“The infinitesimal place I take up is so tiny compared to the rest of space where I’m not, and which has nothing to do with me; and the portion of time given me to live is so negligible next to the eternity in which I haven’t existed and won’t—while in this atom, this decimal point, the blood courses, the brain works, and wants something also… What an outrage! What nonsense!”
—-Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
Sometimes I wonder how it will feel like when my time is up. Will I be conscious of the last breath I take? Will there be a moment of awareness after my heart stops? When clinically dead, will I be able to feel or sense anything, suggesting that the electrical impulses in my head ramp down slowly, or will it be more like an on-off switch where things fade to black? I wonder how it will feel the second I know I’m going to die, assuming I don’t get a bullet in the head or find myself in an exploding airplane. I like to think it will be a moment of blissful resignation, but I wouldn’t rule out a combination of sheer terror and unfathomable fear.
I don’t believe in an afterlife or a soul. When you die, you die, and everything that you are disappears from the earth, only to be remembered briefly by your ancestors or works. I can’t think of anything more cruel—to be given life and the opportunity to grow and change and experience and love and have it all taken away from you, as if it was all for nothing, nothing but nature’s joke on you. It won’t matter how many women I’ve slept with. It won’t matter how well-traveled I was, how many languages I was able to speak. It won’t matter how many expensive things I was able to accumulate. And all those books I’ve read, those tasty dishes I learned to prepare—for nothing! All those experiences I learned from, some that helped me become a better person, all for naught.
But no matter how meaningless, insignificant and absurd human existence is, I feel very alive right now. I can feel pleasure and pain, happiness and disappointment. I can shape how I want to live the current moment and do just a bit of planning to help assure future moments feel great as well. Though I’m very skeptical of free will, as each of us are limited by and dependent on too many factors outside our control, I do have enough power to make marginal and sometimes significant improvements. There are things I can do to more often hit the pleasure centers in my brain, helping push aside those poisonous existential thoughts that inevitably lead to depression and melancholy.
The worst thing about life—death—is also the best thing, because I know that my time here is limited, and it’s best spent pursuing what I want, and nothing less. I look at people who postpone, waiting to act, either for some type of miracle or maybe the arbitrary flip of the calendar year in the form of a “resolution,” and I think to myself, “Don’t these people know that one day they’re going to die?” Maybe they forgot, and won’t be reminded until someone close to them passes away, or when they themselves go through a serious health scare, but by then it may be many times harder to make any sort of meaningful change.
But I don’t forget. That’s why today I will wake up and do what I want to do, in the place that I want to be. It won’t be a perfect day as I am bounded by the human experience, but the parts that I can affect and mold are being affected and molded. And if you tell me I’m going to die tomorrow I’ll just shrug my shoulders at you, because before I take my last breath I know I’ve done everything I possibly could to live this meaningless, insignificant and absurd life to the absolute best of my ability.Tweet Follow @rooshv
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When you ponder life-the-universe-and-everything you realise it has no meaning. It really is a gigantic, cold, heartless place with no special place for you.
So you turn your attention to other things.
Krauser’s last blog post: Am I becoming a heartless bastard?.
Certainly one of the greatest posts you’ve EVER written.
Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
I don’t hate high school kids because they have everything in front of them, and youth.
I love everyone, even old people.
I’ve come from the very bottom and now am on top. I love life. I’d like to find a woman that does also, and we can love it together. Isn’t that the point?
These sort of internal existential debates are worthwhile only up to a point. That point is just to remind yourself that at a certain level the meaning of what you do and the metaphysical order of things is difficult or impossible to verify. Why get lost in that or care? What kind of animal actively forgets its own purpose? You can observe the level at which meaning becomes a tricky issue, but don’t stay there. Get back to the level at which you have measurable, observable agency and control, enjoy it, and work on expanding and cultivating it.
This death crap does nothing for me.
Evan’s last blog post: organizing my jargon.
no offense, but some of your gamer-boy followers are terrible. Painfully obvious they’re trying too hard to be interesting, and spills over into other aspects of their lives. I hope it is just their youth and inexperience, and this is a phase that gamers will outgrow
by the way, your last sentence in this post raises quite a good point.
Yea but roosh of you really and truly thought there was nothing after why stay just to grow old and die kind of pointless wouldn’t ya think.
This is great, Roosh.
I started the day out feeling sort of shitty. Reading this has been uplifting and will serve as a nice preface to the rest of my day.
I love this post. Absolutely love it. It is funny because my novel that I’m writing is about this and how we have to find purpose in our lives for ourselves. My main character is at a point in his young life that he realizes that the next step is either to do what everyone else is doing, make his own path, or simply end it right then and there.
I always say that knowing that death is in the future is a unconscious countdown clock and motivation to do what we want to in the world, knowing that it is pointless in the long run.
Oke’s last blog post: A Good Day at the Tea Shop….
