I am writing this because, anyway, there is no point.
This piece of writing suffers (already) from at least four handicaps:
- It is minuscule in the realm of literature, a mere idea humbly scattered in the nebula of thoughts that circulate in the world.
- It is a copy of a copy of…another copy, which is, unsurprisingly, itself a copy of another copy…and so on ad infinitum.
- It is, therefore, subjected by default to forgetfulness. This short essay will soon fade away, as the reader will encounter a ‘greater idea’ that deserves more attention.
- Ultimately, it is any way liable to misunderstanding, for meaning is as fleeting as a cigarette’s smoke – it seems to constantly seek escape from its own ontology, as if being something, having a definition is in itself abusive confinement. The moment this text leaves the page and steps into the unknown space of a reader’s consciousness, I have forever lost control over it. Actually, to be more brutally honest with myself, I lose words as I utter them, not least when I write them. By the time I finish this, my then-orphaned words will have killed their creator and have lived a life of their own.
So why write at all?
You see, dear reader, it seems to me that we are not yet reconciled with the state of things, with reality as it really is, not even after billions of years of history repeating itself. As a species, we are somehow programmed to be optimistic, to constantly hope for salvation from someone superior to our nature – a God, an afterlife, a something that will prove our fears to be false.
However, it is quite evident by this point that what we have always been doing was gravitate around the same ‘great concepts’ that have concerned philosophers from pre-historic times…let’s say about eight to nine recurrent themes that determined discourse and debate in the society. And this does not require much philosophising in order to be deduced:
Myself, in the past year or so, have recorded some of my deepest thoughts and reflections about life in a journal. The topics I epigrammed [sic] ranged from my position on theology and the role of art to my feminist reading of ‘Frankenstein.’
Like many others, I assume, I believed my ideas to be unique, if not at times revolutionary. The intellectual innocence I benefited from (or perhaps not…) allowed me to venture into notions my eyes had not yet read about. My thoughts were, so to say, virgin. Thus, in the process of shaping my opinion on the “heavy” themes of humanity, my mind was free from pre-established assumptions.
Until, of course, I ate from the forbidden fruit and lost paradise forever.
As I started reading philosophy and literature and came across arguments and counterarguments, I was shocked to find that others have thought about the exact same ideas I have, hundreds of years before me. The words of de Beauvoir resonated in my brain as if my thoughts recognised their long-lost brother, Doctor Faustus’s rebellion seemed all the more natural to me, Camus’s Absurdism felt, almost on a sensorial level, as a bewildering déjà vu. So how could that be at all possible? Could it be that all the potential answers to questions about humanity have already been exhausted by this point in time? Or perhaps this tells us something about the nature of being – it is as if our innate, “prelapsarian” conscience contains the same extensive foundation of ideas one can ever think about. But if that is the case, then that implies the existence of a universal congenital limitation; it means that one is never entirely free from a pre-established history of ideas, one is never quite unique.
So how do we ever achieve authenticity? Do we stop reading anything in an attempt to generate an entirely new strand of thought? Or do we learn everything that is out there, hoping to find a loophole for opportunity? But anyway, it seems that even without knowledge, one inevitably ends up thinking the same things.
So why write at all?
Well…this question presupposes that one has to be unique. A concern for the futility of writing is itself a concern for the impossibility of being unique. But what if one does not have to be unique? If Uniqueness is something we are denied by nature, then human virtue should lie in the defiant act of accepting and even loving it, as if it were the most liberating part our being.
I suppose this “paradise lost” that comes with knowledge must rob us of something… We are potentially denied a chance to transcend our nature and be demi-gods of our own existence – in other words, being absolutely unique in our thought – and yet we are left with one last triumphant confidence ‘that doubting pleases us no less than knowing.’