The optimistic void

Modifié le : 2017/12/26

The void of exis­tence exists only to bet­ter fill it. I con­tin­ue my read­ing of Exis­ten­tial­ism for Dum­mies, a book that is very well writ­ten. I am ambiva­lent, won­der­ing if exis­ten­tial­ist thought feeds me or gnaws at me because I am nat­u­ral­ly anx­ious, even depres­sive. What­ev­er peo­ple say about my tal­ents, my chances of suc­cess, the hap­pi­ness that sur­rounds me, my com­fort is rel­a­tive, beau­ti­ful as slow and heavy snow that soothes the eyes, soft­ens the air. Beau­ti­ful as win­ter kills.

Yet exis­ten­tial­ism is not a phi­los­o­phy of despair even if, at first, the obser­va­tion is implaca­ble : life is absurd, because, regard­less of beliefs, the uni­verse seems to be mak­ing fun of our indi­vid­ual fate. Niet­zsche declared that God was dead (since he nev­er kept his promise, with lies that are repeat­ed from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion). Man must, there­fore, sur­pass him­self to become a super­man. But again, this is absurd. The super­man will die.

How­ev­er, life is giv­en to us. We are alive and the only true courage is to live it because that is sim­ply the way it is. “It is.” Hei­deg­ger seems to be say­ing that this is enough and that we are what we are because we are. Sort of. Exis­ten­tial thought seems cir­cu­lar to me, just as God’s thought was.

In fact, it is the nature of the human mind to dream in cir­cles. It is in itself a mir­a­cle that prob­a­bly exists in mil­lions of copies in this uni­verse that has no end and yet, as we say, it too will die and start again.

The knowl­edge we have of our real­i­ty, and of the small­ness of our boat, can only bring us back to humil­i­ty over and over again. Thus, the exis­ten­tial ges­ture of declar­ing every­thing absurd is courage and aban­don­ment. We are and that is enough. My real­i­ty is to push these words through this com­put­er that oth­ers have imag­ined. I am of my own kind. When I die, the wind will blow on the dust that I will become. My species, too, will be dis­solved one of these days, the uni­verse is so patient, in the water of noth­ing­ness. We are, we will become, we will remain salt, the one that gives a cer­tain fla­vor to the nebulae.

We are the condi­ment for a “thing” that does­n’t real­ly seem to taste what it is. But what the hell do I know ? Noth­ing. That is prob­a­bly the answer. And this con­clu­sion goes in cir­cles, pass­es the time.