Living In The Present

The sad truth about humanity is that most people would do pretty much anything if they saw enough people doing it.

The average Joe crowd-sources his opinions to MTV anchors and resolves his personal issues by methods not very far from a public ballot. His personal life is a democracy and his individualism is castrated.

I force myself into anti-escapism. I force myself to exist in the present, in the current moment; since one can never be sure that the past really existed and that the future would really exist. I realize that my life will not start five years from now, and that this is *it*, as good as it gets.

The average Janet is dating the average Joe. Love, institutionalized, requires them to follow a strict protocol, laid down by everybody. Does Janet love Joe or the protocol? Does Joe really not like to listen?

Our lives have no inherent meaning. Social valuations are arbitrary — attaching meaning to our existence requires some justification. We are not yet mature enough to realize that we need to survive as a species (and how difficult that is in the long term); we still have absurd concepts like nations and religion. While I find it hard to justify my ultimate objective as increasing the survival chances of our species, I’m happy to accept it as the transcendental truth.

The average Joe is content existing. He does not have an art. He does not perfect himself. Outcomes of football matches make or break his day. He believes the color of his tie is of fundamental importance to the functioning of the universe.

The average Janet won a purse in today’s raffle. She is ecstatic.

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6 Responses to Living In The Present

  1. Mallikarjun Karra says:

    Awesome post. Super like.

    Agree with everything except the ‘ultimate objective’ part. I’m tempted to believe there has to be a better aim to life than just propagating one’s own kind. And if one is, like me, completely clueless about the ultimate objective, the ultimate objective of his life should be to go in search of the ‘ultimate objective’.

  2. Sanjoy says:

    To be clear, when I talk about increasing the chances of survival of the human species, I am not talking about me personally going and having sex with a bunch of women. I’m talking about contributing to our society in a way which increases the chances of our survival. As I said, I don’t think that talking about a rational purpose of life makes a lot of sense, the logic has to bottom out after a certain point. This is why I think is better to converge to a recursive tautology which does not (sort of) bottom out – we (as a race) can have a purpose only if we survive. Hence we might as well make it our purpose.

  3. micha says:

    The universe will come to an end one day, and humanity will have long since become extinct, regardless of how you schedule your day tomorrow or the decisions you make. Sad fact, but true. So the logic you propose is not only a tautology, but also disagrees with reality.

    I enjoy reading your blog though. It’s something to do while waiting for the end. (Haha)

  4. Sanjoy says:

    The universe will come to an end one day, and humanity will have long since become extinct, regardless of how you schedule your day tomorrow or the decisions you make. Sad fact, but true. So the logic you propose is not only a tautology, but also disagrees with reality.

    In the long run (and I mean really long), no value judgements make sense. Which is why it is important to have a axiom which we don’t further question.

    I enjoy reading your blog though. It’s something to do while waiting for the end. (Haha)

    Thanks! I find it hard to believe that someone actually reads what I write. 🙂

  5. Parth says:

    Agree with the post, except for the conclusion you draw at the end of the fifth paragraph about the transcendental truth.
    “In the long run (and I mean really long), no value judgements make sense.”
    Why do they need to make sense in the long run, when we know that the people to whom these judgments apply (living people) will only exist in the “short” run?
    Given that we are sentient beings, shouldn’t the purpose of life have something to do with maximizing happiness and minimizing suffering while we are still sentient i.e. alive?
    Selecting the survival of our species as some sort of collective purpose of life seems like a desperate, and ultimately doomed, attempt to avoid nihilism.

  6. Shubham Gupta says:

    This is as good as it gets.Amazing post.

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