Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A peek inside the soul of a soulless man Pt I, by Jersey Campbell

I look around me and everyone is having a grand old time. $8 pitchers, $1 draft beer, how could you not enjoy yourself in a place like this? And even though I have more than enough drinks in me, I still feel over consciousness of where I am and what I'm doing. I analyze every subtle movement my body makes. The timing of my steps, the level of my eyes, the amount of grin I put into my mouth.

Over the years I find myself becoming more and more of an observer. Rather than actively participate in conversation, I'll slyly sit in the depths of the background and soak in what everyone is saying. After awhile, you see patterns and modes of behavior that become common place and are taken for granted. Why can't I just enjoy the environment without having to constantly think about it? What prevents me from throwing myself at a situation without any socially paralyzing inhibitions or overriding thoughts?

Calling oneself a nihilist is itself a contradiction. Because if you don't believe in anything you can't possibly believe in nihilism. (Am I boring you yet? No? Ok give me a few more sentences.) If everything means nothing, then why even be alive? Why wake up in the morning and go to work, or mow the lawn, or take your child to school? If nothing matters, then you yourself, the thinker, does not matter either.

Let's do an imaginary exercise for the brain. If you were a nihilist, how would you justify your nihilism? How could you explain to the sister who has been working as hard as a sharecropper for the last 16 years of her life that all the shit she just put herself through has been for naught? How do you preform any task without a feeling of detachment from yourself, from the world as you have experienced?

The truth is, you can't.

NYC Robert and I had an enlightening discussion the other night about truth. The two contrasting points were truth is independent of human thought and it exists whether we acknowledge it or not. The other point was that truth is what each individual believes the truth to be. People make their own truths (If I have misinterpreted your claim please let me know). We never settled on a conclusion, and I doubt there will ever be a solid full-proof answer to this question, but it is worth thinking about.

We cannot tell other people how to perceive their world. Try presenting all of the legitimate facts that point to the conclusion that God does not exist to a christian man... you won't get anywhere with him. If he truly believes God exist, then God does exist, even if only if his mind.

If the truth lies only in perception, then there are no fundamental truths, no moral code common to every individual, no possibility for a world of zero contradictions. So you see, I have lost my soul, or maybe I never had it. The conundrum of reality (multiple realities in this case) leaves me feeling like Humpty Dumpty. No matter how hard we try, my soul will never be mended back together.


  1. I assume you are alluding to a pessimistic world that you have witnessed. A lot of people judge the world because of their experiences. If a child grows up never seeing crime, hatred, etc. Their mind is open to be optimistic – the idea of utopia can be brought forth to one’s table.

    It is true; people believe and follow what they feel to be right within them.

    Now you’re overstepping your boundary when you say there is nothing that you believe in. I say this because you haven’t taken your life away… which I am not advising because then there is thought that you believe in death.

    I understand your thought process/perception and it is rare to find one who thinks the way you do. Someone who is soulless always finds their self alone and thinking about their next move or if there is a move to make. Interesting! The brain interprets and creates ideas from experiences. So while you think, remember that your thoughts are from what has happened to you throughout life.

  2. I was careful not to say that I don't believe in anything. What I am trying to say is that by rethinking our value systems we find ourselves in a place where things that once had meaning get lost in the meaninglessness of life itself. And I fully understand that our experiences largely shape the type of people that we are. You are definitely right in that regard. I'm not trying to argue anything in these post, only give people an idea of how I think. It's not a question of being pessimistic or optimistic about life, it is an inquiry to the very meaning of life, if it exists.