9.6.2011 - It appears that I uploaded this back in 2003. 8 years ago. I might have read it once or twice in the early years, but forgot it was even here. So the other day I get a wild hair and decide to come back to the site. 1. I'm amazed it is still up. 2. I have had over 760 hits in the past month. 3. When I google information about Demonology these days I'm a top teir. 4. This is still here. Well, I re-read it. I'm a lot older now than when I originally wrote this. A lot has changed in my life. I have two kids, married to a wonderful woman, went to college, and doing the whole domestic thing. Not very well, but trying! I reflect on the words I wrote here.. The fundamental ideas/feelings are still present in my life. I don't think that will ever change. 8 years ago I was struggling against nihilism. Philosophically speaking, and to steal a line from Donald Crosby's The Specter of the Absurd - "Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair". Well, that is nihilism for you. I was raised Christian, and from that "absolute" point of view, I seeked truth with a vigor and honesty I have only seen in books. In the end, Crosby is right. We must accept the 'greater' perspective that - inherently - life is meaningless. This, of course, in no way liberates us from living, feeling, spinning value and meaning. Infact, all it truly does is underscore the freedom that we have. The freedom to carve - from nothingness - an underlining greater truth about who we are. The ancient greeks had a myth about a guy named Sisyphus. On his death bed, Sisyphus made his wife swear to kill herself so that they may awaken in the afterworld together. Sisyphus of course passes only to find that his wife is not there. Due some earlier antics in Sisyphus' life he is able to talk to Hades about his wife. Hades agrees to send him back to the mortal realm for one single day in order that Sisyphus may chew his wife out. In order for Sisyphus to return to the mortal realm he must be given immortality. Sisyphus returns to the world, and prompty refuses to go back. Hades talks to his brother Zeus about Sisyphus. Zeus sends Hermes to fetch Sisyphus. Sisyphus is brought before the Lord of the Gods and is punished to roll a boulder from the foot of a mountain all the way up to the top of the mountain. Once the boulder has reached the top, due to it's weight, it would roll back down the hill and Sisyphus would have to start over. Background covered? Good. Albert Camus once wrote that Sisyphus is the ideal example of an absurd hero. Camus looked at all the different kinds of philosophers on his day who struggled against the nihilistic perspective. They sometimes picked up existentialism, or phenomenology (awesome points of view, but they are pragmatic not 'correct'). The correct point of view, and I would agree with Camus, is the acceptance of this absurdity. I have to constantly remind my fellow philosophers that we are philo sophia's (philo=lover or friend/sophia=wisdom) - Lovers of Wisdom - not Lovers of Utilitarianism, or Pragmatism. Wisdom shows us that there is no absolute truth. Be happy about this. In retrospect, truth means slavery. If we were to assert - for fact - that Blue is the only true color and all other colors were heresies and bastardizations then we would be left with only one color. That's a very bland universe. It's a hopeless universe. It's a universe I would rather not live in. However, when we finally realize that we struggle without hope of success in the never ending battle to push our boulder up a hill and that this absurd struggle is really all there is to life, then and only then are we able to find happiness in this life. I know some of you are saying, but I can get my boulder up a hill. Or why not just stop struggling. On the first point, Sisyphus gets his boulder up his hill too. He accomplishes his goal just as you might accomplish one of yours. But what happens right afterwords? You start over. You find a new struggle, you create new goals. This leads me to answering the second point and a caveat to those who would champion a nihilstic approach. We - as in people - are simply not capabe of it. We give value and meaning in the same way that we breath. It's part of who we are. To speak is to value a language and the notion that one need be heard or is worth hearing. Nihilism is not a philosophical point of view. It's not something philosophers go about debating for. Quite the opposite! But in the end, because we experience the world through our senses, because our brains functions the way they do, because we live 'within' the world, we are simply not qualified to defend it. We accept this, we realize this in ourselves and in others. I can debate the finner things in life, such as the Christian ethic seems to me contrary to the basic instinct of life... but truth be told, I'm no more right than they. I don't agree with them, they don't agree with me. I'm not throwing them in jail and condeming their ideology. That would be rather idiotic. For their faults in method suffer the same faults mine do. Assumption, belief without proof. It's all just a guess. However, my view IS my view. I champion it on the field of debate daily. It is my struggle and I love my struggle. It defines me. Through it I will into being meaning, value, and truth in a universe where those things do not exist. We must take our que from Camus.. With a nod to the similarly cursed Greek hero Oedipus, Camus concludes that "all is well," indeed, that "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Though his existence is absurd, his struggle is not. Sometimes it is done is scorn. Sometimes it is done is joy. Sometimes it is done in apathy. What matters here is not that Sisyphus does it, he is iconic of all of us, he does not have a choice. We do not have a choice. It is our instinct to struggle against this absurdity. Might as well stop being human for all the good it would do you. What matters is that in the struggle to attain his absurd goal or even in attaining it, Sisyphus knows it was done by his own intent with his own meaning - be it spite for Zeus, the joy of simplicity, or the apathy of the defeated. Now on to my 8 year old rant!
