“I’m having a mini-existential crisis… Erm, No, make that a full-blown existential crisis.”
“Anthrax reindeer. And, you know, I’m kind of excited about it; I’ve never had an existential crisis before.”
The end result of questioning what I want my legacy to be—and therefore what I want my life to be—in concert with the dawning awareness of the inevitable degradation of our planet is leading me into my first true existential crisis.
While surely there have been points in my life when the chips were terribly down and I questioned the point of putting myself through any further days, mainly those were of the stereotypical, “Life is awful, may as well end it,” crisis. Whereas this is more of a, “Life is perfectly fine, if not really good, but so what?”
I’ve never had a ‘Life is Good’ existential crisis before. I’m pretty curious about it!
I never studied philosophy; never read Man’s Search for Meaning; never read Sartre or Goethe or James. What did they have to say about all this “sound and fury”?
I begin to apprehend Macbeth’s meaning when he intones after his wife’s suicide:
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Whatever the “meaning” of the life we make now, whatever the legacy, whatever the impact (positive, negative, or neutral) we have on the world and those around us, in a few millennia or sooner, it’s all a dust bin anyway.
So, why bother?
Just the very human search for meaning is meaningless. The narcissism of humans to think that it “means” anything at all!
I can be and am curious, I can be and am grateful. I can laugh and love and enjoy and squee… but there is no “point” except the doing of it.
In the Deepak/Oprah meditation today, they said there is no beauty or awe or wonder until we create it. A sunset is meaningless unless my consciousness gives it meaning. They further underlined the “centering thought” for the day: My being embraces life with gratitude. And I agree that there is merit to the idea that simply by being alive we are impelled to find the goodness in it, that by my being alive I am impelled to improve my own life, the lives of those around me, and the future humans of this planet by making choices that align with my moral and ethical values.
Yes, making positive choices since I’m here anyway is fine. But.
Short of self-harm, let’s see what else I can discover in this nihilistic chapter that I’ve opened.