Philosophers sound nervously prophetic. Two thousand years ago, they are going on about how everything is fast-paced, how everyone’s running a mindless race and how the next generation thinks out of their arse. They even talk about information overload from other schools of philosophy.
Philosopher king Marcus Aurelius was at one point the most powerful human on earth. And he is telling himself stuff like, “wake up early, follow your morning routines and be grateful“. He tops it off with stuff like “you are going to be dust, soon.” At one point, he’s inspired by an insect and tells himself “to go about his duties with as much focus”. One of his most profound realizations is that most people are dolts who have no clue they are being dolts and that he must forgive them because they don’t know better. And finally that he must also forgive himself because he can be a dolt, too. Leave something for us, Marcus.
Reading stuff like that makes you wonder if you are in fact living in a simulation. But it’s more likely that humanity is a neurosis unto itself: United by its pathology, divided by its escapes from those pathologies.
There is an earnest hopelessness every generation feels for the successive one. But unlike philosophers where the goal was independent thinking, the goal now has become damage control – dependency transfer.
We expend energy making sure the successive generation becomes a perfect imitation of our own. We tell ourselves this is because we want their lives to have meaning. But, in it, we are searching for meaning ourselves.
And what we have instead of meaning is mechanization, a philosophical cardiac arrest.
The upside of robots taking over the world is that we have one last chance to find out what’s originally human in us. It’s what philosophy tries to do with its series of annoying questions. But the exposé was too much to take. So nothing changed and the enterprise fell into drab repetition. Beardy bro-talk. Philosophy became synonymous with annoyance.
People talk to me about marriage a lot. Because I am 30 and I am letting my species down by not signing the trade deal. I indulge these people anyway because they care for me and are primitive enough to overlook the fact that I have seen their marriages play out. But an elementary question like, “why marriage” peeves them. They think I am being philosophical. I think it annoys them because it’s a question they never bothered to ask and wish they had.
When they attempt the answer with me, for the first time, they pussy-foot around some shitty ideals of compassion, companionship, and care. When it’s really coitus.
It’s like all your life, you have been looking around for some deep meaning and then you reach the end only to find out the purpose of humanity has been sex. Everything seems pretty meaningless after that. Marriage offers a good escape from and into this meaninglessness. From facing your inconsequence.
No one that escapes like to be found out. It’s why philosophy annoys people. Because it calls into question the very meaning you are after. It blithely calls out foolish ideals and spits on its face. If you are thinking philosophy is just some disgruntled dude sitting and screaming why all day, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s someone strong enough to ask questions that could nuke their whole life. Even if they happen to be the most powerful human on earth.
Philosophy is an epic unto itself — swimming upstream the sewer of social dehumanization. It’s why philosophers (and artists) are real heroes. Because they live the life of search. Even if/when it leads nowhere. I would rather lose meaning by finding nothing at the end of the search than feign meaning and pass that on like it’s the path.
If I do one day succumb to societal sickness, marry and make children, it wouldn’t bother me as much. My real sickness, my degeneration will begin when I expect my children, the generation ahead to do what I did, what we did for millennia because we were too afraid to ask why. I will never be able to forgive myself for that.
I write because I don’t have the courage to live the life of philosophers and artists. The few hours every week is the most I can do. There’s only so much nothingness I can take at a time.
Everyone worships the man who stands for his ideals only after he is crucified for the very ideals he stood for. And then, irredeemably, society adopts those ideals. Because worship takes over. The quest for meaning begins. But when you organize these ideals and incentivize them with your unquestioning, short-sighted, and systemic beliefs and spout them like it is everyone’s salvation, everyone’s obligation, you have gone against the very religion you worship. You have gone against humanity.
Religion is not anyone’s enemy. You are the enemy of religion. A real atheist is a religion unto himself. It’s why philosophy (and art), atheistic as they may look are religions of the highest kind. They shatter all beliefs. They risk madness.
And why exactly?
Because, for once, no one can tell you why. For once, you’ve to find out.