So I plan on separating my Announcements (ramblings) vs Real Life shenanigans into different categories, its a work in progress though.
I’m unable to translate this week (Currently 1% done), I have college classes going on at the moment. Dealing with a whole bunch of essay writings and stuff. Plus I have my regular job going on too.
I have a paper due this Friday and stuff so that’s half the reason I’m MIA. I also have a math test this week, so I’m cramming algebraic equations into my head.
If you’re curious about my college essay here’s what I turned in to my professor.
Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World
There are moments in our lives when the urge to do something drastic comes to mind. Struck with uncertainties and anxiety for the future, we strive to create meaning towards our existence. Where thoughts and feelings coalesce into action, we feed on this moment of freedom, bringing our actions into being and live with the consequences from it. Existentialism is existence takes precedence before essence (CrashCourse 2:46). We are born first and from our birth we need to figure out our own purpose. Living for the moment and seizing the day is part of the process of living existentially, similarly living with our personal goals and achieving them is another form.
Going to a sports event and cheering for your favorite team, enjoying a live action concert with good company, feeling the thrill of diving out of a plane, or even exploring the depths of the sea and uncharted terrain. Searching for bliss and the paradise of our dreams, throughout our lives we look for these qualities in our environment, within other people, but mostly from within ourselves. Within this world full of chaos, there are no guidelines for our actions, and in each and everyone one of us we do our best to create our own morality, designing our own moral code (CrashCourse 5:02).
And there was a moment in time when I made a decision, which could have cost me my life. When I was 5 years old, I played by a pool at a gathering event, I remember eating lots of pepperoni pizza and ice cream. Never having learned how to swim I stayed by the shallow end of the pool, frolicking waist deep, splashing water everywhere, enjoying myself and playing with the other kids. The day had all but ended and the sun had already set, but I still felt like enjoying some time in the water. With the adults distracted by their party, I chose to play unsupervised, because I felt a sense of excitement for doing something against their wishes.
Out of sight from all the adults I waded in the water near some shallow stairs with my sister who was just 2 years older than me. But in my excitement, I slipped and fell towards the deep end of the stairs, my head dropped below the waters surface. In my panic, water began to fill my mouth as I forgot how to breathe. Touching the pool’s floor I tried to propel myself upwards back towards the stairs shallow parts, springing off the bottom as hard as I could. Fear gripped my thoughts as pain from a hundred fire ants flooded my sinuses. My hand broke through the surface and stuck out of the water, but my head did not. My last breath exited me as my lungs expanded with water, needles stabbing me from within as my tears only blended in with my surroundings. My hand stretched towards the surface again and I watched myself fall. My field of view narrowed as the clear blue water began turning dark, eventually fading into blackness.
“Cough, cough, hack, cough” I could feel my insides being crushed as my lungs expanded. Liquid fountained from my mouth as it went all over the place, I began to wheeze while muffled sounds resonated in my head. Rhythmic pressure pushed on me as orbs of brightness alternated between my eyes. My nose stuffed with mucus and mouth spewing water, I could only gasp as air was forcibly breathed in me by a device. Lifted once more I could feel my body carried as sounds blared and receded, and muffled voices chimed in sporadically as my consciousness faded away. Awoken in a hospital by beep, beep, beep, beep, my eyes trailed over to a screen where a green line would bob up and down matching with the sound that followed. My body lay in a bed as my right arm stiffened, looking over I found tubes and wires attached to me before, I fell back into stupor and my hunger fading.
Like many other people before me and even other people after me, I had to figure out for myself how to live. And much to my chagrin for making a brash decision, disregarding warnings from others, it lead me to experiencing the consequences firsthand. This event motivated me to build up my physique and intellect, learning to swim and being aware of dangers. Recognizing the weight of my decision at the time and the impact it had on my own life and life of everyone around me. The value of that moment or the essence from this event is embedded in me. It’s events like this, that just happen throughout our lives, what makes them good or bad is what we decide to do about them and the meaning we attach to it.
It was also from this point, that event sparked my desire to seek out answers in a world full of absurdity. “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star” (Nietzche 4). There are no absolutes, and everything just falls on a gray line. When you realize the ridiculous amount of freedom an individual has, a persons range of conscious freedom can rise with virtue or it can fester towards depravity. And when you look towards humanities acts of genocide vs its acts of generosity, it really puts up the question of morality. Jean-Paul Sartre puts forth the “Angoisse or the anguish of existence, because everything is entirely possible, nothing has any pre-ordained godly sense or purpose, humans are just making it up as they go along and are free to cast aside their shackles at any moment” (The School of Life 2:46)
Looking towards the world, my environment, and the people around me, I wanted my life, my existence to have some sort of meaning. In spite of the world’s absurdity, I do my best to live authentically or taking responsibility for the decisions I have made. It’s like when I decide to leave a job to go work at another job, I define the meaning of my essence to my environment. You live authentically when you give meaning to the actions and consequences of your choice, of your decisions. Like reveling in the satisfaction of the situation you’ve created, you give meaning to that event, not because of someone else’s opinion or guidance. It’s a conscious meaning, whether it was good or bad, so long as you attach that meaning based on your moral code.
Jean-Paul Sartre brought forth an anecdote from one of his students who was faced with a difficult choice. His student could join the military and fight for a war he believed in, because it was the right thing to do. Or the student could stay home with his elderly mother and care for her because he was all that she had left. If he chose to go to war and left his mother behind, that seemed quite wrong. So either he stayed to care for his mother and have other men go fight for the war or he could leave his mother to care for herself and most likely upon his return never see her again. The student felt a sense of duty to both his cause and towards his mother, but he could only serve one. If he decided to join the war, while his contributions wouldn’t be that great, he would still be working towards something that would affect millions of people. But if he decided to stay behind, he would make a great difference for one person’s life. So Sartre pointed out that from his students anecdote, no one could give this young man a true answer. There would be no answer, until his student chose the answer for himself. Point being is that no one else’s advice would lead him to a decision that was truly authentic (CrashCourse 5:55). Giving away his freedom of choice and having others decide for him is a refusal to accept the absurd situation of the world.
Finding meaning in a world full of possibilities can be infinite. Ultimately it is our own decision and attached meaning that solidifies our existence. Building up our own moral repertoire is a part of our essence, it a learned product from the decisions we make throughout our lives. So meaning is just derived by our own actions, whether it’s done by educating others, fighting for social justice, creating beauty through artistic expression or the spread of religion. That meaning is what we decide is significant to us, whether it be the people we surround ourselves with or the various careers we choose to follow. The world can be a blank slate, or chaotic if you perceive it that way, the only way of making something significant for you is just choosing to do something and attaching your sense of value to it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the world is your oyster.
“Existentialism: Crash Course Philosophy #16” CrashCourse, PBS Digital Studios, 6 Jun 2016. Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaDvRdLMkHs Accessed 7 September 2018
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. Walter Kaufmann, Modern Library 1995
“PHILOSPHY – Sartre” The School of Life, Mad Adam Films, 7 Nov, 2014. Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bQsZxDQgzU Accessed 7 September 2018
I’ll be able to get my grade for this paper next week. And most likely this Saturday I can restart translating MWFW Vol 3 Ch19.
To all my Readers, Thank you for your support and I look forward to providing you guys content in the near future.
Featured Image is Pixiv art by 弥南
Saosin – Finding Home