Friday, May 06, 2005

The Existential Dilemma or Why Live In The Moment?

All we have is this moment, nothing more. To extend ourselves beyond that is to live within an illusion. What do we know for sure? I know i have this moment, this singular, ongoing, ever present moment. At least until it passes away, that is i pass away. We can come to see certain perspectival truths through looking into the realm of ideas and by objectified time (projecting ourselves forward and back in memory and fantasy)

It's worth saying that there's plenty of ways to create meaning for ourselves, but that's just it, it's self created, not a priori(if i'm using that term properly) Most meanings and values exist only within the confines of our mental realm not as a pre-given part of reality. All we really have is this moment. We are sent into this world not knowing who we are, or what we're meant to be, or how we came to be. The only thing we are given is our ongoing moment to moment awareness.

I, personally, believe there is alot of meaning in the universe, and not just meaning but purpose. There is a reason we are here without the why and left to discover the how on our own. In order to truly appreciate life, we have to see the beauty of simply existing in the moment, in becoming one with that environment. That i believe is the key to it all. Though many realizations may follow that one, without that fundamental insight into the miraculous nature of existence we are left as subjects to the whims of our ego.

I think it all comes down to the ego, in alot of ways. We are here to realize gods existence, to be his instrument or his eyes. I think god needs us as much as we need him. Where we are confined to this perspective and bound to this world and feel as though we can't realize the infinite, to contact the unknowable. In that same way god, as an idea, is so ultimately transcendent that he can never know himself. Because the moment he breaks away from that unmanifest nature to become aware of himself, there's a new division and god no longer is whole and complete. That is where we come in, a part of god has to play the part of "not god". Only through this divine dance, can we both come to understand ourselves.

It's an interesting dilemma. We are here to realize our greater connection to the many, our existence as the many, and how we are foolish to ever think there is an I included in this reality. There is no I, only I-You. The only way to do this is by being a singular entity, by being confined to what we perceive as ourselves, we create a contrast that allows us the perception of our Oneness. This is where ego becomes very important.

Our life must seem very valuable, it's the only thing we know, it's all that there is to know. We are who we are, which obviously is fundamental to our values. We are so close to the miracle of existence, yet so far away. We can see it off in the distance, that ultimate meaning, but we can never touch it, never realize it, never truly know it with our minds. God is ultimately unknowable and empty from our perspective, the closer we get to god the less we can see him. So here we are holding on to our precious lives with all we can manage because that's all we've got. Yet no one tells us: You're going to be ok. You will abide in me after death... nada, nothing! No special magic books to tell us what god is like, just the pure, distilled truth of the unknown. Kinda scares the shit outta ya when you think about it like that.

Yet it is only in the face of this dilemma that we will ever transcend ourselves. As we look closer and closer for god or meaning we continually find nothing! How can this be? As much importance as i place on myself, and even others (sometimes), i can't seem to validate that in any ultimate way. So what are we left with? Well... I don't know if i'm going to be here tomorrow and i also don't know that if i'm not whether i'll be somewhere (or someone) else. I do however know that i have decided to place value on my experiences. This leads to only one conclusion as i see it: I must appreciate every miraculous moment as they come, not holding on and ruining them, and not holding back and missing them. I have no other choice for finding value!

But as we stare into the void (and the void stares back) We're poised on the brink of stark meaninglessness of loosing all hope of valuing our lives, that miraculous connotation becomes even more pronounced. "This moment really is all i have. And it's so beautiful so precious because i know it will slip away. There will be a time not long from now, when i will no longer be, my loves and likes, passions and dreads all gone with me." Nothing seems so sweet until you stand to loose it, this is a sad fact of life. But a necessary one, everything must be "real". We can't just have god telling us "ok you're really me in disguise and everything is fine because you are in fact eternal" If that happened how precious would life seem? "what does it matter if you do wrong or how much i care about others now that i know it's a game, something that doesn't actually have any substance" (as it's typically defined) If we were handed the answers, they would loose their experiential meaning, which is the whole point in the first place.

So as god's divine manifestations we must loose ourselves in the chaos of trying to maintain a self system in a very hostile world. And only through this struggle, this choice to strive, this hope in the face of hopelessness is life imbued with it's true meanings. We can stand back and appreciate the subtlety of each moment, and thus seeing the intricacies of it's interconnections, which points us toward god. Though we may have to face down tragedy (and we all will) We can do it knowing that god is in every moment and while we never see him or truly "know" him, he can never be away from us. Nothing can ever be taken from us, whether it be our life or our dreams, because those belong to god, our true selves, this moment will never die it will continue on into infinity. It may change subjects periodically, but never does it stop, and since each moment exists together, as a whole, we will always exist, even in this form, though it's in the mind of god not man that this becomes reality.


Anonymous said...

I know it's a few years old but I must say I appreciate your post. It was helpful for someone who is feeling a bit lost. Thank You.


alqx said...

Who or what is this God that you mention in your post?

Bindu said...

That's quite the loaded question, alqx.

I'll answer it, but with another question.

Why is there something, instead of nothing?

verve said...

to Bindu
Your parallel question to alqx's even
though powerful dose not qualify as a counter.
This is because 'god' defined vaguely,such as energy or 'content' or with questions similar to yours is very different from how common people define it.(to 95% of humanity the word 'god' is associated with some form of religious deity)
my point is one must be very careful in the usage of the word 'god'.
You must very clearly define what is meant by that word or simply leave it and use something else.

Anonymous said...

Your post throws the towel, then takes it back say nothing...! Say the universe unfolds randomly and we are along for the ride and I'll understand. Meaning, like beauty and all other human concepts, does not exist.

We are born with a BIOS (and a BIOS clock...!) With which ...and to which... we compare events to make sense. A BIOS however is entirely biologically arbitrary...!

Look as Buddha might... in one hundred years everyone you know including yourself and your children will be dead.... In a million years the human species to which we belong will be extinct...!

Meaning is also meaningless...!

Bindu said...

I'm not incredibly interested in defending something I wrote four years ago. I'm glad that people seem to find it thought provoking, even if I'm full of it. :-)

tylersstory said...

Beautiful post. You make the existentialist dilemma almost poetic. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I'll just say I'm not an expert on existentialism, however, it seem to me a way of pacifying the masses under a society or system which is unfair. I understand that it is nessesary to eventually accept the limits of ones life and just be, but, there really seems so much that society still needs to become before it takes the antidepressant of existentialism.

Azyza21 said...

God is the gut feeling you get when addressing the greatest state of goodness you can conceive, on the grandest scale,all-inclusive, and acknowledge its potent beauty, although its beyond your reach. You can only reflect its power with your alignment to goodness.

Azyza21 said...

When I reflect on "GOD"--The greatest good, on the greatest scale, all-inclusive, all-potent benefactor whose goodness I yearn to align with, even if this seems out of my reach to reflect adequately.