APPROX READ: 5 MIN
It is not what it looks like. I am sure you have heard that saying before… most likely in situations when there is no immediate explanation for the unordinary. I’ve found that being out of the ordinary is when I am living my life ‘at its best.’ But, to be unordinary there must be some idea of ordinary, so what is it? Nobody really knows what is real and what is fake. Everything and nothing could be normal so why should I live my life based on what the other people are doing.
As an existentialist I often question the meaning of life. Thinking about everything and anything in everyday life. In this post I want to summarize existentialism. But I am more curious about what the modern day existentialist might ‘look’ like.
Existentialists not only believe that humans define and have control of their life. There is a strong belief in existentialism, that humans should learn to take responsibility for their own choices and actions. Despite living in an irrational universe that we will never understand… we can only translate what we do not understand into passions and desires. An existentialist may say ‘we always have a choice’ in life. I believe that idea of freewill to be true, although it is not socially accepted to do whatever you want, whenever. That said, there is a degree of order (authority) is in place, leaving room for enough chaos to match it.
A 19th century philosopher, Nietzsche once said, “God is Dead.” Which in that very religious time, the vast majority of the communities cried their beliefs and made an argument. I also believe in no God, no destiny planned out for us by someone else. Instead I choose to believe that nature is in control almost all the time, in saying that it is important to remember we are apart of nature. No limits except the ones we put upon ourselves. Life is, with nature, amorphous.* Meaning life is without a clear, defined shape or form.* It is obvious, human beings are lacking clear structure and focus in their false, fabricated worlds.
That said, We cannot throw blame on what we do not know; someone else or just ‘for God’s sake.’ Most people would rather throw the blame on something other than themselves. Many of those people hold onto a nihilistic point of view when things go wrong. I did think that way before I got into existentialism. I went from thinking too often, ‘nothing matters anymore,’ or ‘life doesn’t matter.’ Thinking these depressing thoughts… believing that your life is meaningless, has no purpose… holding yourself to little or no morals at all, that is the basis of nihilism. You are rather, choosing to punish yourself for what you think of to be bad, as if life is supposed to be good. This somewhat religious belief of good and bad. God and the devil, I truly believe is what gets people tied up in a nihilistic train of thought.
Along side the thoughts I mentioned above, having experienced some pretty ‘terrible things’ in your life, or ‘great things’ plays a huge part in how you shape your view of the world. Don’t we all know that one? There are a handful of questions I can think of that we don’t know…
- Why are we alive?
- How did we get here?
- Who is God?
- When will we die?
- Who am I?
Everyone has a slightly, or drastically different answer to these questions. You could ask many more questions about life until you die, I would still consider that existing. You are still choosing to be, in one way or another. That said, thinking about these things I believe makes us more aware of our being, our own existence in this incredible universe.
As we have evolved, and as philosophy as evolves, humans have become more aware of ‘the system’ 100% created by human minds. We all have a part to play in our life and the bubbles of life all around us. To think existentially, to simply be aware of your own existence in the universe I believe is the root of change. But, if it makes it easier on you to believe you play no part in the world around you, I suppose you are lost in life more than you’d like to be. Even I get lost in the madness of it all.
I also believe Existentialists never know when to stop. So I’ll try to finish this post off the best I can…
In everyday life, you may call them the workaholics, over thinkers, philosophical or none of those. But know that these people come from a burning desire to find the meaning of their life, deep down they want to get to know themselves. They want to know what they are doing on this planet and observe everything they can. Accepting what they do not know. It can be a conscious journey or not, but we are all living to find out why we are before our death takes our life as we know it. Through our individual existence, freedom, and choice, we create our own meaning of life.
Although we understand and accept that life itself is meaningless, it is up to us to create our own meaning. Until our death, our life can not be defined. We accept we do not know everything.
The bottom line is that philosophers, of any kind, want to find a meaning, a purpose. People who are studying philosophy have a lot of questions in life and should be more focused on questioning the answers.
- Who is God? Jesus.
- Who is Jesus? I read about it in the Bible.
- What edition of the Bible? Does it matter, it’s my life.
- What is life? Life is an adventure!
- What is an adventure? Doing whatever I want!
- But why? Why?
You could do this all day. Questioning is something we all do as human beings. We exist in this world and it should be in our best interest to know what we need to survive on this planet. Food, water, shelter and humans for some reason need a meaning to live on top of the basic animal needs.
If you have not thought about the way you think take a moment to read this post again. Hopefully, you can create out of it. Even if it is just a thought, go with the flow. Think of your thoughts as waves and try your best to catch on, but don’t hang onto it forever. There is always more to learn.
Consider exploring the great works of Alan Watts at his organization here. His lectures have encouraged me to think, which taught me a lot about myself. That said, everyone learns differently.
I recently found the time to listen to this brief, 12 minute video. I found it helped get me centered with my thoughts as I was writing this post and thought to include it here at the end. I hope you give it a listen, as it may help you in some way too, I’ve said enough now.
I thank you for reading this post. You are a wonderful being, and you deserve to be here. Go enjoy your day.
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