Many might say that it is just a depressive state talking, or that pessimism is to blame, but I sincerely feel sometimes that Life is not worth living. This is not in a suicidal kind of manner, but in that the effort that must be put into what we call Life, seems to be more than what is attained. Is anything worth it? From my point of view it seems that even those we call successes in Life are hiding something that, were it to be openly known, would cause us to lose some of our envy.
Jim Morrison once sang “no one here gets out alive.” No one gets out of Life alive, that is true, but I think Jim had a separate meaning to this. I think he understood that Life will kill you, kill your soul, your inner divinity, much earlier than actual Death. Maybe this is why he sought Death with such fervor. He wanted Death to come while he was still ALIVE.
Life is a crock of shit. Some of us work very, very hard every day of our lives only to see it accomplishes nothing. Some people do no work whatsoever, yet seem to coast through Life, at least to outside eyes. Those same people also have problems and terrors unimaginable to most of us regular people. Can you imagine how fucking horrible something must be to keep Bill Gates awake at night? Maybe the thought that even with his billions of dollars, he cannot stave off Death, whether it were some poor starving person, or his own. There exists no human without fear.
Working sucks. The poor saps that tell the world they love their work are saying so because THEY HAVE TO. Otherwise they would go insane. People use the excuse of “loving” their work to mask the huge amount of themselves they have had to sacrifice for their job. Is the most successful person in the room the one that has worked 14-hour days, 7 days a week, to the exclusion of friends, family, or even their own health, and amassed a fortune he has no time or inclination to truly enjoy? Or is it the person who has managed to maintain a long union and raised a family, glossing over the countless pains, sorrows, and hindrances a family brings? Is it the man who has told the world to FUCK OFF and dropped from society's radar, only to find out that he was truly as worthless and unnecessary as he felt before? Is success in life measured in dollars, or in happiness? He who has the most toys when he dies wins? That is pretty fucking stupid. Is success measured by achievement? Does self-satisfaction count as happiness? Why do those that are happy within themselves have to tolerate a world constantly trying to tell them why they should not be happy, or jealous of them to the extent of sabotaging said happiness?
Looking at the knowledge we have accumulated over the tiny speck of time we have been crawling about this planet, there seems to be very little to indicate that Life is worth living. Much of our human belief structure is based on the very idea that Life is a fucking hell of it's own, and that Death brings respite and peace. Is that not fucking ridiculous? We slave at life, studying, working, learning, obeying, eating and shitting, and our reward is to be at peace upon death? FUCK! Talk about a goddamn waste of time. Especially since these same belief structures also tell us that ending our own life, for whatever reason, no matter how dire or necessary, will actually keep us away from the peace supposedly attained in death. This basically guarantees that we have to all suffer as long as possible before we get our “just rewards.” Nice little Catch 22.
Some believe that heaven or hell are right here on Earth, in our heads let's say, and that it is up to us to choose to live in one or the other. This would be true if indeed we were isolated entities, free from the massive levels of suck that the surrounding human horde is always ready to subject us to. Anyone who has had their day/week/year/life ruined by the bullshit actions of someone else can lay righteous claim to the untruth of this idea. Even the hermits in our past were dependent on others for sustenance. It is nearly impossible to rid oneself of the stink of other humans. If it sucks to you that some days your husband is an ass and ruins your mood, can you imagine what it is like for a fucking hermit, who only has sparse contact with others, to have his life ruined by some asshole? It must be substantially worse.
What is the answer? Is Life worth it? The joys in life, the happy times, the peaceful moments and experiences, are just as transient as the shitty ones. The problem is that they are far, far rarer. The lucky among us can count something every day that feels like a blessing, while counting dozens of times that same day that someone hurt them, or annoyed them, or reminded them of shit that sucks. People get accused of living in a delusional state, of ignoring others problems. It is as if the accusers feel that those doing the ignoring are lacking in hurt and sorrow and pain. Could it be that people ignore the plight of others, not because they do not care and are callous assholes, but because they are already so chock full of pain and hurt and sorrow that to take on someone else's, even for one minute, would break them? That seems like the more likely scenario.
What ways have humans found to battle this horror called Life? I have discussed religion above, but there are other ways. Some are seen as “evil” or “bad” by many. Others are seen as “wholesome” or “noble.” The list is a long one: sex, drugs, marriage, decadence, family, love, sin, piety, etc. People are asked to support something like marriage, for it seemingly guarantees love and companionship, things which should make shitty-ass Life bearable. The horrors of divorce, of love-less marriages, or child abuse, of neglect are all pushed to exist and continue, because marriage makes life WORTH IT somehow. For those that have had this be the case, more power to you. But, like what I said before about people who overly praise their jobs, if you have to overemphasize the benefits you are likely just trying to make yourself believe it. Something such as a drug habit, however, is seen as a horror, whole and complete, with no benefit whatsoever. Yet most of the nation enjoys a bit of drug after work, sometimes in the company of your very same coworkers. They call this “Happy Hour.” Odd that this “happy” hour takes place just after leaving work and just before going home. Happy Hour is book-ended by hours of shitty job time, and hours of shitty home time for most people who enjoy such an event. Who am I to say they cannot? Who are you to say someone cannot go home and do a drug that allows them to cope with their existence? Even if it is just to fucking forget that tomorrow you gotta go and do the exact same thing all over again?