“Don’t these people know that one day they’re going to die?”
That is why it makes no sense to ban smoking in bars.
Living life is killing yourself.
Or as James Bond once said:
“You start to die the moment you are born. The whole of life is cutting through the pack with death. So take it easy. Light a cigarette and be grateful you are still alive as you suck the smoke deep into your lungs.”
The G Manifesto’s last blog post: Top Ten Reasons Why This Was The Worst Decade Ever.
pretty incredible post…
what are you reading these days???
Since you are in south america, you should find a good ayahuasqero.
Its about DMT a chemical found in your body and produced while you sleep. It has been noted that because of this chemical you are able to have dreams. This chemical is also produced all around the world in nature like in some leaves and tree bark. Whats kind of ironic is that even though it is produced in nature it’s an illegal drug. More illegal than heroine!
Now what is very interesting about this is that massive amounts of this chemical pump trought your body when you die and (as crazy as it sounds) when you die or as some put it (a near death experience) you see different realities and dimensions. Many people in the studies claim to see life for what it really is. A mash of consciousness and fractals. Also the pineal gland (where DMT is formed) is the very first part of your brain to be produced when you are born.
I know this sounds crazy. At first I was like man this is some sci-fi bullshit, but it is very real roosh.
Give the book a read it is based on real studies by Rick Straussman.
Death isn’t the worst part of life. Watching the people you love die first is the worst.
Laura’s last blog post: Top 5 Crime Movies of All Time.
Laura, you won’t have a valid basis for comparison until you die.
Evan’s last blog post: organizing my jargon.
When i can no longer pull hot women i will probably kill myself…..great post roosh….i normally stay away from philosophy and deep thinking but this a great piece…when i was traveling thru brazil i had similiar thoughts myself.
Thank you for this.
This was one of the most awesome posts I´ve read in the near past.
But I got a question: What about the greater good? Doing whatever it takes to get the most out of your life might mean to hurt others. In whatever, maybe even passive way.
Do you still do it?
You existentialist are a bunch of idiots! Death is an illusion yet we’re afraid of it of our wrong thinking and false belief (aka false progamming) in our heads! There’s only life! Death is just like a metamorphosis. Hell, even Quantum Physics tells us energy cannot be exterminated, it can only change from one form into another. That’s what our consciousness and spirit it’s eternal. But our society, our false belief and our senses brainwashed us to believe in to materialist context so much that we believe that…oh we’re gonna die, we’re screwed!
Again do your research on Out of Body Experience, Mysticism, even the Occult (which I’m studying Right Now!)
Man we laugh at all you because of how stupid all of you are. In a way existence is a joke on us that WE started because of our Ignorance and Stupidity! hehehe!
Death has a purpose too. I forgot who Japanese Zen Master told it but he said “The Shadow of Death gives Point and Meaning into Lives” In other words, use that urgency that death brings us to make our lives productive and happy!
I want to die in my sleep.
Not kicking and screaming like the rest of the people in the car.
“…all for naught.”
Pure contruct of the ego that creates, “The Story of me.” The story of me is an illusion worshipped by th ego. Roosh, you may find your end “game” is on shakey ground.
Well then, will a little fame distract you? Look at the speed of universal oblivion, the gulf of immeasurable time both before and after, the vacuity of applause, the indiscriminate fickleness of your apparent supporters, the tiny room in which all this is confined. The whole earth is a mere point in space: what a minute cranny within this is your own habitation, and how many and what sort will sing your praises here!
Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
Regardless of any of our views, all the stars will continue their course, they couldn’t pretend to care less if the whole earth exploded, everyone died or both.
Winning Nobel prizes, going to Ivy League schools, being millionaires doesn’t detour them from being eaten by worms in the end.
All our existence is merely a quark in the history of all.
Life is scarce.
If something is scarce, it has value.
@Lovechild: it never ceases to amaze me what people tell themselves to keep from acknowledging and embracing the inevitable.
The only way to live life is without fear of death nor an irrational attachment to life. Its equivalent to fearing the sunrise tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if death “is the worst thing” or not, as its inevitable.
Most theories of the afterlife, whether they include it existing or not, do not include constant pain after death. However, living with the loss of a loved one can be constant pain in life. Therefore, its not unreasonable to say that living with pain in life is worse. No “basis for comparison” is necessary. If you have an attachment to life, or an irrational fear of death, then yes, you will view death as possibly “the worst thing that can happen”.
Lovechild, you are at the beginning of your philosophical ruminations if you are just getting into “Out of Body Experience, Mysticism, even the Occult”. These are words on a page, and not reality. Look beyond these semantic traps of what “is” and “is not” (death “is” an illusion, death “is like a metamorphosis”, ad nauseum.), and realize that your direct experience is your only truth, and the direct experience of others is their only truth. There are no absolute truths.
