Writing as catharsis

Existentialism on the eve of an appropriated Pagan holiday

Posted in Philosophy, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on March 6, 2012

“What is the objective goal of existence?”

This question alone has preoccupied the minds of innumerable philosophers. For the certain type of individual who values truth and seeks deeper meaning beyond the shallow societal fabric with which he is presented, this question demands an answer; this question is not one of triviality or irrelevance, but rather the very foundation from which all life flows.

The objective of existence may simply be existence itself. William Blake once encapsulated this idea in a simple statement: ‘Life delights in life’. By contrast to demand of the universe a specific purpose to guide your path through life – as if this were some sort of goal-driven ‘achievement’ one has to ascertain – seems foolish, naïve and wholly centered on the pampered demands of the ego.

If the object of living is to live, perhaps then one should demand of oneself a certain commitment to that end.

What enhances the quality of living? I would argue that this is not a mere matter of wealth and comfort. I believe that the human organism knows things only in terms of their relative – we can only know true happiness if we’re scraped the depths of darkest despair; we can only appreciate true comfort after sleepless nights in the hostile desert air.

How then, does that pertain to an effort to live? I believe that the quality of living is indicated by the intensity and variety of experiences that one has. Again, this requires an individual to take risks and to expose themselves to loss and hardship – but it is also the basis of a creed of delighting in the beautiful potentiality of existence.

What is clear from this perspective is that concepts such as paying back a 30-term property loan is fundamentally incompatible with (or, at best, neutral towards) this aforementioned goal. I need to make a stronger commitment to minimising biding ties (largely financial debt and dependence) in order to thrust myself further into the jaws of experience, and away from the comfortable lifestyle I have been handed.


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