled housecats, who live more like gods.)

    The way to liberation is via spiritual life, conclude the Hindus. Not that I am arguing for any particular religious system. Nor do I rule out atheism, pace RoyKay. Buddhism is a powerful spiritual path that does not rely upon god or gods.

    I hope that your 38th year and the years to follow bring you more happiness, whether via spiritual or other pursuits, and that nihilism recedes as an ordering philosophy of life. You are indeed exceptional, and your friendships and other good relationships are a testament. As is the community of your blog. And your cat insists upon positivity for you.

    • Ren says:

      Erik:

      Wait, what, you think I get more…er…whatever around my birthday than normal? Not so.. Check back around march to see my grim time of the year.

      And believe it or not, I have looked into a whole lot of forms of spirituality out there in the world- a whole lot- I don’t think one can truly be as into history as I am without also being into learing about the various faiths and spiritual philosophies that shape the world…and to date- no interest. If other people find strength and happiness in them, then that is good and I am happy for them, but they are not for me.

      This is a bit of a point with me though, right here, the whole “oh, ick, nihilism…ewww! Don’t be THAT. Be SOMETHING else! What you like is icky.”

      Well, Ren don’t play that. I’m not now or never have I asked for people to do or be into what I am into, to be “like me” in any way at all. I like our differences out there in the world. I just wish people were content enough to leave me to mine as I leave others to their own.

      • Erik says:

        Okay, so it is the Ides of March that get you down. Appropriate for someone who identifies with the Roman imperium.

        As for my view of nihilism: I do not say or think that it is “icky.” It has a substantial intellectual heritage and has engaged thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Baudrillard. Nihilism is not, however, a worldview conducive to happiness. Which I would wish for you, especially on your birthday.

        I do find it remarkable that student of history like you would explore a range of spiritual forms and find none of them to be of interest. Surely something, somewhere — Vodou, Tantric Hinduism or Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hasidic mysticism, African Sufism — has some appeal. You do believe in god, and you claim your Jewish identity, so you are affiliated to religious traditions. You just do not seem to be getting any fun or real satisfaction out of them.

        As for changing you, well, each of us has charge of changing herself or himself. Friends and sympathizers can only wish us well.

        • Ren says:

          See, hahaha, there is the catch- YOU do not think nihilsim is conducive to happiness. I’m not you. I sorta find the whole idea very liberating in a way. People have a very strange habit of assuming universals on a great many things- what can make one happy is often the biggest and most erronous assumption of them all. I am actually far more happy nowadays that I was in past months- little changes and a dang good friend have gone a long way in that- hasn’t changed my thoughts on nihilism though.

          And I guess I should rephrase- there are lots of religions and spiritual paths I find interesting- as in, learning about them and how they work and all- hell , i find Catholicism absolutely fascinating…so yes, interest, sure…right for me or something I would be interested in doing or following for myself? No.

          I am very much a non=practicing Jew. Which, hey, a lot of folk consider a Race. not a religion. I id as a jew much like i id as a Russian-American. My people are from a certain part of the world, and they are jewish.

          • Erik says:

            Well, enjoy nihilism! Chacun a son gout.

            And enjoy Catholicism too! I like it best when mixed with African pantheons, as in Vodou, Santeria and Candomble.

            As for the nature of Jewish identity: you point to the ethnic, genealogical and geographic aspects, and these are all valid. But there are religious, gustatory and other spiritual and cultural aspects that are just as valid. An Ethiopian Falasha is no less a Jew than a Galitzianer from the Ukraine. And a non-believing Jew who knows her way around the menu at the Second Avenue Deli is just as much a Jew as the blonde rabbi who converted from Presbyterianism.

            The most ancient religions — Judaism, Hinduism, Yoruba etc. — are holistic. Identity has as much to do with what you eat, why you dance and how you live as it does with your adherence to a particular theology. The later, Axial-Age traditons such as Christianity and Buddhism can be articulated as sets of beliefs, but the old religions are much broader and messier. To their credit, IMHO anyway. What say you?

  10. Eli says:

    Happy birthday!

