What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act [...] The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith [...] I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection.
– Kierkegaard, Søren, Journals, 1849
Yesterday, out of the blue an old friend, once a best friend, called me up. She invited me to her church and youth group. Now whatever it may be she has turned herself completely around (thank goodness.) She was spiraling into drug induced frenzy. Yet, there she was: substance free, actually happy, and married to a wonderful guy, surrounded by very pleasant people. I accepted her invitation out of respect for her and with no thoughts to worship. I have a feeling she wishes the best for me in her own way – so I can accept that. But while I believe there is a higher power, I do not believe it is that power’s will for us to beg for help. I think it laughable that man can ‘know’ god. It is the nature of our minds that we see but one facet from one window. We are an incapable species if we pride ourselves omniscient enough to see the god construct that is reality, which is the wheel of the cosmos.
I believe it is up to each of us to find a suitable path. If some choose not to, so be it. If some choose to seek, so be it. It is not an imperative to seek meaning but it is admirable. Through logic we find that morals are either made through leaps of faith or through each subjective individual viewpoint. I do not believe the bible is capable as a guideline due to humanity’s inherent flaws. So while I felt estranged by the entire service due to their methods of faith, I understood them and appreciated their passion.
How does one endure their self-developed defiance of reality? I’m sure that if I attend more of these services that the question will come eventually as to how I can be so solitary. Despite reality, one accepts they must live it. One cannot hope that imploring any higher power will bring about a relief. One cannot hope to ask another. He must pick himself up despite the odds. One must seek the power within against the obstacles without and tread against the grain –
“With all the tortures of hell if so it must be.” – Kierkegaard, Søren, The Sickness Unto Death.
In accepting reality we then have three options, or rather, three roads to take.
1.) Though we confess life may not be worth living, we reject the notion that suicide is a viable option. Escaping existence empowers nobody. It is most absurd to reject the absurd life.
2.) We may consider the existence of a higher power, but we reject the notion of philosophical suicide through the utilization of prayer.
3.) We accept reality as absurd and beautiful. The only way to craft meaning is through utilization of our choices to lend opportunity which may (or may not) give meaning to life.
This last option thus gives us freedom. The absurdist philosophy if realized maintains that the universe is subjective and not objective. This freedom exists because we can then find our own way for meaning and purpose rather than viewing reality as one of philosophical absolutes. The individual becomes a sovereign existence, another facet to the entire existence.
Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my revolt, my freedom, and my passion. By the mere activity of consciousness I transform into a rule of life what was an invitation to death, and I refuse suidice. – Camus, Albert, Myth of Sysiphus and Other Essays.
Historically we are a people who sought meaning. Some approach the nihilist or existential road. Thus their life is paved with thoughts that life is meaningless (I find them a bit silly). Then there is a significant portion who wishes to fill that void, most with a belief in a higher power outside of reality. Hence, the ability to question purpose behind god. But since I believe that the god construct is reality, and reality is absurd, that placing faith in higher powers outside of the realm immediate to us is sillier still.
In this window of the world I am free at least in mind. I must reject determinism and argue that indeterminism is the only compatible notion to freedom.
Free-will exists. The individual is able to take any possible course of action with any given circumstance. Since the popular god construct allows for only a few closed options, I must refuse this version of metaphysical faith. Since I am free to think otherwise, the idea is that even my mind overrides physical causality. I suppose I’ve hit mind-body dualism.
Free-will exists. If people are to truly be responsible and accountable for their actions, then, the stereotypical god construct runs counter to this. To accept the typical god construct we all may commit something that was pre-determinate to even murder, and then say: “The devil/god made me do it.”
Free-will exists. If we realize that ‘will’ is not free due to its confines of causality; but there is a phenomenon acting behind ‘will’ which is free.
It is the nature of a coward and a fool who says – I am fated to be. It is the strong wo/man who states I make my own fate. Let the enemies of the soul quake at humanities natural freedoms.