I don’t understand…
How can people exist, day to day, content with their lives as they are?
There are too many questions, and the answers are transparent, bringing more confusion.
The very nature of our reality—what is real? What is false?
You know, probably. I do, even though I’ve never seen it. Is there really any way we can ever know for sure that what we see, feel, think, is true?
To quote Edgar Allen Poe, is everything we see or seem but a dream within a dream?
As far as my mind can reach, there’s absolutely no way to tell.
The writer of Ecclesiastes got it, I think. He pursued everything the world had to offer but felt no value within it. The only people he saw who were happy were the ones who lived in ignorance, taking worth from their work, a job well done. It didn’t matter that their work would someday be destroyed, whether by People, Nature, or even Time. The happy ones didn’t question their world; they just lived in it.
Is that truly living?
It’s just mind-boggling, the many things we take on the sole reason of Faith, whether well-founded or not. How do we know that the Past really happened, that the Future will exist? For all we know, everything before the Present is but a false memory, and the Future is but a hope. All we know—actually know—is the Present. But even that Present could be an illusion, a lie. Like in —how do we know that we’re not just figments of another’s imagination?
Cogito, ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.. A solid piece of reasoning. But—how do we know that others think? I do not feel your feelings—I do not think you, therefore you are not. I do not know that anyone other than me truly exists. Perhaps I’m the only one in the universe; what a lovely thought, to be alone for eternity.
But I propose that that is precisely the reason why people are afraid to die. They know only their own experiences from their own perspective—that will die with them. If they die, their entire reality will cease to exist. One person’s death is the end of the world, of their world, anyway. And they have no idea what will come next.
How many things do we take as fact on a daily basis? What, when under reason’s fire, will stand strong and true? Our teachers ask us, “What is truth? Is it absolute or relative?”
Hah, we don’t know. It is as simple as that. The only way to make peace with our strange, strange universe that may be fiction, that may be illusion, that may be lie, is to admit that we know nothing.
All we “know” is ourselves, and even that we don’t know well.
All we can do is fling ourselves into what we perceive as the known universe and have faith that we won’t fall, while we admit we might. We don’t “know” an iota.
Accept it, and move on as best we can.
That is, as I imagine I know, the direction of humanity.
"Ella!" her father yelled again, closer this time since the teen boy was carrying her towards him.
She wailed, knowing her fate had fallen upon her but refusing to go down without fighting. Kicking her legs, she grabbed the teen's hair and yanked on it. "Put me doooown!" she yelled. "Lemme gooooo!"
Grunting, the teen reached the end of the alley and handed her off to her daddy, struggling for a moment to loosen Ella's fingers from his hair. "Is she--ouch--yours?"
"Yes," her father said grimly, grabbing Ella's hand (which still managed to clutch a few of the boy's hairs) and pulling it to his side, apparently deaf to the teen's cry of pain. "I'm terribly sorry; this will never happen again." He paused to glare at Ella. "I'll make sure of it."
As her father dragged her away from the alley amidst her loud protests, Ella guessed she was in for a spanking, but still she argued. "Daddyyyy! I wann'ed to knock the pins down all by mineself!"
Her father frowned and looked away. "Ella," he started in his I'm-giving-you-a-lecture, time-to-zone-out voice.
Ella, with the social grace and wisdom that only young girls possess, decided to on the charm. "Yes, Daddy?" Ella asked heart-wrenchingly, wiping away tears.
"Maybe," he said before muttering, "In a few dozen years."Ella squealed and wrapped her father in a hug. "Thank yoo!"