Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Existential Crisis.

Disclaimer : This isn't really meant to be read. It just had to be written.

The angst wears off. It does, and then you're not sure what you're left with. Charred remains of uncertainty, perhaps. Some death-wishes, a little morphine. Torn bits of paper and cracked glass. Nothing shattered though. That would be grief. This is just an unsettling calm. Not placidity. More of the silence you're left with when something isn't there to fill up the space. It's void, it's vacuum. And it's half-silence. White noise. If you define your life in high contrast, it's the stark silhouettes that keep you sane. And now the lines fade away, and colors bleed into each other. Red for passion, green for envy, blue for melancholy, purple for all that is special. All tangled up. They've lost their identity, much like the feelings they represent. It's all a lumpy gray mass of floating debris. It's all a massive swirling vortex. Like ink-stained water down a drain. Every ripple is a meek protest. Decadence. Propriety. Providence. Words that fall into redundancy. It's like watching your world from a distance. On the outside, disconnected. Like one of those obscure art movies no one can figure out. You think to yourself that it's a tiresome storyline, poor narrative, and underpaid actors. The director seems to have quit a long time back. He just sits up there, with popcorn and beer, and sighs every now and then. One questions his existence. Or does away with questions altogether. What are they anyway? An isolated judgment call. How far does logic go? There's a yes, and there's a no. But there's also the maybe. Maybe doesn't count, you say? Doesn't fit into binary logic? Strange how most of existence is based on maybes. On possibilities. On trial and error and randomness and uncertainty and probability and permutations and combinations and odds and chaos and that which we do not know and that which we do not believe and that which we do not understand, in space that has no bounds, time that may bend and laws that we cannot define. We can actually, but we're not even close to doing it. We're not even at the tip of the iceberg. And thinking down to the level of electrons and protons renders everything so ridiculously abstract that we lose sight of what we were looking for in the first place. Because complexity becomes easier to deal with, and the bigger, magnified image is intimidating. We understand mitochondria better than people. And people change. They change and they grow apart. And they don't understand each other anymore. Friendship is traded for familiarity, and knowledge for faith. It's all a trade-off. The universe isn't based on faith. It's based on trade-offs. Society, organizations, religion, faith, relationships, self - everything being the result of an elaborate barter system, spread over cultures, people, places. Little, cataclysmic conjectures at every cornerstone. And what do we do with it? We get on with our lives. Standing with 6 billion other people in 5 different continents in one of the hundred and ninety-five countries on the third rock from the very average star near the relatively less-populated outer-edge of one of the several galaxies of an ever-expanding universe, we drag ourselves out of bed every morning, squint at the scraggly-looking thing in the mirror, and brush our teeth. And then we add another day to the story of our lives, without having any vague idea of our role in the turbulent cosmos. Of how every action really does have an often-overlooked reaction. We remain oblivious of our impact on the fate of a person living halfway across the world eating pepperoni pizza, and vice versa. Then, one happens to wake up one day and realize that sometimes the things you believe in simply run their course and fade away. And you're left with nothing to count on, nothing to call your own, nothing to define yourself in terms of. Just those lumps of indistinguishable color and morphine that you don't need. Because the numbness is almost overwhelming. Everything is measured in almosts and somewhats. The things that you would have given your life for, don't matter to you anymore. Everything seems to be a lost cause. You yearn to feel as intensely as you used to. You crave any form of completeness. You wonder if this lack of assurance could be traded for a dose of disillusionment. You wonder how the world could sell out its morality for a convenient vantage point. A struggle with integrity for some, and self-destructive tendencies. And the vacuum. The black-hole of a thing right in the middle of the cerebral cortex. You can't begin to imagine the things it could swallow into itself. Or all that it already has.


Mer-curial-maiden said...

This is slightly disturbing first thing in the morning, and coming from you.

I probably don't have the faintest clue as to what you're referring to, or am shrinking the context a lot here, but I still think this too needs to be said.

I cannot account for every single person on this planet, or heck, even the ones under my roof. But one thing I do know that anyone who can feel. Just feel, this passionately, this logically cannot, will not stay in this state of uncertainty for long. Trust a fellow jaded traveller here. This too will pass :)

You, ma cherie, are meant for great things. Feel the hurt, since you must but don't let it stop you. And don't hurry! I don't know about the other end of the world, but you certainly make quite a bit of difference in one pizza-eater's life.

Rene Lacoste said...

I like the fact that this post lacks readability and coherence. Chaos is what you get after delving sufficiently deep into anything.

Aren't we all really just organic lumps, fooling ourselves everyday into believing that life has a meaning?

Ravindra Merthi said...

Philosophy is appreciated.
even the fog index for this post is around 10-11.
pardon me for this garbage

param said...

gr8 useless job...I liked it...

Misanthropist said...

