The Usual Existential Cynicism

IMG_3640The minor emotional confusion that characterizes my life continues. Right now nothing seems worthwhile, or even causally effective, even as I cannot shake off the sense of agency, control, or intention with which I am imbued. Thus everything I do or fail to do is experienced as a decision, and I cannot understand why I don’t, or cannot, make the right ones.

Part of it is a kind of existential cynicism: nothing makes sense, or exists for any urgent reason; we and our actions are nothing more than absurd delusions to ourselves. We no more create ourselves than we have any idea why we were created; and if it turns out (as according to current scientific understanding it has) that the question why? does not make sense, because there is no reason to the universe, or the multiverse, or the other unimaginable structures undergirding consciousness and its questioning byproducts, then the very thing that keeps us alive (the energy-chain of destructive construction) is the thing that makes our lives unlivable, and thereby not worth living; it also shows them (our lives) to be unnecessary in the particular, and only real, or rather manifest, in the aggregate.

And if we’re not necessary, and each of us clings to our own little life raft of breath and blood and bones, even as it sinks us in this infinite and incomprehensible sea? Then, in existing, we must face the necessity of boredom and suffering, as the inevitable destructive part of the equation: we have to come to the cruel, untenable conclusion that though we are not necessary, our suffering is.

This is not news, I know. But how do I live with it? What should I be doing? I know for a fact that the one thing I shouldn’t be doing is sitting in my attic asking myself what I should be doing. Of all the things I could be doing, that one is not only the biggest waste of time, but also the most threadbare with having been asked every day of my life for the past twenty years. I can neither answer the question nor stop asking it. What kind of strange paralytic compulsion is this?

Is the neurotic eventually cured? Yes, by death. It takes about eighty years.

But in the meantime, apparently, at least for now, I will write. There is something crucial in this useless drive toward fiction, though the whole process terrifies and terrorizes me. What is this something? The spinning of imaginary meaning, to replace the absence of genuine meaning in our lives? Which of course leads to the question: who is to say that the meaning we make isn’t real?

Advertisements