Systems of Purpose

 

We are given only one chance to make this life of ours the best it can ever be. Or so we tend to think. If living your life to its fullest make you feel like you are rushing something that should’ve felt like a slow and steady race in which you are competing against your own self, then chances are that you’ve been deceived. Life is really just a blank slate or an interactive experience. Every small choice you made in the past pile  up with time and bring you to this, far too familiar, side we call ‘’the present’’.

In the modern world, there is a sky-high chance of hearing the sentence ‘’ All you have is now.’’ While it’s somewhat reassuring, I find it to be extremely misleading. You had the past and it’s still belongs to you. It’s your very own personal history you carry everywhere in hopes that you could use the experimental humane nature. And don’t even get me started on the future. All future has is you. You matter in such a way that the universe needs you but it’s not aware of that yet. We treat the universe like it knew every secret, like it expects to see the consequences you haven’t thought in the slightest. But does it really deserve that kind of respect and attention? Without you and billions of other people, the universe is nothing. For a small amount of time before we eventually cease to exist, we shape the universe. That’s why when you look up to the stars and ask:

‘’ What is the meaning?’’

The universe cannot answer, because it simply doesn’t know.

 

As you search deeper within life, it will only give you less answers. The unfortunate human who made the life-crushing mistake of asking the question ‘’why?’’ way more than he should and the universe which gives him nothing in return are two totally incompatible puzzle pieces. This exact relationship is what Albert Camus calls ‘’ absurdity’’. Hence, if the whole existence is meaningless, do our personal lives mean anything?

You can simply reach two very different thinking destinations from this point. One will deprive you of ‘’personal purpose’’ and the other is what we call optimistic nihilism. Life being a blank slate is depressing if you aren’t willing to color and ‘’give your own meaning’’ to it. Again Camus’ tale about the Greek King Sisyphus summarizes it perfectly. As you may know Sisyphus was punished with pushing a boulder up a mountain, only for it to fall back again. Even whilst performing that meaningless task, which symbolizes life in our case, Sisyphus isn’t whining, he isn’t sad in the slightest. He never thought of jumping off that mountain to end it all. He is aware of the futility of his task and he reached the state of contented acceptance. Maybe this is the way to a more fulfilling life as opposed to a meaningless pit of agony.

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.’’

 

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