You sound like a huge fool throwing around words and phrases like “idiots, stupid, laughing at you”. Getting caught up in judgment of others is a trap of your so called newfound philosophies and is equally as wrong as being closed minded in more mainstream perspectives. You don’t have the answers either, and nor do the books you are reading. Like the rest of us, you have ideas and not absolute truths or definitive answers.
existential crisis indeed
I’m thinking about running for political office and nobody gives me a shot in hell, but this is my exact attitude when the ask “Why?”
This attitude is how all the great ones live.
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
~ William Jennings Bryan
it’s too late. you cant unthink things. all that remains are distractions.
I do believe in an afterlife, or I tend to anyway. Just way to many reports of apparitions, hauntings, exorcisms and all kinds of freaky shit throughout human history and across cultures for them to all be lying. If even one of them is telling the truth, then there is life after death. My mother when she as a child lived in a house that was haunted that her family eventually had to leave due to all the crazy poltergeist shit that was going on. I’ve heard the stories from her and her brothers and sisters. None of them has any reason to lie to me about they experienced. It’s even written into law that you must disclose to a buyer if you are selling a house that is haunted. So the law itself takes apparitions seriously enough to make it a crime to not declare such things when selling property. I’ve never experienced anything paranormal myself where I can verify 100% that these things exist, so I’ll always have a degree of reservation in my belief. I just think the likelihood is that there is a paranormal, life after death reality. I could always be wrong of course, I’ll find out someday.
There’s too much evidence that when you die you continue on somehow, another plane of existence perhaps. Not sure, and no this has nothing to do with religious beliefs or anything. Plus right now you can take this high and mighty position that when you die that’s it. It’s the nihilistic all pseudo intellects do. But I can assure you that should you ever be aware the very last second are going to finally croak perhaps an illness taking your life, or being in a terrorist hijacked plane knowing you are heading for the next building, you will suddenly be thinking “OMG, holy fuck…. I hope there’s an afterlife.”
Before anyone concludes there is no soul or consciousness outside the body, I would at least urge them to seriously read about NDEs(near-death experiences), and at least consider the possibility.
Yeah I know skeptics will try to explain them as some sort of dream state the brain produces as a biological response to its impending death, but many times people having these near death experiences upon waking are able to recall details of things they saw that they would have had no way of knowing about being unconscious.
Check Steve Jobs speech in Stanford on youtube.
great post Roosh!
I don’t have ideas! I have experience! I am somewhat fool for saying those (so what!) at least I have the honesty to tell it how it is.
The words and phrases I used are my frustrations on others and myself how stupidly ignorant we are of the reality that’s staring right in front of us. Plus this is how i talk. If you don’t like it then screw you!
Dude your analyzing my words way too much man! I’m not saying i’ve got all the answers. All asking don’t be limited by your stupid intellects. Go out of your minds, literally!
Philosophies whatever the hell they are are just pointers and guidelines not reality itself.
Yes I know the finger pointing in the moon crap!
Existentialist are just depressed miserable narrow minded idiots. Their sad, lonely, bleak views cheapens reality, it cheapens their outlook on life which is friggin more!!!
I would love to say WAKE UP! but the irony is you have the right to have a bleak existentialist view of life.
But…you’ll get tired of that bleak view of reality one of these days. Sooner or later…you either Change or either you kill yourself…why…existentialist don’t have a point or meaning to their lives that’s why.
I keep a counter on my igoogle page counting down the days to my 65th birthday (by then I’ll probably be physically impaired in some way). As of now it’s at 13220 Days, 11 Hours, 20 Minutes. Seeing it regularly keeps me from forgetting that the clock is ticking. I’m 28.
My favorite book on dealing with the existential vacuum is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
My own 2 cents: if you take the wide-angle view than life can seem meaningless, but why take such a broad view? If you zoom in on your life and imagine your existence is all there is–as if the rest of the universe and time doesn’t exist, then your life become massively significant. Now the fact that there actually is so much more out there shouldn’t detract from your part.
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
The fact that we die does not negate meaning but rather provides meaning to each moment. If we lived forever, any given moment would be worth nothing because there would be infinite other moments. Instead, each moment becomes MORE valuable than the last because there are fewer left.
“I always say that knowing that death is in the future is a unconscious countdown clock and motivation to do what we want to in the world, knowing that it is pointless in the long run.”
This has the opposite effect on me.
I find this post inspirational. I am on the cusp of a major life change and fear is holding me back but I find encouragement in your words. Keep up the great blog.
It can be brutal when people figure out how unimportant and insignificant everything we know or have ever known is to the universe.
As you said, the best we can do is live the best lives we can while we’re here.
@11 The G Manifesto
“That is why it makes no sense to ban smoking in bars.”
But we don’t all smell like a pack of Marlboro Reds on our way to the grave. Smokers smell like shit and it’s a definite turnoff.
are a master.
Keep it up.