Have you ever wondered what kind of person you are? Why you are the way you are. What motivates you? I have. Many times. And you know what? I simply do not know. I am very barbaric and almost (not quite) unconscious. However, I was raised in society and this has made me very lazy. I can not leave society, and yet I can not live in society. I choose to live in society, and therefore I follow its rules and regulations as a kind of 'factual necessity'. Myself, I stay enclosed in my mind. Now and then I have to get free.. free of myself. This leads me to completely screw up my life from time to time. However, it does make it a bit more interesting. I live a kind of double life. The life I live outside myself, and the one I live inside myself. I am, by almost every ethical standard, a very evil and bad person. Sometimes Iím an ok guy. I do things that if you could cut them out and paste them all together in one big collage Iíd be a saint. Other times Iím the devil himself. I feel more comfortable being the devil than I do the saintÖ does that make me evil? I was raised a christian, from baptisit to catholic all in one childhood. Iíll admit that I still have this interest in the Judeo-Christian mythology but Iíve come to see the theology as an escapist mentality. I still believe in the God-hypothesis. I guess that makes me a romantic under it all. I still have hope. But the over all ethics of christianity does not sit to well with me. It seems to me to be a very anti-life philosophy. Life as in living. All the sins are egotistical. If you confirm the Ďselfí you have sinned. But the whole process of life is the self! OhíwellÖ enough ranting. My search has lead to me to edge of anarchy. Sometimes I want to throw off this cloak of humanity and just go ape shit. Other times I admire all that which I have and or accomplished, not by my own standards, but by yoursÖ Yeap.. I still care what you people think. I canít help it. I donít think anyone can. The only true emotions that I feel are anger, lust and apathy. I use to care, or rather, I felt it my duty to care. But with disillusionment comes a kind of animosity towards those who aren't. I do not mean to justify myself. I do not believe I could. I can not defend what I believe, but I will not stop believing; and though that sounds unphilosophical, it's the only real philosophical position one can take in the specter of the absurd. Justification.. here is a term that has haunted me in the shadows for so many years. I didnít know this is what I wanted.. but it doesnít help knowing it. I found out that in all of this world, the one thing that I needed above everything else is justification. Moral Absolute Justification. For anythingÖ Some strand of truth that I could wrap around myself and wade through this chaos to keep me warm and sheltered. And here I sit.. knowing to the depths of my soul that I can never ever have this. I know well the horror and fear that those christians feel when they turn away from the self. The self dies, the self is as changing as the world is.. it has no justification. That scares the hell out of me. I am who I am not because of reason, or for that matter because of my environment. I am who I am, and that's all that can be said about it. Under it all, I think you're a lot like me. Just another monkey who climbed out of the tree first seeking some confirmation that you are only to ultimately end up needing the one thing you canít have. I think you've convinced yourself that you care or, that others convinced you to care for the profit of controlling you. Knowing that not only am I crazy, but so are you and the only cure is further madness is rather disheartening. Am I making any sense? Does it matter? So where do I go from here? Do I accept the Ďspecter of the absurdí that is life as we know it on a daily basis? Yeah, I think so. I think I will get up tomorrow and go to work and kiss the wife and tell her I love her and watch the news because in the end.. itís what we have set up for ourselves. Itís us. There might not be a reason, a justification, a method, or a system that can explain it all away as some real thing. But itís the best weíve got, and weíre all to one extent or another playing it. Iím still stuck though. I canít find any motivation. I mean doesnít it come from something you really want and or believe in? I have neither. I can live my life as if the specter is real, but I do not truly believe that. The only motivation is to continue is some Ĺ hearted sense. SeeÖ I lack justification and through that am disillusioned with all forms of it. I canít even justify motivation. So why do I still get up? I donít know.. cause I got nothing better to do. And thatís