Most people live their lives as if they were asleep. They live in a dream-world so to speak. Most people live their lives obeying imaginary concepts, thinking about the past or the future, pretending to be someone else, or simply being oblivious to the harsh, indifferent universe they are inhabitants of of.
But there are a few people in the world who awaken from this dream-world. They awaken and they see that they are surrounded by a dark, unforgiving universe that is indifferent to their feelings. They realize that they are tiny specs, on another tiny spec, floating in a vast, seemingly endless expanse of time and space. They realize that death is more than likely the end of everything – that religion is like a bedtimes story told to people to calm them down and keep them happy. They realize that their lives are most likely meaningless, that life is filled with undeserved suffering, and that they are essentially always alone.
One becomes nihilist or depressive. When one reaches this state there are usually two options. They search for a new meaning – something to try and justify their existence and support their will to live; or they kill themselves.
The former option is the one I have chosen – the one that many people have chosen. I may be a nihilist, but my nihilistic beliefs are what keep me alive.
I have accepted that my life, and every life and every existing thing, is without inherent value – it is all meaningless. I have accepted that life is mostly undeserved suffering, that there is no reward for our pain, and that pain only ends with death. Death is the end of consciousness, the end of ‘you’. There is no afterlife, no reincarnation, no ‘other existence’. Death is non-existence – it is truly the end. I have accepted that hundreds of years from now no one will know who I was or what I did. I have accepted that the sun will explode in 5 billion years, destroying the earth and everything that has ever happened on it.
I have accepted that there are no morals or ethics that are objective – that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are merely subjective human words. There is nothing inherently good, bad, moral, immoral or evil about anything – things just are the way they are.
I have essentially accepted the meaninglessness of my own existence. This is what keeps me alive. It gives me freedom to do what I want. It allows me to live my life unbound by petty morality, social norms, ‘altruistic’ behavior and other notions that keep people in chains.
Being a nihilist has allowed me to break many attachments, and to realize that the secret to tranquility lies in apathy.
When one awakens from, as Kant called it, a ‘dogmatic slumber’, they usually come to see the world as a terrible place with no hope and no meaning. The goal then, in order to please the human ego, is to find new meaning to live for – a new code, a new set of laws, a new belief system. I have simply chosen nihilism because it is the most flexible.