The Paradox of Being

Written by  //  September 23, 2015  //  Philosophy, Religion, Culture  //  Comments Off

This is an anonymous post.

Every journey I take away a lesson from. And yet I sink back into immanence the moment I am done imbibing it. Makes one wonder about the fallaciousness of being human. The million platitudes pushed our way to help us reconcile with the contrarian, oft disappointing nature of existence within society – they serve the purpose of coating the latter with a tint rosy enough to make it palatable.

That remains the tragedy of our lives; that we repeatedly use coping mechanisms to brush disillusioning experiences under the proverbial rug. I truly believe that the hopelessness that accompanies humanity has been the reason for religion, the arts, for every possible human pursuit which effectively diverts the mind. Undoubtedly, then, having a more evolved mind than the other species is a double-edged sword. Indeed we have the benefit of being the lead contenders in the Darwinian order. Simultaneously however, we are cursed with the ability to think. Now that posits a challenge to the way our species lives, because we never did seem to be satisfied with the primal alone being taken care of.

We crave purpose, meaning if you will – an answer to why our desolate, individual selves have been placed on this earth. Only the human could be so arrogant as to believe that he was created to fulfil some pre-ordained destiny, crafted solely for it. The problem of believing one is special is that disappointment is inevitable when one holds a mirror up to that belief. The mirror of the humdrum sameness of human existence shatters the illusion of uniqueness that has been carefully built to envelope us; comfort us, as it were. Faithlessness is the ineluctable outcome of such a comeuppance of one’s ego.

And then commences the internecine struggle within oneself. It is a churning that shall never be laid to rest – because it shall never be able to locate the element that would stabilize it and restore it to the tranquil lake of self-assurance it once was. Every campaign peters out in gusto eventually. So too with the battle against the monster of existentialism.

So how does one overcome this?

One doesn’t. The average human reaction would be to suppress such an uncomfortable realization. As a corollary of hitting this plateau, we adopt subversive tactics to tackle the issue. We dilute our idealism, become more practical in outlook – and forcibly drown out that which won’t stop discomfiting our otherwise confident sense of self. We conveniently term this form of escapism as “growing up”. So convinced are we of the need to act sensibly that we attach connotations to the act that the establishment deems positive – it is thus viewed as a necessary step in the direction of adulthood.

After all this turmoil, we expect sanity of ourselves, in spite of the countless paradoxes we are schooled to desire. The discourse of normalcy within which we seek to pigeonhole everybody is stifling for this reason itself. We foolishly create impossible ideals to aspire to; ideals which are deliberately calibrated to remain unfulfilled. Because somewhere we know that aspiring to these unreachable ideals obfuscates our internal vacuums. It is these voids that we are too terrified to confront as our uncomfortable truths. We create a purpose to have a purpose. It is thus that we choose to fight our demons of despondence.

The resolution to this conundrum lies beyond the realms of our comprehension, primarily because we have yet to design the individual who would be socially conditioned without having acquired the burden of social conditions. Even assuming that such an individual exists, he has not been allowed to proliferate his nihilism in the public space, lest he corrupt the filmy gossamer the unsuspecting sheep have smothered themselves with.

What would we find were we not to teach ourselves to construct our time on this planet as a medium to deliver on imaginary ideals?

One marvels at the possibilities.

One always wonders if there is hope.

About the Author

Aradhya is a IV Year student at National Law School, Bangalore.

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