honest. Why do we have kids, fight with the wife, go to work and put up with the bossís crap? Because weíve got nothing better to do. Thereís this whole phase between birth and death called life and this is what we fill that void with. It is a tad bit more interesting than sitting around a camp fire worried about lions and fire ants. So.. I am alive, I am in the world. I have no reason or justification for this. I just am, as you are. To me, life is a struggle and I welcome the battle. I have no fear of death, for death is an end of becoming and I am in a state of constant becoming and it is therefore my goal. We are, after all, beings born to die. I do not end my life because instincts and rationality tell me not to. I think this is the state of every human being on the face of this planet either conscious of the fact or not. We are superficial. We are ignorant of everything. We are searching for direction in a universe with no direction. And I think that is beautiful. In the midst of chaos we have chosen to ignore it and instead chose to live by order. I know that you need justification for your existence, and I understand that you express this need through your beliefs. I am just like you. I too need justification. However, I feel in the world a need for much more honesty. The kind of honesty where our belief is understood as just that; belief. Maybe we donít admit it because we do not want to let goÖ we have stared into our own image for so long that we simply can not realize anything else.. This is dishonest. Dishonest to that very being we once where. Dishonest to the very ideals that makes us us. We have given absurdity meaning. We have chosen to be what we are and that is that. To those who can not admit this I say that I no longer care about you for in caring I have enslaved myself. I no longer want your good will for in wanting your good will I have damned mine. I no longer desire your wealth for that is my poverty. I no longer wish you happiness for your joy is my sorrow. Your words are as meaningless as you portray yourself to be. You have enslaved yourselves, and worse yet, you have tried to enslave me. I am an animal dressed in a three-piece suit. I talk. I act. I re-act. Iím the best trained animal in the world. However, Iím still an animal. I have accepted myself as myself. I have higher needs based upon establish instincts. I have accepted both my higher desires and my lower ones. I want to rape, kill, shower in the blood of my victims, conquer, and destroy. I want to live without having to hunt for my food, build housing, find my own medicine. and so on. I have freely decided to live with you and you with me so that we may make our existenceís easier and more luxurious. We are not here to find some sense of confirmation or justification! We are just here to spend the time between birth and death together. I feel alone in this world. I am nothing more than an object in your mind. No better or different than an apple. I effect you only insofar as you allow me to. You see me and only see an image. You play with this image, you act with it, talk to it, and even believe that this image is me. I am not an image. I am not my name, my job, my habits. I am the God of my own creation. I am the most important thing to myself. I am egotistical and hedonistic. I live for the moment because the past is fleeting and the future is never secure. I lack motivation. I no long wish to change the world or make it a better place. I no longer care. Everything that I once held true is no longer. So who am I? Iím the disillusionment of the 60ís. The apathy of a generation of kids who grew up with parents who worked hard so we didnít have to, and you know what? We didnít, and still donít! Iím the proud product of a generation of people who learned that the highest values that mankind cherishes are in reality unable to sustain mankind and to that extent I am devoid of a cultural identity. The modernist philosophers killed the God-hypothesis and for revenge the post-modernist killed science. I have nothing in which to place my faith in and create a mythological identity that should have guided me through life. And the sadist thing yet, even though you might not know it, you are in no better shape than I. Oh sure, you have things you believe in and Iím sure are more than willing to supply answers. But, alas, that is only because you do not know of these things. You, you ought to go back to the world. ThisÖ. society, it has been created for you and those like you. But to those who know what I speak of.. to those who I make some sense to. I just wanted to let you know that your not alone. Maybe I amÖ
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