Existentialism Essay, Research Paper
Our species is backwards. We belittle our individuality and focus on our peers, we try to abandon our natural selfish perspective in favor of a wider, pseudo-aware worldly view. We see ourselves as nothing more than a small piece of the puzzle, a gear in the the giant clock of man. While this is not incorrect in itself, our mistake is to forget that we cannot make a voluntary difference in the operation of the whole unless we first fine tune our own operation. Seeing this flaw in my own thinking has enabled me to regain back some of my natural selfishness, and proportionally my natural happyness.
Religion has failed us as a race. Science is quickly admiting its shortcomings, and acknowledging its failure to explain and appease our spirituality. Where will humanity go from here, from this treadmill of confusion? I am unable to solve societys problem as a whole, as is even the greatest of philosiphers. However, I will adhere to my duty as an individual aspect of the human machine to solve my own problems, to speak my own thoughts. This decision is based on a realization I had while hoisting 200 pounds of strong, infallable iron above my weak human frame.
The sweat rolled down my brow and mingled with my tear, burning my eyes in turn with my muscles. My chest heaved, shuddered and contracted until the pressure and pain became all that I was, all that I am. The radio in the background commemorated affectionatley an old man, one of the last frontiersman of the 19th century. A man who had just relived an adventure that had given a strange sense of hope to millions decades ago. His words were few, but his emotion abundant. He had only this to say: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. As his trembling voice conveyed this message over thousands of miles to the small gym radio, I slammed the iron back onto its rack. And there it was. My epiphany. JOHN GLENN WAS WRONG.
That in itself is unimportant; what is important is that John Glenn and his crew have symbolized humanitys direction in the 19th century. His words characterize the collective thoughts and views that men women and children have held towards life and anything that may come after for centurys. We have been too focused on each other, we have been looking through windows, be they microscopes or sattellite pictures, at the throbbing mass that is WE instead of the only thing we need be concerned of or understand: I.
My embrace of selfishness is only the seed from which I have derived peace. It is only the root of my philosophy. Indeed, it has developed into more than an introverted perspective of life. I am thouroughly convinced now that once we find our passion in life, once something strikes a chord and makes music in our minds, we must not hesitate to pursue it with the most white hot passion we are able to muster. The essence of our happiness needs to become our only goal. It is a cold hard fact that life will be an endless pursuit of our one personal lust. Comfort must be found not in the hope of finding a noble purpose, but rather in the belief that that object of our desires will be attained.
I believe neither in heaven nor hell. The afterlife does not ring bells of truth in my head. Yet, I am comfortable and even pleased that eventually I will die physically AND spiritually and it is up to I, and I alone to ensure that when the time time comes, only confidence will posess me; confidence that I have done my best, that I have done what made me happy. If I am wrong, if there is a god, he created us with an eye toward happyness, as reflected by the fact that happyness IS our most powerfull emotion. If there is a cycle to our lives, or a spiritual pedestal we ascend to when our body has died then I have still done right all my life and should have no fears of facing new existances.
Those who seek to follow anything but their heart, believing that the prescribed course will procure them a place in the clouds are taking more of a risk than I, despite their constant warnings. For if THEY are wrong, they not ony lack a worthwhile future but also a worthwhile past. This is the stigma I avoid. I wish one only one thing for myself: No regrets, no last words, and the confidence in my intrinsic goodness to face any unforseen post-death occurances.
Whether this makes me a transcendentalist, an existentialist, an agnostic or an atheist, a pagan or a saint, I need not deny its truth. I need not deny that the self is all that I should ever attempt to know. Peace lies internally, and sadly there have been so few that have experienced it, or anything internal for the matter. These unfortunates are no longer my concern, however. If I still have any charity left in me, it is the belief that somehow by fine tuning this small gear, by understanding and pleasing myself, by sleeping peacefully after a day of selfishly striving after my OWN goals and desires, I will indirectly make the whole of us sleep better.