Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Everything matters or nothing matters: Original sin versus nihilism


There are two basic human possibilities, in confronting existence - either everything matters, or nothing matters.

Both are unbearable.


If everything is significant then nothing is forgotten, we are never alone, souls are eternal, reality is endless, awareness is total. 

If everything matters then either everything which is, is good (despite appearances); or everything which is, is evil - tainted with evil: by sin, by original sin.


If everything which is is good, then we must (merely!) recognize the fact that life as it is, has been and will become, is perfect (or the best possible) - including ourselves. All change is illusory.

(But then why am I so miserable, so appalled? - says human judgment. In practice, the inference is that everything which is, is good - except human judgment, which must - for some unimaginable reason - be deluded.)


If, on the other hand, everything which is, is evil; all is (at least) tainted by sin; then if even just one person, one being, somewhere in the world is suffering (now, or will suffer in the future) then life is invalidated, poisoned.

If we do not recognize the fact, this is because we are tainted with evil ourselves.

We are (at least partly) evil creatures, trying to live in an evil-tainted world - forever without end.

The weight of sin is vast and unbearable.


Either way, good or evil, there is no escape.

We must live with this awareness forever.

And this is hell - or more precisely Hades/ Sheol - the afterworld of eternally witless, gibbering, semi-demented ghosts.

Little wonder that modern humanity tries to escape into the opposite.


Humanity tries to escape from the infinite weight of eternal and universal significance... into nihilism.

Whatever happens is temporary, all evaluations are contingent, life is neither good nor evil overall because these have no real meaning. We live for a while (apparently - but in reality who knows?) - then life is following by... nothing.

For the nihilist: No matter how bad things may seem, at least we can, we will, escape them by death.


Yet nihilism does not stop at that.

Nihilism does not allow us to escape a bad life by death, nor does it wrench us from a good life by death. 

Because if nothing ultimately matters; then actually nothing matters.

Everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen is insignificant despite appearances, despite the evaluations of human judgment (delusion, merely). 

As an instance of awareness, each of us is utterly alone - we know of no other reality: neither things nor people.

Even if there are, or were, or might be, things or people: then nothing lasts.

Even if anything lasted for a while, all moments are (almost instantly) lost in time and space.


Moments may (momentarily) seem eternal and of infinite significance (the world in a grain of sand) but of course in a world where nothing matters we know always that this (or any other positive statement) is nonsense - it means nothing. And we strive not to know this, but always fail: brought down by the relentless weight of accumulating knowledge of insignificance.


The human condition is simple (necessarily so), and there are few alternatives, and all were articulated and recorded by the early literate civilizations - especially by the Greeks and Jews.

We have not moved-on from this - indeed we have moved backwards such that modern man has lost awareness of the human condition.

Affecting to disdain the simplicity of the human condition, modern man pretends that incoherence is complexity!


How come? How is it that our civilization is so very backward and unintelligent compared with all previous civilizations on record?

The reason is that we are not a pagan society, nor are we a primary monotheistic society: we are a post-Christian society.

As post-Christians (in rejecting Christianity including the assumptions by which we used to know Christianity), moderns  perceive, moderns know, less than nothing about the human condition.

Moderns recognize none of the great simplicities, we think we know things which we do not know, and that which modernity thinks it knows (anyway) makes no sense.


Why are moderns so dumb: so very, very - so incorrigibly dumb?

Yet moderns think they are sooo smart?

In a word: frag-men-tation.

Ultra-specialization (reality reduced to meaninglessly- disconnected fragments) plus distraction (short attention span: really short).

And by a group utterly annihilated (reduced to nothingness by) fragmentation, I mean the intellectual elite.

I mean those people (managers, politicians, media people, 'religious leaders', propagandists of all stripe: teachers) who invented, made-universal and live-by the sound-bite.


Result? Moderns are nihilists whose cognition is so fragmented and dispersed that they cannot even recognize their own nihilism!