“ …..the contact with existence. Nothing more is needed to arouse the nauseating disgust that characterizes the consciousness of reality. ” – Sartre
It was a regular Saturday morning. A warm yellow radiance played on my pupils, as I drew the curtains. Bubbles, faint, myriad hues of bubbles were my first sight. I gazed into nothingness, in my head just thinking.Then a slight nudge on my shoulder, “What are you thinking, so late in the day?”. In a moment of split second, I was aware of two nagging features of my existence in this world as a human:
A) Reason and B) Consciousness.
“About life”, I sheepishly replied. No, ofcourse I wasn’t thinking about life. If at all, I was thinking how could I be non-existent just for few more hours. Well, not even hours, may be years. Alas! to be non-existent I had to be beyond time and space.
Well, Idealists would say, everything after all in this world, is nothing but your mental construction and hence immaterial. So we perceive the world as in the form of space and time, where there is none. So it may be just that you are in a dream, thinking about everything that is but real, but it is not. It is but all in your mind. Countering this, Realists would claim that things exist independent of the mind. Everything is real in and by it-self. Everything will exist and does exist, reality is mind’s correspondence to it. But, there’s a fundamental underlying presumption in both. Even in your absolute state of dream, you do exist. Even in your not-so-dreamy “real” state of being, you exist. In your years of existence, your perfect ignorance of this whole thing, would be comforting. For all you know, you are crying out loud for all but one thing, “I exist”. It is the emphasis on ‘I’ here that is indeed quizzing. We want to exist, I is not a given cause, I is the willingness of the cause to manifest itself into the effect that is our existence.
But what does this existence entail, suffering, suffering and endless suffering. You know, Krishna knew it,Buddha knew it, Religions propagate it and try to diagnose it. But existence suffices itself by breeding on human willingness.
For this individual self wants but hope to rescue oneself, to help them sail their ships over the turbulent sea over the island of misery. Honestly, it’s overburdening! Hope is an illusion, it is a faulty belief in something that is so elusive . It is not even fundamentally grounded in any philosophical ideology, for it is predominantly a presumed characteristic of human survival. It is hope, that leads to desire and pleasure, which supposedly, outweighs the painful experiences of man. Expectations is an illusion of your desires fulfilled and this only leads to a cycle of pain and further suffering. Misery, vice, evil they are the essential features of your living. Your constant strive for happiness, which often ends with some sort of despair.That, my dear readers, is the truth. Think of all the things that make you happy, there is a tragedy involved in all of those. Either it is of your lost childhood, or of someone who died, someone who left, something you did for someone who betrayed. If you are thinking of a landscape, a holiday memory, a particular painting, poetry or book, even of friends and family, then think about how momentary those are, how in dealing with the real pain, these our but your minute seconds of absolute solace and that, that is it. Everything, that we strive for arises out of a desire to elevate oneself from pain and then land oneself in the same state with a different condition, people, place or time.
The best consolation in misfortune, that Schopenhauer points out is that when we think of others who are still in worse plights than us. I needn’t tell you, if that’s the form of consolation we offer to ourselves, where is the humanity headed?
There’s no immanent truth in existence, there are no answers to the questions of “Who am I?, Why am I here?, What is life? All that if there is, that we will to exist and there is no ulterior motive to existence but to live through the absurdities of life. Even our deepest aspirations are empty in its significance. The ambitions, the engagement with work and love, are just overcoming one’s boredom of life. We are living in a constant state of inflicted affection of despair.
Nothing human can ever be free of its scars. There is a natural place reserved for disaster and disappointment in human life. If we do have knowledge of it is of the truth that there is suffering and that life ends in annihilation of one’s self.
Life is meaningless. Living is a futile experience.
How then is non-existence not better than existence?