The Dawkins Files
Adaptive Systems posted:
I'm not going to kid you. I have the answer to your problems. Three words:
Stop fighting yourself.
Your unhappiness is a symptom; a symptom of your insisting that you pursue things that you are not only not meant to have, but which would actively damage you if you were to obtain them. You are not meant to find an easy, shallow happiness like the less talented and less complicated do. You are not meant to waste your time listening to John Boring Heterosexual and his bullshit. You were meant to focus your attention on more esoteric and rewarding matters. Perhaps you are meant to take up fencing, and escrima, and discover the lost, five-hundred year old link between those modern arts that was lost when the Spaniards and their Galleons drove it underground. Perhaps you are meant to discover the connection between the revolutionary poetry of Mayakovsky and his knowledge of a librarian lost to history who set forth a pure, complete, sound philosophy proving that all human labor builds inexorably to a day that all our dead fathers shall be bodily resurrected on this earth, through human technology.
Perhaps you will discover the link between information theory and molecular biology, lying unsuspiciously in view of mankind, waiting for you to show the world that microarray data illustrates that the NP-complex problem of modeling all the tens of thousands of human proteins and their virtually infinite reactions can be adequately modeled through the use of overlapping Bayesian networks, and dream of genetically engineering human life for this and potentially endless alien worlds will become not just a possibility, but an inevitably. Perhaps you are meant to become a graphitii artist, and cover the alleys of ghettos with words from your dreams, evocative polyvalent phrases such as: "KILL THE KING" and unnumbered kindred souls you shall never meet shall see your words and feel solidarity, and their heads shall hit their pillows with plans for freedom they would otherwise not have chanced.Any one of those possibilities and uncountable billions more beckon to you from the unconquered nothing of the future. But none of them shall be possible for you if you insist on smashing yourself upon the never-loving jagged rocks that are hearts of others. For you are presently living your life like a watchmaker who works painstakingly all day on impossibly tiny gears and then rises from his desk at every twilight to smash his half-finished creations underfoot. Every day he returns to his desk and wonders why he is making no progress in his labor, and pulls out his hair in frustration. Do you understand the folly of that? Stop pouring out your blood into ancient porcelain vases that you can not help but see destroyed before your eyes.
Seek out something more enduring, some part of yourself as yet undiscovered, and your suffering shall cease, and you will no longer be slowly dieing in a world of spoken words, aloft in the air for an instant and eternally gone without appeal, and instead make your home in the endlessly expanding sphere of electromagnetic radiation that takes alight through our thought and emanates outwards into eternity.
We are only brought into this world as seeds, knowing only what it is to be subject to cast about on a frothing sea of never-willed forces, and only some of us shall have the good fortune to be washed far enough ashore to know what it is to bloom, and discover our original purposes unfathomable to those that are endlessly adrift.
It is a blessing. A gift. Do not make the mistake of taking it lightly.
"What is your vision of hell?"Eternal life.
Stop and think about an infinite time line for a while and imagine doing anything you could ever do for as long as you could ever imagine doing it. Now think of everything you could ever think about doing and everything that could every be thought about doing and doing that until it got boring, yet having to still keep living forever.
At some point, after having lived, learned, and experienced everything that can possibly be you are faced with a single hellish realization...that you have lived an infinitely tiny portion of your infinite existence and will continue on, forever and ever, without any hope of an end.
Billions and billions of years are incomprehensible, yet in an eternity they are are incomprehensibly insignificant.
I was 5 years old the first time I started thinking about my church's promise of eternal life and I have never felt any greater horror.
I have to admit that my atheism is mostly driven by my desperate faith in a chance for an eventual oblivion, as the prospect of an indefinite existence scares the everliving fuck out of me.