If you were to get on any search engine and search for details on what is life really about, you are going to end up with millions of hits … This is going to be the case regardless of whether you are going to use Google, Yahoo, Bing or for that matter any other search engine …
If you were to think about it, you can understand why there are millions of people asking this very same question.
Everyone in the world are wondering what is life really about, given that almost nobody gives them anything concrete about the subject whatsoever. In fact, you could say that most of the advice people do get is the cliché stuff like go to college, get a degree, get a job, get married, have kids, work until you retire, retire, watch T.V. and well … you know …
And it is not like the advice that you get is ‘wrong’ when you actually think about it … I know that people hate being told these things but the fact is that they exist for a reason; because they work, at least in the sense that help in attaining a middle-class level of existence; then again, given that the world’s economy is being transformed in a rapid way, the future could be very different compared to the present.
But regardless of what some people may feel, the reality is that they have been a largely time-tested method of mediocre existence, which is where almost everyone is living in.
Most people are not satisfied. They want real answers. They want to ‘get to the bottom of it’, as they say. They want to ‘understand’ life, without which, they feel that their life will not be complete.
This is something that I can relate to on a personal level, from experiences in my own life …
There was a time when I didn’t really care much about the existential or for that matter anything else.
It was a time called ‘going to school’ and ‘going to college’, which is essentially a prison for a free thinkers. I am not really against the education system as such, but at the same time think that it must be ‘upgraded’ to help kids adapt in the real-world; I think that schools have become training facilities to turn people into drones for the corporate world and that’s about it.
So anyway, my liberation from this conformist anti-freethinking prison wouldn’t end until I finished my college; only after finishing my college days and entering the real world was I able to ‘expand my consciousness’.
It was at around this time in my life, did I face the full force of an existential crisis, the likes of which I had never really faced before. I mean, I had a dose of it just after I finished schooling and had to decide on the college to go for; but at the same time never really got to experience existentialism in its true form because I was locked into the educational system again within a few months.
Furthermore, I never really acknowledged the fact that I was actually onto something when I encountered an existential crisis for the very first time in my life; you could say that I brushed it off as being nothing more than a bizarre aberration and that’s about it.
The reality and truth about existentialism only struck me after I was completely liberated from the educational system; more or less, because I decided to continue my education further after my college days got over …
It was approximately around this time in my life ( or sometime after it ), that I read these words by Santayana …
“Man is not made to understand life, but to live it.”
In other words, what Santayana was telling was essentially the opposite of what many were trying to do. What he was telling people was that instead of trying to figure out life, just live it. By the end of the journey, everything will make sense unto itself.
I also found this to be useful because of the fact that, well, it’s not that complicated. There was no real need for me to go crazy trying to decrypt an existential mystery. The only thing I had to do was to enjoy my life and that’s it; nothing more to it.
If you think about it, this will actually make sense. There is no need for people to go about and try solving hidden mysteries about the existential. There is no need for people to go crazy trying to answer questions when they don’t have answers, or for that matter even questions to begin with! It is actually easy to just focus on just living your life and letting the universe figure out everything else, which is actually something that can be managed with a certain degree of ease.
And I couldn’t believe just how useful this made sense when I took it all in … this was the holy grail of solutions with regard to existentialism … If you were to take this piece of wisdom and internalize it, I am sure that you can probably eliminate 99 or even 100 percent of your existential insanities permanently!
So where do you begin?
What it all comes down to is this …
There is really no need to figure out life at the end of the day. I can understand how tempted and urgent it might feel to ‘figure out’ life, just so that you can quell that internal nagging.
I ask you not to … not because I don’t want you to discover the secrets of the universe … but rather due to the fact that I have realized it’s a pointless activity. I have tried it and it drove me nuts without giving me anything in return. There is actually no point trying to get to the bottom of this existential mystery, because the more you dig into it, the more you will go crazy …
So if you are faced with the nagging questions about existential nonsense, which forces you into understanding the ‘true nature of life’ or ask, “What is the meaning of life?” or something to that effect,
… remember the golden words of Santayana, that,
“Man is not made to understand life, but to live it.”
Simply focus on living your life and stop asking questions that probably don’t have any answers. You don’t have to break your head trying to figure everything out. You can just enjoy life and be done with it all; the universe will take care of the rest.
If you are able to internalize this little piece of wisdom and then live your life accordingly, it should help you to stay away from the existential pit and generally have a good time … After all, isn’t this what is important at the end of the day? …
… The answers to questions that probably don’t exist?
… Or having a good time and making memories that you can look back on, after you are finally done with your journey?
I don’t know about you … but given a choice, I would select the latter over the former …
What’s your choice?