    Personally I agree with the basic premises of Nihilism but I abhor angsty nihilists! =P

    I believe that “meaning” is a value judgment, and while there are no absolute values and hence no absolute meaning, everyone still has personal values and hence personal meaning. What annoys me about the angsty nihilists is -I guess- that they aren’t really consistent; they always use put-down language like “just” and “mere” about individual meaning. Of course compared to Absolute Meaning, personal meaning may seem mere and tiny. But the whole premise was that there is no such thing as Absolute Meaning so it makes no sense to unfavorably compare personal meaning to it! One could just as well say that the meaning to our lives is limitless because it’s not restricted by some absolute values…

    I sometimes thinks the endless put-downs of personal meaning by angsty nihilists are a way to evade responsibility, a kind of philosophical victim-hood.

    I sympathize with your “5%”. I do something similar; actually I think that there are no absolutes that can be conceptualized which is my way of believing in the joy of being without having to try and rationalize it. =P

    • Ren says:

      Hence the ports in the storm, eh? I won’t lie, for me being angry a lot is part of the gig, but when it comes to nihilism, I am pretty mellow. LOL.

      • Eli says:

        There sure is plenty to get angry about. =P

        …somehow you never strike me as excessively angry. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because you have other things that define you, unlike -ahem- some people that seem to *need* to be angry to define their identity or something.

  11. Gaina says:

    I think we all matter inasmuch as we are all footling around on this planet together, getting in each others way and affecting each others outcomes by the very fact that we exist simultaneously.

    I think nihilism is all or nothing. If you are 5% hopeful, that means you’re 95% realist to me, as in: ‘I think that realistically most people are probably fucked but it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion’. Interestingly, all the Scorpio’s I know think like this! LOL

    Personally I keep finding too many things that move me and see too patterns and interconnected threads in the world for this all to have no meaning for me. But then again I hug trees and talk to snails on my garden wall and I don’t care who knows it, so I’m probably biased :P.

    I have contemplated nihilism many times and it just doesn’t ‘click’ with me, but everyone’s experience is different – no right or wrong answer.

    Mind you, I don’t think fairness is a natural state either. There has to be an Alpha and an Omega or there’d be chaos.

    ((Happy Birthday))

  12. Lisa KS says:

    “I’m an Atheist, which presumably would make me a nihilist. However, when I freed myself of god-partisan-universe thinking, I found how much *I* mattered. That which I wrought would be the sum of my existence as it reverberates in others and in society as well. That doesn’t mean I should be focused on acquiring all links of power over world, but rather that virtue (as I determine it to be) has to start somewhere.”

    Word, brother.

  13. Lisa KS says:

    Hmm…if I were you, that 5% for kids would for me negate the believability of the 95%. I am philosophically devoted to the idea that children should be taught with as much accuracy as the teacher in question has to give about reality, the real world around them and all its components and facets. If your worldview requires that children be taught the precise opposite of it in most aspects of it or they will be permanently psychologically damaged–then it can’t be an accurate worldview. Put another way, if you find you must teach children what you know to be lies 95% of the time “for their own good”…a lot of religious fundamentalists practice this method of child teaching. I think it’s a bit of a warning sign in terms of one’s own beliefs, if this is part and parcel of it. (JMO)

  14. rootietoot says:

    “if you find you must teach children what you know to be lies 95% of the time “for their own good”…a lot of religious fundamentalists practice this method of child teaching”

    This is assuming the religious fundamentalists know what they’re teaching is lies, and many times they believe what they’re teaching to be absolute truth, honestly and with great sincerity. They believe the rest of the world is teaching lies, and want their children to know absolute truth. That’s why they’re so protective.

  15. Lisa KS says:

    Hmm…I”m pretty sure that when they tell children that premarital sex leads to suicide, for instance, and that masturbation will turn you into a nympomaniac, they really DO know better. From personal experience, say. Not to mention the endless preachings of how you can’t be an advocate of God and be homosexual by a lot of folks who end up being exposed as, well, homosexual…clearly they still think it’s possible to advocate for God in the meantime…I think you’re mistaken in their awareness level that what they’re teaching their children is not the real truth.

