On The Supposed 'Meaninglessness' Of Life
May 18, 2018
The absurdist philosopher Albert Camus once said,
“there is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”
In an alternative form,
does the game become ridiculous enough that one does not want to play anymore?
Life is to some degree nonsense but is not meaningless.
“The meaning of life is: it’s personal” ~ N. Ravikant
All language is dual in nature. Black defines itself with White, White exists as removal of black. Most of the time, if not all of the time, we forget this.
Problems of the self are all derived from this original sneaky contradiction planted deeply in the psyche of the self, so as to be a mystery one continually chases to solve (the reason for growth).
“Here’s the secret to life: all front sides have backsides but the two are the same and go together as one.” ~ A. Watts
To have ‘meaninglessness’ then, you must, therefore, have meaning.
To acquire a stance that, “life is meaningless”, is, to poorly represent Neiztche’s ideas on Nihilism, the rejection of objective value in the concrete world (in front of you) for a belief in value or meaning outside that which is in front of you (abstract).
That is to say, there is a world outside of this world (the one you find yourself in) in which there is value or meaning.
But even in one’s romanticism with the intellectually delicious rejection of all concrete value, you still haven’t wiggled your way out of the game. In fact, you’re still playing it.
“For the self to try to comprehend the self makes as much sense as the act of trying to bite one’s own teeth.” ~ A. Watts
If the self (you), reject the environment (life) as meaningless, then you (meaning) define life (meaningless).
That’s the trick. It’s you. You’re playing against yourself. Life pushes, and you push back.
“A great Zen master said just before he died, ‘From the bathtub, to the bathtub, I have uttered stuff and nonsense.’”
The game is nonsense, but because it’s nonsense it’s fun.
Why do children dare each other to see how far out they can get? Who can climb the highest tree? Who can leap over the fire? Who can play chicken the longest?
When the game is thought to be serious enough when the audience is so enamored by the plot of the play, when the emotions are so rich as to bring the self to its knees in self-loathing, pity or complete rejection of all things in front of it…
Then the artist has succeeded in her intent.