Friday, February 6, 2015

Fresh Strawberries

I was originally going to talk about something more fun, but I feel there might be a couple of things I just need to finally get out there.

I've been in a weird mood lately. I'm not exactly sad, I'm not exactly happy, I'm not exactly mad, I'm not exactly wanting to do anything out of some sort of passionate...ummm, thing(?), I've just been I don't really feel things anymore, at least, not in the sense as one normally feel things.

Some thoughts I have can really put me down while others and sort of stabilize me. But, now, I'm just right in the middle of everything. It's not a feeling of inner-peace or zen, something that sounds really nice, but more along the lines of just feeling defeated and feeling like there's nothing I can do about it.

Maybe it's because I'm missing something in life, maybe it's because I'm finding the most convoluted ways to excuse my laziness and not have to do anything about it, or maybe it's because Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away" and The Bravery's "Believe" sound completely identical to me but there doesn't seem to be a way I'll ever be able to explain it to anybody, ever...

But, the reason why I'm writing this is because I've been thinking about that one line in "Believe" So, I'm not bringing up these two songs randomly(though, seriously, the songs sound too much alike for me.)

It's not that I particularly like the song "Believe" either. I think it's an okay song. When it appears on my Pandora radio, I'll listen to it all the way through, but you won't find me actively looking it up to be able to listen to it again. But, even in a midst of okay-ishness can lay something somewhat profound. And in the case of Believe, it's this line:

"So give me something to believe, 'coz I am living just to breathe"

If there's any sort of blunt way to express how I'm feeling, there's one way.

I was once asked if I were to write a book or give someone advice of 5 things to take out of life. The person asking me came up with 5 things off of the top of her head. Granted, I doubt her list is really something as rigid and structural as she might have liked it to have been, but her ideas all had a common thread of one singular idea. So, that is, at least, something.

I couldn't come up with anything.

If I were to talk to this proverbial person who was going through life, I would say and, in fact, have said "Good luck"

Not in the sort of "Sink or swim" sense or in the condescending "I know what you're doing is stupid and I'm not hiding my attitude of that from you, so here's my off hand comment in which I'm secretly saying that you're probably going to fail" but in the sense that what ever it is the person is looking for, I hope they find it.

There was another time when I jokingly said that a website I like to read was "my religion" to my brother and my brother decides to ask me what my "religion" was. Not in the sense that I follow some sort of theological system but more in the way of what I really believe in life.

Once again, I didn't have an answer.

Let me preface by saying that I don't follow a religion and I don't even really believe in a god. There could be one, but, if there is one, he or she or shklee is not the benevolent being we'd all like to think our god would be.

I'm not here to belittle anyone's beliefs and are free to disagree with my statements. In fact, I wish I did believe in some sort of deity that would give me some sort of meaning. So, why don't I? Well, it's because I just can't.

"But it's a choice, isn't it?" Well, yeah, but my mode of thinking just simply won't allow me because it's not really logical for me. 

There was a point in the first Sherlock Holmes story where Watson finds out that Sherlock didn't know that the Earth revolved around the Sun. It's not that Sherlock believed in a geocentric galaxy, it's just that he didn't care. And, honestly, why should he? Knowing that sort of information had no effect on his everyday life. He only cared about information that was relevant to him.

And that's me and my attitude towards a god, as in it doesn't matter. Some people might have a knee-jerk reaction and tell me that I'm going to hell and, while it's incredibly rude for one to tell anyone that, it might be true. I don't think it is, but, even if it was, is there any undeniable proof? If there is, I might just adjust my life accordingly, but, until or if we discover it, it's not something I want to really want to think about because it doesn't matter to me. While the difference is that Sherlock was ignoring something that was true, I'm not going to be thinking about something that we don't even know could be true. There might just be an outside force that is controlling everything I do without me ever realizing it. Some people might believe in something like that, but since we have no way of actually knowing, what's the point in letting that affect my life?

So, what does that leave me? Well, mostly Pragmatism and Logic, two things that leave desires, emotions, and beliefs out of the equation. I've even expressed a desire for us as humans to not have emotions in the first place(because, honestly, for me, I'm not sure if my emotions are really helping out anymore) and I was surprised to hear him say, with sincerity, "That would make us stop being human." of the most confusing concepts for me.

Not in the sense of what makes people "human." In fact, I'm okay with the technical definition of what makes something a human. But that's not really how people use the word. It's used in a way to give us this "sanctity of life" in that life is sacred...but it really seems like this is exclusive to humans. There are a lot of things in this world that are alive, these things have lives of their own, but most of these things turn up as food for humans. We come up with these weird and complex reasons to justify this means of living. People deserve rights because they are human. But why is it that humans deserve rights? If cows could speak to us coherently, they might have something to say on how we treat them. And, yeah, I'm saying this as someone who had a hamburger for lunch today.

As George Carlin said, we made up the sanctity of life. Why? Because we're alive. This might seem like a ploy to make humanity sound selfish, and, honestly, humanity is pretty selfish, it's not a bad thing. We came up with rights and a goal for equality because most of us generally like to not die and creating these things can maximize the not dying part that people really want. Most of us have agreed to not kill each other and that's a system I'm sincerely okay with. But to call these "natural human rights" just sounds incredibly bizarre to me. How are they natural? Where are they coming from? Do we really mean it's sacred?