  16. Stone Fox says:

    happy, happy birthday, ren. i would have never guessed you were 38 years ancient. i mean, 38 years wise ;) ahah hah hah..

    i don’t know anything about nihilism. until i read this post, i thought nihilism was closer to apathy. so, pardon my ignorance while i ask my questions.

    is nihilism always that fatalistic? did you mean to write it like that? the tone i am picking up is that nothing matters so we should all just find a dumpster to sit in and shoo away the crows.

    i don’t know how to write this next one so that it doesn’t sound bitchy and my brain is tired of trying so i’ll just preface it with this: i am not trying to be bitchy. nor am i trying to change your mind (yeah, like i could totally see that happening) but since you put it out there, i figure it’s ok for me to poke at it a bit:
    how can you only be 95% nihilistic? how can you believe at all if you cannot believe 100%? if you are certain there is no meaning of life, then there can be no meaning of life for anyone. even children.

    if you have 5% of hope in you, doesn’t that just make you agnostic and angry? disillusioned? cynical, one might say?

    if you have given your own life meaning, how can you be nihilistic? your physical body may be ashes to ashes, but words you said or a kindness you gave to someone else has positively affected his/her life. does that not, in turn, give meaning to your life? can you place a zero value on things like comfort or kindness, which are intangible and immeasurable?

    • Ren says:

      heheh, I am angry and cynical!

      Thing is, as I was discussing earlier with Vladimir…I don’t nor have I ever believed in an afterlife- heaven, hell, reincarnation, whatever, I have always thought that when you died, that was it. Oblivion, nothing. AND, I think since I have ALWAYS thought that…well….it does not depress me in the least…

      So you make what you can out of the time you have here because in the end all will mean nothing. Sure, to folk who have not ALWAYS thought that way, it might sound wierd…to me, not so much.

      And wrt to the 5%, well, it is my weak spot. I figure children should have some time to think the world is dandy before they learn otherwise….I also know that they all do. Adults, we all have our issues, no? Why make that shit start earlier than it has to?

      I, with my life, beleive in enjoying what I can and seeing that some folk enjoy that to. Hell, I love it when someone laughs at one of my jokes or likes my fiction or things of that nature. I can put a grin on their face. When nothing else means much, those grins are good. Hence my final statement on this post.

      I guess it REALLY is hard to explain where I am coming from. But that is where I am.

  17. Aspasia says:

    Happy Birthday, Ren! Don’t God-Emperors usually have some big official to-do on their birthdays? Aren’t WE supposed to have the day off? :P

    I think I agree with most of your post. Especially that most people will live and die and not really matter in the big picture. This I’m fine with and though I would love to be something, I like sleeping in MUCH MORE! heh. But a lot of people aren’t okay with this rather…disconcerting fact and honestly I think that accounts for things like religion and too often the insanity that accompanies it.

  18. Rachel S. says:

    I’m the opposite with the 95:5 ratio. Maybe it’s my youthful idealism. Maybe it’s the way my brain is wired. Maybe it’s the fact that I am secretly NOT okay with life not having purpose or reason. But, what’s really important is to be true to yourself. I’m a pluralist, I believe that everyone has their own Truth. I know a lot of people who don’t think that capital-T-universal-big-g*d-stuff Truth is subjective. But, I’m Jewish and I don’t make it my business to convert others to my way of thinking… because there’s only room in this world for one of me, dammit.

  19. xena says:

    The perfect old post to rediscover at the end of my very long and very crappy day. I might even come back and comment if my insomnia gets the best of me again tonight.

  20. xena says:

    I’m with Rootie. I think you may be more of an existentialist than a nihilist, Ren.

    I DO find nihilism icky, bc it is often paired with an unchecked “Will to Power”, or its neutered cousin, Ethical Egoism. These perspectives really only serve young privileged white men and the women they marry (or fuck), bc somebody who truly has nothing just can’t compete on such a slanted playing field. Which makes the whole depressed-gothboy-looking-for-power thing rather absurd, imo. I’ll take the problems of some rich white wannabe vampire boy who can’t get laid over my problems any day of the week. Don’t align yourself with the pseudophilosophies of whiny rich boys, Ren. You’re not ridiculous enough for that schtick to suit you. Unless the whole post was meant to be ironic?

  21. xena says:

    Anyhoodle, I guess this one sums up a good deal of my worldview: It’s never pointless. Life has meaning bc we give it meaning. At the end of my days, when I go into the wormfood void, I’ll be kicking and screaming. No, I will not go gently. I will probably die the way I lived–protecting my children from those who would try to destroy them. Love is not a little thing. Love makes it all worthwhile. If there’s anything that even remotely resembles immortality, it’s the tears of those we leave behind and the words of those who return our love.

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