Sunday, April 15, 2007

Change of Paradigm

[Pictured below, 3 nihilists with similar stories]
I remember when it happened to me. You begin to realize that every hope, dream, and imaginative desire you've had all your life is a pure sham. The bottom drops out from under your soul and you are left sprawling like a drowning swimmer reaching for the surface. You are surrounded by nothing but traces of the past. Circles of friends and organizations which suddenly seem starkly absurd, as if you were suddenly teleported into an alchemy meeting in the middle ages and asked to seriously participate in the discussion.

In my case, I was in the "healing arts" business, otherwise known as the "stealing arts" business. The entire basis of my drive was predicated on a meaningful spiritual universe. Outside of that, everything I was doing could not be seen to make sense. Then I woke up, and it didn't.

I think there is something unique about a person who has gone from a deeply held belief in spirituality to atheistic materialism that doesn't exist for someone who has always been an atheistic materialist. There's almost something deeply naive about humanists who have never been spiritualistic. Their humanism, as John Gray points out in his book "Straw Dogs", is just as irrational and fantasy ridden as Christianity. It has always seemed interesting to me that the obvious and clear implications of a naturalistic worldview is nihilism. But even the Carl Sagan's and the Richard Dawkins' of the world still bask in the "beauty" of the universe. It is so beautiful really? The beautiful pictures of the universe are merely colored with X-rays and gamma rays... they are not really colorful with visible light. It's a trick. And despite the symmetry of the planets and galaxies, does this really matter? Is humanism really just a substitute for Christianity in the modern world, equally silly? I recommend Straw Dogs, it is very challenging to our assumptions. I am a nihilist.. but I think it's good to pretend to be a humanist to decrease human suffering. As we know, Carl Sagan smoked bales of pot. Tricking our perceptions may be the key to finding meaning. Yes, Louis, everything IS pointless. I still love Carl Sagan, because he makes the pointlessness... entertaining for the duration.

Here's Louie Savva flailing his arms in the water, reaching out to Susan Blackmore:

Jan 17th 2006

Dear Susan,I have been involved in the parapsychology community for a number of years. However about March last year it suddenly dawned on me that not only were my peers conducting poor research, but that parapsychology itself is almost entirely delusion. My PhD had been inspired by Darwin and Dawkins alike (though I'm sure Dawkins' would not be pleased to know that) and I have always used evolutionary theory for the basis for all of my theorising about almost any subject.So at a parapsychology conference I realised that there is no god. No afterlife. And that there is no point to anything. So, I quit parapsychology completely. My question to you is this. I understand that you are completely aware of the real nature of existence. That everything really is pointless. But that being said, why bother trying to do anything? Why try and convert people? Why participate to any great degree in the fictionsthat human create? So it doesn't matter if you do or don't, but why do? I met James Randi a few years ago and find him an interesting character. Why fight against superstition, when ultimately all human being is made up and there is no real point doing anything? I hope you don't mind this email - but then it doesn't really matter either way!


Louie said...

Interesting post...

I love Carl too. But watching Cosmos I just want to punch him in the face! Alas there's no satisfaction in punching a corpse!

For example, this evening I watched the episode where he discusses the possibility of extraterrestrial life and why there aren't aliens visiting us already.

Unfortunately he neglects the possibility that when a species attains enough scientific knowledge and understands that everything is pointless, it doesn't see the value in making the huge effort to visit another bunch of equally pointless beings?

Seems to me nobody has any great solutions for existence and most are equally absurd.

You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't!

Good luck with the nihilism thing...

Aaron said...

People like Sagan and Dawkins are inspiring. But I can't help think when I hear their exuberance that they are like people standing in front of an infinite regress of mirrors, somehow not realizing that the only thing reflecting is themselves. To see the universe as beautiful and full of meaning is merely a projection and not the universe itself. Interesting, curious, entertaining, but ultimately not satisfying as Carl Sagan is now dust. And we know what we are already, what we are projecting- ourselves as natural born liars, murderers, selfish pillagers of sustenance from other conscious lifeforms sentenced to a lifespan of flight or fight anxiety- contrived from a pointless process of selfish replication for no purpose, pulled like puppets by the strings of reward and punishment, funneling us into actions meant to preserve our genes, yet brilliantly and near seemlessly appearing to be our own free choices.

I'm a compassionate nihilist, wishfully like a Zen Buddhist, just without the pageantry of expectation of an afterlife or some sort of possibility of attainment or liberation.

Anonymous said...

the *MODEL* of mental health:

"Look at the ANGLE OF THE KEY....see that, see that...."

what an idiot this Randi is.....a REAL CRITICAL THINKER.....

for all the victims of Randi's monstrous idea.......


to see how we stopped James Randi's fraudulent MILLION DOLLAR PARANORMAL challenge.....

watch carefully the consequences of Randi's *idea*…..

For over 40 years James Randi Zwigert (is this even a REAL NAME?) has had total control over who and how the testing was conducted, yet despite all this he has terminated the challenge.

The ONLY REASON why the challenge was stopped is because he lost and refused to pay.

Apparently, Randi likes to break the rules when it serves him:

"14. This prize will continue to be offered until it is awarded. Upon the death of James Randi, the administration of the prize will pass into other hands, and it is intended that it continue in force. "

Great's over......


PS: Almost Forgot: Love the IRONY of the *BULLSHIT* sign over Randi's ugly head....