Calm seas lead to nowhere. I have been mulling this thought over, quite frequently, in recent times. It has been brought to my attention that my life is more dramatic than most. Not for any particular reason, I am white and middle class. No rape or torture or war on my doorstep. No abuse, no disability, no hurdles to overcome. I assumed that I was merely turning everyday banality to excitement in order to feel less boring.
An outside opinion has steered me down a different road now. What I thought to be just an urge for drama, is in fact a compulsion, an addictive behaviour, brought about through a need for distraction. The actions I commit are not positive, but self-destructive and I have much self-awareness and am not ignorant to that fact.
The self-awareness is the point that must be driven home. I commit these destructive offences with full awareness, knowing (perhaps subconsciously) that the reality which I am distracting myself from is far, far more painful than the self-destruction. As an individual, reading my words, can you think of the most painful thing in existence?
The answer is truth.
I have previously stated that truth cannot exist and that only perception can been seen through human eyes. This, I believe, is true and that paradoxical statement is the beginning of a horrific journey which will only lead to greatness, not comfort.
There is a reason the greatest minds of human kind fell into disrepair. Nietzsche as a lunatic, Guy Debord an alcoholic, Camus and Wittgenstein in deep depression. Many philosophers and thinkers sought alcohol, drugs, obsessive behaviours, womanizing and other such destructive acts as a means to ease the painful experience of discovering truth. In the same way a mountaineer must endure physical punishment in order to conquer great heights, the philosopher must himself suffer the crippling mental exhaustion of discovering the truthful knowledge of our place in reality.
Those who live within reality without suffering mental punishment are not looking wide enough. There is a known depression that exists from understanding how miniscule mankind is in comparison to the enormity of the universe. It is a double-edged sword, as we can understand how any human endeavour is futile and meaningless at the same time as taking comfort that all our mistakes can be erased in the blink of an eye. Any shame or regret, wiped out not by the hand of an emphatic God, but by an uncaring universe who doesn’t even register our existence (much like a housewife pouring bleach into a toilet bowl.) To think about our futile attempts to better ourselves and our progressive lives as human beings as being just a flush away from non-existence is enough to make us become static.
The development of humans is dependant on our ability to unsee what we know or at least ignore it. The problem arises, for the philosopher, when we look broadly enough, it is very hard to distract ourselves from the doomful fate we have. When One acknowledges there is no God we succumb to the knowledge that we are meaningless and alone. There is a massive hole left in our hearts, one that, as a child was filled by our parents. religion fills the hole for many. Believing there is a God lets us all feel cared for and looked after. The comfort of belief. Nietzsche understood this.
‘Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire’
Faith allows us to live in comfort, truth allows us to struggle. My atheism and nihilistic thoughts have always hindered me from living a comfortable life. To distract myself from the painful truth, I have caused personal drama where others have turned to God and spirituality. I became my own God.
However, I do not consider this to be destructive in a longer scale. How far do we sail on un-rough seas? It is the storm that carries us forward. I sit in my own personal belief that my struggle to exist is a monument to the mountain I will conquer. The more I struggle, the further it proves my impending greatness. Only the Übermensch will climb the mountain.
But this is belief.
Belief is but a comfort and to see truth I need to rid myself of this security.
I have far to go.