The ultimate goal is to live well. But what does that even mean? To live well simply means to live intentionally, that is, to know how we want to live and to live accordingly.
Living well is a large project then, with smaller projects:
- To know your intention.
- To fulfill that intention.
There is no need for a deity in this initial framework. A need for deity only arrives depending on how one articulates one’s intention.
There is, therefore a path that one goes through before the living of the intention, and that is the path that leads to an articulation of what one wants. Now this path requires knowledge about the world and more importantly about yourself. If you are a solipsist, then the two are one and the same.
These things never end:
- Learning about the world
- Learning about yourself
- Setting your intentions
- Getting them
They happen all the time. We cannot escape them. The only difference between people is that some are more intentional about these things than others.
When transitioning from unintentional living to intentional living, the question then is this:
- Do I already know the world and myself enough so as to set an intention?
In my part, I believe so yes. It is incomplete though. It will never be complete. But I am not completely clueless. I do know what makes me happy, what makes me feel positive.
Take note, that none of these necessitate that one saves the world. No. This framework is neutral. It can be used both by the ambitious and the most unambitious.
Why am I using Thoreau as a model even if we seem to have totally different goals?
A lot of times, I feel like a clueless lost foreigner no castaway in this world and I didn’t even have a say about it. I didn’t choose my existence. I know some supernaturalists would say they chose their existence even before they became human, but even if that is true, it couldn’t escape the infinite regress that is did you also chose the existence of that which chose your existence? And so on.
I am perfectly comfortable with the idea that none of this was my choice. And yet, here I am, now that someone else chose for me to exist, with too many choices before me. Perhaps the most fundamental of all those choices, a matter of life and death, is: Should I just kill myself (since I didn’t chose this anyway) or should I go on living even so?
Killing myself is of course the easiest choice. It will all be over and I don’t even have to type anymore letters. But my biology seems programmed to make acting on this choice difficult, even if it is becoming clearer as the days pass that there is no inherent meaning in life. My biology is preprogrammed to avert pain. But perhaps more importantly, something within me seems to seek two things: happiness and meaning. I realize that even if I didn’t choose to be here and even if life is inherently meaningless, I have the ability to enjoy it and make it a great ride anyways.
But none of these makes the ride any easier.
A lot of times I feel that life is hard and I am reminded of that unfair fact that I didnt chose to be here. I reason that that existent who chose that I live (sometimes I blame my parents, but I now know that even them had no control over my existence), should have the responsibility to do all of this. He should provide me with the manual to live. If I was a Christian, everything would have been easier. I have the Bible and many fellow believers who will get me through it all. But I am not. And so I am left with this quest to DIY my life. From the ground up.
To create my own manual. Which is tricky because this manual never seem to end and while you are creating it you are already living it. It is an ever updating ever changing document.
And so there is no big vision.
The only vision I know is to go through life and choose positively istead of commiting suicide and to make it an enjoyable and meaningful existence as I can. That’s it.
Studying, living, writing, connecting. These are all meant to help me go through life and choose life every single day over death. This is even true to me given the depression.