And some people we use humanity as a way to make some people feel worse about themselves. "That person is a robot, void of any sort of human emotion", "Talking to him is like talking to an alien, very un-human." I've heard variations and sayings like that as a way to criticize something or someone, even from people who I really respect. I get the point of what these people are saying, but doesn't it just sound a little too demeaning? It almost feels like it's being used as a way to decide which people deserve rights and which ones don't. I know, it usually isn't, but, when I start thinking about the semantics and how people actually use it, I wish we came up with new terminology for it all. If there's at least one reason why I hope we get to meet aliens one day, it's so I never have to hear the term "humanism" again. Maybe we'll come up with a new term. Interplanetarianism.

Honestly, I can get behind that kind of word. 

So, what does that long though process I had have to do with how I feel? Well, maybe a lot of things.

If there's a reason why I'll take one side over another, it's because one side can just be stupid. If one side is coming up with insane conspiracy theories or using baseless information to hold on to their beliefs, I'm choosing the side that's not doing that. It's why I support feminism, LGBT rights, and race equality. Because the people against these things are ignorant and making up the craziest things to stay ignorant. Supporting these causes is a fight against ignorance.

But, then, stray thoughts start shooting through my brain. This line of thinking I have can also come with purposelessness. Once I've come to think in Existential terms, it's not hard for me to just start asking "What's the point?" I don't believe in any sort of divine goals for me, others, or the universe in general. I just believe it just is. Things happen without rhyme or reason. Events occur due to circumstance. It really is possible for the world to keep turning without the people ever really progressing towards some sort of singular goal. If only I did believe there was some external force to guide things along in the right direction.

There was a time in my life in High School where I was really sure that I wanted to be a musician. I had my own band for a while, I constantly dreamed of being on tour and performances, and it was really something I felt like I could do. I had a passion, but, somewhere along the way, that passion died right before I left High School. Ask High School me what I believed in and I probably would have come up with a definitive answer, especially after watching The Dead Poet's Society or finding a lot of internet things that tell me to just do what I love.

But what do I love anymore? There hasn't been a lot to really "spark my fire" or to make me think about what I'd love to do in life. There are things in the past that I have liked doing, but I'm not sure if I can find myself doing it for the rest of my life. Or even maybe something I'd like to keep on doing for a while. I'll get temporary enjoyment out of things, but nothing seems to prevent me from thinking that it all just doesn't really matter.

Maybe it's not something I want anymore. A lot of the elated feelings I got also came with an equal amount of lows, and I just hated experiencing them. They didn't help me appreciate the good times, my mind just thought about every crummy little thing that has happened to me. So, just after so much pain, I guess I just decided to shut down. No more emotions, but it seems to be the thing that was driving me to do...well, anything.

Maybe, some day, I'll find something. After some incredible missteps of how I started going into college, I eventually learned about other things I could be able to do. It would have been nice to know about these things back in the beginning, but if it hadn't been for these missteps I wouldn't be on my current pursuit in the first place...probably, I really don't know.

Life is circumstantial and it is what you make of it. I'm not sure what to make of it anymore, but I hope I can find a reason to keep going again.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Sean. I can really relate. To address your previous post, I turned 27 last month (I'm inching closer and closer to becoming my "future 30 year old self"), yet most of the time, I do not feel much closer to being the ideal 30 year old me that I had imagined. You know, that person who you referenced - the one who has it all together. I think I am closer, but it doesn't feel like it. In my mind, I'm still a kid. And I think that everyone probably feels that way. I experience these crazy moments when I'm dropping kids off at daycare and going to pick up little league baseball jerseys and scheduling family dentist appointments around my classes when I feel jolted and think "what is going on? Is this adult life? Am I seriously officially an adult now?" ha ha It's w-e-i-r-d.

    I identify myself as an Atheist. I am an active member of Atheists of Oklahoma. YET, I can relate to your feelings regarding religion. People sometimes refer to Atheism as a religion, but really it is just a lack thereof. I lack religion because my brain cannot allow me to believe in it. I am not built that way. Sometimes, I do think it would be much easier to be able to believe in something else, but I just can't.

    Also - the maddening even-ness! It's horrible! I don't know what this is about. I don't know if other people don't feel it or if everyone feels it, but just doesn't talk about it! My adolescence in its entirety was made up of high highs and low lows. I thought that everyone's was like this. Now, I think that while adolescence is generally considered a turbulent time, not everyone's was so dynamic. I remember my awareness of feeling deep and disturbing pain, but now, I mostly remember the rush and excitement of newness, laughter, and joy. Of course, I still experience sadness and joy, but it all feels muted compared to the past. Maybe that's what produces the feeling of "nothingness." Or maybe not. Maybe I'm way off base.
    I have this theory that the best thinkers and writers from the beginning of time were all somewhat mentally ill in that they all thought and felt entirely too much and that's where all of the best ideas come from. That theory makes me feel important ; ) ha ha
    Keep writing! I enjoy reading your posts!