Pathy!

Lately I’ve been thinking, and writing, about how nothing in the universe actually matters in any objective sense, and how given that our consciousness is only mud risen to reflect on mud, before becoming mud yet again, we ought not let stress consume us. These fundamental aspects of my belief system are my xanax, my zoloft, my therapist, and my couch. The crippling anxiety that regularly rides up my spine is alleviated, not suppressed but actually dispersed, through my reflection on, what I perceive to be, these truths.

A potential argument against such a viewpoint is that it could lead to apathy, and indeed it could. Why wouldn’t it? Life doesn’t matter, why strive to improve it? To this I can only offer the obvious alternative question; why not? Strive to improve it! March in the streets! Vote! Run for office! Write letters to the editor! Build a shelter! Dig a well! Go do something! You know what stops people from trying to make things better? Fear that they will fail, and it will all have been in vain. Good news everyone! It is all in vain! Not doing anything is all in vain! So, if nothing matters at all, you might as well shoot for the goddamn moon!

Besides, just because life doesn’t have any objective value doesn’t mean it can’t have subjective value. You’ll be dead soon enough, may as well get a little life in while you have the chance. This can be an argument for bungee jumping and skydiving and swimming with supreme court justices, but if you’re willing to take significant risks, then make them in the pursuit of bettering the fleeting and meaningless existences of your fellow earthlings. Life doesn’t matter, so get on your soap box on the corner and rally against the injustice of charging pregnant mother’s to have their baby in a hospital. Life doesn’t matter, so call your senator to express your horror at their lapses in intelligence. Life doesn’t matter, so knock on every door in your neighborhood to ask them for a dollar to send to starving families in Syria. Life doesn’t matter, so eat the rich, feed the poor, and buy as much Bornean rainforest as you can afford and donate it to an orangutan sanctuary. Why not? It might not work, it may make no difference at all, and you might have wasted your effort. But good news, eventually the sun will swallow the earth so nothing matters on a cosmic time frame anyway! You’re failures are just as irrelevant as your successes, but aren’t successes so much more fun?

Apathy is for the scared and weak, the people who foolishly believe things matters, and so refuse to try things. Things don’t matter,so try them all! Choose pathy!

Do Whatever You Want, You Have To Anyways.

The title of this piece is false advice. If you want to hurt people, don’t. If you want to hoard money for no reason while people starve to death, or work menial jobs forever to no happy end, don’t. However, if you want to move to the beach, do. If you want to open an ice cream stand, do. If you want to forget all of your debts and walk off into the woods, go for it.

Life is singular folks. Seems very unlikely that it happens again, at the very least not in the same way it is happening right now. Which means you’ve got one chance to do what you want in this world, it is this chance, it is today. Hate your job? Quit. Don’t like your neighbors? Move. Nothing gets better through inaction, no one is coming to save you. It is up to you.

I have even better news actually, it isn’t up to you. Everything you are ever going to do is set in stone. How do I know? I don’t, but I’m pretty sure. Here’s two pieces of evidence. One is just that this life doesn’t repeat itself, which means you go through it exactly once. Every time you have acted, responded, decided, it was the only time you will ever act in that particular situation. Which means questions of what you would do differently if you had the chance are irrelevant. You won’t. Furthermore, even if you did, if you were in the exact same situation again, with the exact same information, you would make the exact same choice. How do I know? Because in that situation with that information, you made that choice. Pretending you would magically make some other choice in that exact same situation is useless, as is pretending you might have been able to learn from the mistake of that choice before having made it and so chose otherwise. Spilt milk.

The other piece of evidence is just the very nature of the universe. It’s causal. X happens, causes y why every time. The pool ball analogy is a good one. If the cue ball hits the eight ball on the exact same table at the exact same speed and angle at the exact same positions, the eight ball will move the same way every time. This has been how things have happened since the beginning. Stars forming, planets, earthquakes, waves, clouds, rainbows, all just a reaction to the laws of nature and previous events. So it is with physical phenomena. You know what else is physical phenomena? Your thoughts, your decisions, your actions. Each is just a reaction to the laws of nature and previous events. Had toast this morning? That was determined by the big bang. Broke up with your boyfriend? Big bang did that. C’est la vie.

So, don’t worry about doing whatever you want, you’re going to. Don’t worry about mistakes you’ve made, you had no choice. Free will is an illusion. Since free will is an illusion and mistakes don’t matter, go ahead and do whatever you want. Of course you shouldn’t worry about doing whatever you want, you’re going to, which means you don’t have to worry about any mistakes you’ve ever made, because you had no choice, and since your mistakes don’t matter, you may as well do whatever you want. Of course you are going to do whatever you want, so don’t worry about possible mistakes, they were inevitable, because free will is an illusion, and since mistakes don’t matter, go ahead and do whatever you want. Why are you so focused on potential mistakes anyway? Maybe it’ll be awesome.