Category Archives: Waxing Philosophical
I’m still not sure what I’m going to use this blog for. I think it may just be a vent for my thoughts. I have a lot of those, but, so does everyone.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Death and the Afterlife, concepts so big the warrant capitalisation despite not being proper nouns. I realise that I have to die, I can accept that. Everyone dies, that’s a fact. However, not knowing when I’m going to die is what’s scaring me. I’ve found it hard to sleep at nights knowing full well that I could die in my sleep. I know that I’m only 18, but it’s well within the realms of probability.
Not knowing that I’m dying is my biggest fear. To die in my sleep would not be so terrifying if I knew there was some form of afterlife, but I cannot make a leap of faith and join a religious movement, that is suicide, denying myself the ability to conjure up my own concepts of the world and what it all means (if anything). If someone told me I was going to die at an exact point in time, and this was invariable, I think I would be content in the knowledge that I have time and that my death is set in stone. I would attempt to live my life to the full, knowing when my heart stops. I would not be surprised and perhaps I would have done enough to be content.
You must understand that I’m not overjoyed with the concept of eternal rest. I merely think that a TOD would enable me to be content for a small time, if not permanently. I’m about 99% sure that this world, this fantastic, beautiful Earth, is all we have. Once we die, that is it. No heaven. No hell. No purgatory. We simply stop thinking and partake in an eternal, restful sleep in the perfect dark. We give up nature, people, cities, buildings, stories…
This is not to say I do not wish for there to be an Afterlife. It would be brilliant. To know that I do get to live forever, to know that I do not have to, one day, give up my ideas and my mind and the sun and the snow… It’s an attractive prospect. I sincerely want to believe in it. But I cannot. Not until I come to the conclusion through my own study of the world and not via one tome collected thousands of years ago about magic wine and omnipotent ghosts. An Afterlife would be a sweet dessert, indeed, but it probably does not exist despite our wishes.
I am not a Nihilist. I believe that our lives do mean something. There may not be a grand purpose, but, our lives are important. We have the ability to mean something to someone. Even if one’s only achievement is to have a lover, they have given meaning to existence. We do not have an inborn purpose, we create our own through our experiences. No one has the same experience as another. There are over 7 Billion people alive today. Billions have lived and died before today. Many will die today. More will be born today. Each and every single one has had a different experience. Each and every single one has had different thoughts, has a different nose, has a different sexuality. We are defined by our experience and by our interpretation of our experience.
I believe that if two, genetically identical, children were born in different parts of the world, they would be different people. Child A is run over by a car when he is six, he survives yet is confined to a wheelchair. He grows up bitter and resentful. However, he puts his efforts into medicine in an attempt to cure his paralysis and succeeds. Child B is not hit. He grows up friendly and cheerful. He does not discover a cure for spinal cord damage, why would he need to?, despite being capable of it. Would this be different if the situations were reversed? Possibly, there are obviously other defining factors, for example, parentage, education and friendship. Yet, my point is made. Experience defines purpose.
These were just general thoughts I had today. Do not take them as gospel. I do not offer certainties, I offer possibilities, thoughts that may or may not be true. I am not a genius, I am but an ordinary human being. I cannot say that my way is right, no one can say that. The metaphysical is difficult territory, and unfamiliar for me. I never was a great practitioner of a faith. I was raised Catholic, although not a fire-and-brimstone Catholic.
I believed in The Bible’s words until I was 14, at which point I felt they could not be true as they denied me my sexuality. Why would an all loving God that created all create something which he hates? Why would he create me with the express intention of hating me? It was illogical. More than illogical, it relied on me denying that people are fundamentally good, that Gods are good. I could no longer believe in a religion that preached peace and love and tolerance while calling me evil for something out of my control.
I experimented with other religions, but all religious experience denied me self realisation. I must follow a strict path set by another man to find the meaning of things. Yet, why would I? I am an individual. Denying myself my individuality by following another’s path is not a possibility. I must forge my own.
This would not be an easy task. It took 3 years of thought and introspection in a land in which religion is still of the utmost importance. My thoughts turned to meaning, purpose and gods. I thought of people and their intentions. I began to see the reasoning behind the most ignoble acts. I comprehended why a person kills, maims and rapes. I’m not saying that I agreed, I am saying I understood.
I concluded that I am an atheist. I concluded that people are fundamentally good. I do not believe in evil people. There are merely people who commit evil deeds, yes, but I believe they either do it for personal gain or are misguided. There are no people who wake up and unleash a maniacal cackle, pondering whether to burn the orphanage or shoot a kitten.
I’ve written more than I intended, so I’ll end it now. Thank you for reading.