Sherry, I cannot, but marvel at this post.
For the Nth time I want to tell you that your clarity of thought and expression in words is unbeatable.
How I exactly think the same things all night and day and try to zero-in on the futility(or utility for that matter) of human life, but I have never been able to put it down in words.
I am totally in agreement with the "trade-offs" theory esp the friendship-familiarity one.

Lemon Girl said...

Sherry, your simplicity with words and coherent expressions are a delight. I pray whatever it is that is making you feel like this is resolved quickly.

But I feel like being a little selfish and hope that till then, you could write a few more marvelous posts like this.

"Everything seems to be a lost cause.
You yearn to feel as intensely as you used to."
If only.

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Mer-curial-maiden: That has got to be the nicest thing I've been told in a very long time.
It is.
You save lives.
I'm humbled by your concern. In a good way.

@ Rene Lacoste: Yes, it seems this blog has been de-whorified in one grand sweep.

And for the latter part, I have this irrepressible feeling that that isn't true. Straight from the gut.

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Ravindra: Not garbage at all. Urged me to find out what fog index really is. I did.

@ Param: I find much use for verbosity.

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Misanthropist: I think you give me far too much credit. Which is me being very honest since I don't believe in modesty.

However, being lauded for your work does boost the ego like nothing else in the world.
Though I like to believe that I write mostly for myself, one often does feel the urge to right to be read. Thank you.

@ Lemon Girl: I too wonder sometimes if the need to feel often overshadows its intended purpose or stimulus.

To feel, gets you thinking. Thinking, makes you surer of your concepts. So any feeling may serve a purpose vastly different from what it is meant to represent. Even the negative sort. I'm not sure if that makes any sense. But well... it's been a long hard day. I think I might be typing this in my sleep.

Lemon Girl said...

It does make a great deal of sense, actually. When emotions lead of practicality and rationality, their intent seems to be defeated.

Tangled up in blue... said...

I think we are afraid to think about "Life's Great Mysteries" a little too much becoz we worry that a confirmation of the absolute insignificance of our absurdly puny existence isnt great for our sanity.

That is why this post is so unique.

Becoz to put it into words is to acknowledge it and make it real like nothing else wud.

Stream-of-consciousness writing always makes my brain hurt.

But this, this is so wonderful it fills me not with hopelessness, but with a feeling of comfortable understanding.

For that, I am truly grateful to you, Sherry.

For reminding us here, that it is important to remind ourselves of our most troubling thoughts, our uncertainties and doubts and questions.

That we cant sweep existential angst under the carpet for too long.

That we must learn to make our peace with it.

My favourite post. :)

param said...

Inspite of knowing that everything is irrelevant we pay heed to the thoughts and get entangled in a self created cobweb that keeps us stuck and makes us immobile....The thinking is limitless and tends to infinite...We think and keep thinking as we think we can somehow understand the universal principles and use it to our own selfish interests..We try to break the code and understand the logic of the functioning of the cosmos...But there is no logic, so all the thinking is equivalent to nil...We may question ourself the reason of our mental state but I dont think we have a right to do so...STOP THINKING!!START DOING!!(second one is optional)But keep WRITING!! smiley(any flavour)

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Lemon Girl: I honestly think that if you choose to religiously adhere to practicality and rationality, it does you a whole lot of good in so many ways and on such varied levels, that I can't even begin to list them.

However, the emotion part makes it tricky, which is something I've written about at length here, here and here.

Another trade-off, as I was saying.

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Tangled up in blue: Very true. Every time I wander off to this territory, I fear greatly for my sanity. However, it's not the "confirmation of the absolute insignificance of our absurdly puny existence." It's usually the opposite that gives me sleepless nights. Because if that just happens to be true, THEN we're majorly screwed. Being in control of more things than we have previously imagined is the real scary idea.

And for the record, I think you're pretty awesome. I've been assuming you know that. :)

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ Param: That is being compiled.

But in relation to the offline messages, deep thinking is absolutely essential. We humans are superior because we comprise what is known as "the thinking subject". The thinking subject to measure all our logic and rationale upon and against. I also believe that every last bit of the thought process must be thoroughly dissected once in a while. Keeps you on the right track, and implements quality control.
And had I intended to give it more importance that its due, I wouldn't have made it practically unreadable. Would I?

Misanthropist said...

Neither am I a fan of modesty ;)
But a major fan of ur blog for sure. Don't we do the best things for ourselves? Then it ought to be liked by others!

Sherry Wasandi said...


There's commercialization, and there's avant garde.
There's mass-appeal, and there's a niche whim.

Similarly, what you have brewing in your head and what would be interesting to read, often have vast degrees of separation between them.

This was more of avant garde.
Which is what I meant by "de-whorifying the blog". *wink*

Mer-curial-maiden said...

I like niche! :D

elevatedaircastle said...