My biggest struggle in life that I hold a belief that life is inherently meaningless. I think the purpose of being alive is to simply just be. I’m deeply fascinated by religion and belief systems and low-key obsessed with finding something that makes sense to me.
Sometime between the ages of 5-7, my parents gifted me with an illustrated Bible. I remember flipping through the pages of that Bible while wondering why people built their entire lives around the stories in the book I was holding. By that point, I had already learned about other stories -Don Quixote, One Thousand and One Nights, etc. (mom’s side of the family is not religious). I thought stories were fascinating and exciting, but I knew they weren’t real. They were extensions of the imagination (later in life I learned that a lot of religious texts also serve as history accounts).
I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to find a belief system and/or religion that makes sense to me. Something that doesn’t just feel like another story (yes, I’m familiar with Joseph Campbell and his thoughts on storytelling). Yet after years of explorations and grinding myself to the ground so I can “just be”, I see reality as a large, blank canvas that we could paint on if we so choose.
The “universe is working in your favor.” The first time I heard that statement it stopped me in my tracks. The human mind is barely able to understand the difference between a million and a billion. What would make a subset of humans believe that a massive entity that we don’t know much about cares about their existence? How is it that certain humans believe that something which can’t be fully grasped by the finitude of our minds somehow has feelings, desires, and thoughts about our futures and our destiny?
This is why out of all the belief systems and religions that I’ve explored at the end of the day the story that most sticks for me is that life is inherently meaningless. It’s an empty canvas that we have to fill with meaning. And while the ‘life is meaningless’ mode of thinking makes sense to me it also deeply angers me. Humans put forth so much effort just to stay alive – for what? We are born. And then we die. The event that takes place is between birth and death is called life. I try not to dwell on the meaninglessness of life too often. I make meals, I move my body, I’ll go visit the ocean, engage in a FaceTime call, laugh a Trixie and Katya, listen to Major Lazer’s latest song, or <insert human activity here> in an attempt to fill up the (seemingly) empty canvas. This is a daily quest – I search for activities to fill up my time so I don’t dwell on meaningless for too long. When I dwell on meaninglessness for too long, suicidal ideation comes knocking at my door – and then I know I’m in trouble. So on the days, that I’ve tried it all (insert human activities here) and I still somehow end up remembering that it’s all meaningless, I remember the words that the great Carl Sagan once shared in The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God:
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”
PS. For any of you whom may be worried please know I’m doing well! I just think too much and too deeply (one of my many flaws *shrugs*). I spent the day grocery shopping meal prepping, FaceTiming for hours, laughing my ass off – at the FaceTime calls as well as Trixie and Katya via YT – they kill me!!!! (Drag Queens heal my soul). I practiced yoga and mediated. Had a little spa time. And played with the cat. For any time not accounted for in the narrative, I was dancing to ALREADY. Good day!
Life is still meaningless tho 😉 Maybe someday I’ll change my mind.