What you are about to read is a bit of a philosophical rant. I know that’s not everybody’s jam, so I’m warning you now before you get into this post and hate me for having wasted precious minutes of your life. Don’t blame me for this post, blame this video that I watched years ago…
I recommend watching this someday when you have time. And although I don’t personally do drugs recreationally – I can’t help but think this would be AMAZING to watch while under the influence of marijuana… taken in a state where such a thing is legal (– Hey, I’m in Cali now).
I Don’t Understand Apathy and Its Cousins
The video above to me, while cool – is the ULTIMATE end-all-be-all exercise in Fatalism. Now, to my understanding, Fatalism has something to do with yielding to fate. You don’t really care about doing much because, “There is a plan,” and it’s called Fate, and you aren’t in control of it. So, you just kind of submit to it and let whatever will happen will happen.
That feels like an offshoot of Apathy (I’ll explain in a bit).
I also don’t get Stoicism. You take everything in without reacting to any of it? Ok… I mean… You are stoic. You are a stone-cold picture of not expressing feelings, emotions, or complaints — you know, not in a non-stoic way, anyway.
Yet again, that feels like an offshoot of Apathy (I’ll explain in a bit).
Lastly, what’s up with Nihilism? Life is meaningless? What?! The thought of that alone boggles my mind. It is one thing to admit that you don’t get the meaning of Life (I mean… really — what living person actually KNOWS vs. just running with their own moral compass), but it’s another thing entirely to genuinely feel life is meaningless. Like… How do you get up each day? If it’s all meaningless (looping in the post title now), what’s the point?
Yep – you guessed it — that feels like an offshoot of Apathy (I’ll explain now).
Everything above sounds like an “easy way out to me”, and I hate the easy way out of most things that are worth putting up a fight for. The idea of any of the above-mentioned views just seems like. as Google describes it, “Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.” Apathy dressed up as a viewpoint. I mean, if you genuinely felt any of the things above — could you even have a viewpoint? What’s the point of naming it? Why have a view on your view that things won’t or don’t matter?
I’m not trying to split hairs here, I’m genuinely asking what is productive about any of the above things?
The moment that you genuinely feel like the moments of your life are meaningless or that things aren’t worth your reaction and passion or that you don’t really have control… When you take that easy out… You’re not living anymore.
You just aren’t. I’m sorry.
I don’t say that in an attacking way — I really am sorry if you feel deep-rooted apathy expressed in the forms of Fatalism, Stoicism, or Nihilism.
Everything has to matter to you because you’re human. We are thinking, feeling, social, and emotional creatures. We feel the full spectrum of emotions available — good and bad. We experience wonderful and terrible things.
I think that anyone who sticks to the views expressed in the last section at one point felt something that was so tragic to them that they just wanted to checkout in the ultimate form of control… not caring.
“Oh… Global warming is happening? So what, the universe is going to end one day anyway, so why care about that? In fact, we’re all just going to die anyway – so why study or pursue anything? Just enjoy the ride because we’re all predetermined to live and die.”
“I have seen into the darkest parts of life, and I decided the best way to respond to it was with a calm and expressionless poker face because… you know… wisdom and whatnot. I want to live life wisely and emotion clouds that.”
Ok, enjoy that staring contest with eternity, Stoic.
“It’s all bullshit. What’s the point of any of it? We don’t control any of it and we don’t understand any of it, and I’m guessing it’s all just pointless in the end, anyway. None of this matters. The happy parts. The sad parts. None of it.”
Ok, sure thing Nihilist.
All of these sound like apathetic expressions of fear to me, and I’d argue – opposed to all of this – that everything has to matter because anything other than that is fearing that it DOES matter… and why live a fearful existence? Why just shut out the beauty that life has to offer just because of your fear?
And, to clarify, I’m not saying that everything is of the utmost importance… That’s silly. But I am saying that things, in general (read: everything), matter.
If something is irrational to you, cool — say that — but don’t just crap out of all of it because of a moment you’re having.
I know that nothing that I’m saying matters to anyone who strictly adheres to any of the forms of Apathy that I mentioned in the last section, but that’s cool. You “live” your life (if you really want to call it that), and I’ll try to “live” (read: experience) mine.
I like agency. Not necessarily “control” — I realize that there’s a lot that I don’t control — but “agency” as in conscious awareness and sense of involvement of what’s going on (whether I choose it or not).
No offense, but I don’t think that’s something an apathetic fatalist, stoic, or nihilist would understand.
Like I said at the start. This was a rant. Not necessarily at any one person in particular — more like standing on a shoreline during a storm and yelling at the top of your voice at the incoming waves.
There’s something cathartic about it, and – again – I totally blame the video that started this post off for me even thinking about this topic today – LOL!
Don’t be apathetic, folks. Live. Nothing is meaningless. Everything matters.