At 12/18/12 03:54 PM, Confucianism wrote:
At 12/18/12 03:31 PM, Lagerkapo wrote:
How does existential nihilism work? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.Well the thing about Existentialism is *Clears throat* that you need to read a book or two about it like I did to figure that one out.
I have a cursory and probably incomplete definition of it. My question is about how nihilism, the belief that all of reality is a non-existent illusion, and existentialism, the belief that the individual experience is the meter of reality, do not contradict one-another.
"I do not exist, however I still experience myself as a locus of manifestation/experience/whatever. I must be deluded. This cannot be happening, none of it can be happening. Because I cannot fathom it, therefore it is not real. I, it, none of it exists, yet I'm still steadfastly and concurrently experiencing this firm conviction, deeply and truly that nothing actually exists, even this experience which I am having "
How does existential nihilism work? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.To me, it's plainly the belief that all existence and all things within existence are insignificant and have no intrinsic value. I tend to take this view in a pessimistic way, which is what it immediately comes off as obviously. So because of that, it seems hypocritical to even declare such an idea for it goes against all thought itself; why even think if there's no point in thinking? But, you could also look at it in an optimistic light. If life really has no unique purpose, then what's to stop you from doing anything you want? You'd really have no limit to your ideas or actions, since at the end of the day it doesn't amount to anything of a higher meaning.
Sounds like you're entertaining different possibilities (meaningfulness/meaninglessness, substantiality/insubstantiality of the manifest/experienced) and don't particularly have a clear idea of the definitions you are trying to achieve. It's OK; that's the infinite endeavor of the manifest individual; it does not end, just achieves progressively and perpetually better harmonics.
The issue I have with nihilism is that it aims at the limitless, non-attached existence which is at our core, is our very nature in one respect, but through the guise of nonexistence as opposed to non-concrete-existence. I am not a Buddhist, but I attend a Buddhist university and study Buddhism in depth. As such, I am as firm a believer (and, in meditative experience, beholder; I have had direct experiences of at least a cursory level of Shunyata [emptiness] and Alaya [undifferentiated awareness]) of the underlying, undifferentiated emptiness, luminosity and universality of the absolute or primordial essence which pervades and perpetuates all form, motion and experience, where there is no self or relativity, yet in every infinite/esimal microcosm is the whole of possible differentiation.
As such, however, the aspect of emptiness is not that of nothingness.
"I think therefore I am," or, even, "Experience is had, therefore something exists (although it may not be, at its innermost essence, as I perceive and differentiate it to be)," removing the trappings of "I" from the statement, notwithstanding the inherent limitations of temporal, causal, referential and sequential linguistics in speaking of undifferentiated and primordial essence. Yes, the profession of the nature of your experience, beliefs held therewithin, or assertions about anything at all are inherent contradictions to the idea of nihilism; namely, how does one pretend that they don't exist? The act of existence preempts the truth of such a pretending, and in fact presupposes the creative impetus which allows it. Nihilism seems to me a tragic misinterpretation of our true nature as the non-self/self continuity of timeless consciousness in its infinity of possibility and a renunciation of one's birthright and nature as a creator in the infinity of creation, as one which fulfills the necessary function of manifestor which gives the essence of creation the ability to experience itself.
I think what keeps such people from falling into suicidal madness is the immediate pleasure received from "humoring" all actions done in existence, but still knowing that the grand scheme of things is that there is no grand scheme. I find comfort in knowing that life is simply a circus performance, where we all can act as much a fool as we want and get away with it. We're in sandbox mode...do we accomplish anything by endlessly deciphering child's play?
In a respect I wholeheartedly respect and in a way identify with what you're saying: We are creators, creating out of the universal essence that which we experience, experiencing all that we choose and limited only by laws which are unfathomable within the realm of limitation/form/experience. We can do anything, anything at all, which we can fathom.
The problem I have is that instead of it all being meaningless because it is all on equal footing as the manifold variances of the infinite specifications of the unmanifest, borne of individuation and reference, the divine and singular reference in its unending yet singularly complete (ever changing, paradoxical only to the limited apprehension of logic and reason, of dualistic and limited references, yet simultaneously and intrinsically complete in its being as such, as it is in and of itself without the restriction of relative reference and apprehension) variance, instead because it is all on equal footing it is all decisively and precisely meaningful.
I agree that meaning is applied, an interpretation and reference, reflective, at best indicative of, but not completely an embodiment of that which is referenced, but whether or not anything is meaningful (intrinsically or extrinsically, inherent or applied) reality exists. Nihilism, to me, is escapism without substance, the endeavor to renounce the gift of experience and manifestation with which each individual is provided without any reference to the underlying nature thereof; namely that we are the body of God and that we are the intermediary (able to apprehend both) between absolute and relative.
In my own personal genesis one of the most terrifying and substantial ideas (and, in fact, realizations and epiphanies) that I've encountered is that we are, in fact, living in a truly present moment, the exact threshold and boundary of existence, manifest and otherwise, and that as such we are genuinely creating the here and the now without fate, destiny, preordination of any sort or any other guidance than that which is intrinsic to our being and universal and all-pervasive in its subtle, gossamer presence, but which does not tell us where to go and instead shows us where we CAN go.
This is also the most empowering realization. You are a creator, creating reality, making form of the formless and guided not by absolutes or negations, neither by the fated nor the nihilistic, but by the genuinely beautiful gift of individual expression amongst the infinitely varied realms of possibility.
With the realization that you are as real as you are not, that form and emptiness are one and the same, that all is connected and independent simultaneously, with the unification and resolution of all paradoxes (which occurs not in logical, referential, concrete or indicative terms, but instead in the realm of direct experience, the threshold and moreover the apprehension therethrough of the polarities surrounding and substantiating it as transformation embodied [in that the concrete must undergo the plastic in order to embody transformation and the same in reverse]) then you may begin to glimpse freedom. Freedom is not the lack of rules, or the inconsequentiality of experience, but the complete and total embodiment through understanding of all that one can be, is, has been and does.
Nihilism is the abandonment of realization; Embodiment is the embrace thereof. Escape, if you will, but know that it will not bring you unto the truth of things.