Schools can teach us science, and art, and literature, and useful skills, but school does not teach us how to be happy. This is either because they do not want us to be happy, (a likely scenario seeing as how this country's schools seem to churn out drones for whom happiness exists in what a paycheck can buy) or because they cannot teach us how to be happy. They do not know. The teachers, the educators and masters who write the textbooks do not know how to be happy. We are taught how to be content, how to be satisfied, how to feel successful, but not how to be happy. Our American forefathers knew that life is not happy. They guaranteed us the right to pursue happiness. One can pursue an ideal, but perfection does not exist long in our chaotic universe. Entropy is a horrible bitch-goddess. Happiness is a perfection of sorts, which is why it comes so suddenly and leaves so swiftly, leaving little in it's wake to signify it had been there. When happiness leaves,it does not leave behind happy residue. It completely vanishes. Something else instantly takes it's place. Happiness is as ephemeral as the human soul.
I know that if all that can be attained in life is contentment, or self-satisfaction, then people are being done a great disservice when taught that they should seek happiness in all things. It keeps us childlike, ignorant, stupid, wanting the pleasure of happiness without preparing us for the inevitable horrors that truly make up day to day Life. Maybe they do this because so many of us are too sensitive, and if we were taught the truth from the bat many of us would opt out, like so many misunderstood teenagers do every year. There is always some inane campaign to try and reduce teen suicide, to try and ferret out it's “warning signs,” so that “help” can be given. Virtually nothing is done to actually address the shit in the world that makes a teenager feel that life is not worth living. Is this because no one cares, or because there is nothing that can actually be done? I tend to think no one cares.
When I say no one cares I do not mean to say that people individually or collectively cannot care about something or someone. I mean that most of us, even the best of us, can only focus on so much, and the best of us are usually asked to carry great burdens, so that it is just not possible to truly care about people as much as they deserve to be cared about. The shit fuckers out there, and there are a ton of them, actively do not care about anyone. Lee Ving of FEAR once said a great truth on stage. He said “we want everyone to share in everything there is to go around, except what's coming to us.” This sounds cold, but my opinion is that most people don't even go that far. They are more along the lines of “I want what's coming to me, and fuck it if no one else gets any.” That is how we live as a country. That is how the American business treats the world. We would be better off if they followed Lee Ving's adage.
Are we responsible only for our own happiness? Are we responsible for everyone around us? Many wise sages have thought about this. The guy they call Jesus essentially said that to be truly happy one must focus on helping those who need it. Giving is it's own reward. Everything he taught goes against the me-first mentality that pervades this supposedly Christian nation. The least among us are the ones that need the most. This is an obvious truth, but it is so easily forgotten by those seeking self-happiness. The plight of our fellow man is a worthy cause to help, as long as we personally do not suffer or lack anything in the process. That is what it seems people believe Jesus was about, at least if you judge them based on actions. The teachings of Jesus are just not compatible with capitalism, so the modern American warps them and allows his selfishness and greed to consume him.
The dude they call Buddha got even simpler. He narrowed everything down to suffering. He saw the world is shit. He saw the horrors of Life, after an early existence of pure idyll. The Buddha said that all is suffering, and that all suffering comes from desire. Desire makes us do things we would otherwise not do. It makes us hate. It makes us lust. It makes us neglect the world around us in our obsessive quest to get whatever we desire. Desire does not promise anything. It more often disappoints. People suffer when they do not get what they desire, and they suffer when they get what they desire. This is a cycle that can be broken, according to the Buddha, but it requires the complete removal of desire from one's mind. In today's world, and in the USA in particular, a man who wants nothing, is a loser. A woman who desires nothing except to experience the day that has been set before her by the Universe is wasting her life. The main goal seems to be to get so rich that you can have whatever you desire. Instead of denying desire, instead of eliminating suffering by decreasing desire, we are putting desire up on so high a pedestal that it is the only goal worth striving for! How fucked up is that? The Buddha would shit his fucking robes man.
Other sages, such as the latest fella, Mohammed, advocate a devout life of religious worship and devotion. They do not advocate this as a guide to happiness. They do so as a way to enlightenment, and to a feeling of oneness with the Universe/God/whatever. This is their ultimate goal. It is a noble one, much like the Buddha's and the Christ's. Yet, even this is warped into fanaticism and hate and everything ugly about humanity. (Maybe Life sucks because humans exist? That's another topic. - RXTT) If only people would remember that religions are created in the most turbulent of times, when life is cheap, and death is ever-present. Their teachings are mostly about how to cope with SHIT. How not to go completely insane at all the fucking nonsensical horrors that Life is populated with.
It seems these and other sages all understood that what was needed was a way for lowly humans to cope with their existence. What is crazy is that the Buddha/Jesus/Mohammed/Abraham were not even trying to get people HAPPY. They were just trying to get them to understand they could be content despite Life. It seems many people have forgotten this. Even religious food edicts and dogma were ways to aid people who were so jacked up they needed actual wholesale instruction so as not to die. Halal meat, Kosher preparations, etc. Did all this make Life worth living? Maybe for some. Certainly for others, such as the Philistines who were wholesale slaughtered by the ancient Hebrews, or the many who were brutalized and murdered at the hands of the Roman Catholic Christian Inquisition, or those who suffer and die at the hands of militant Islam regimes today, Jesus, Abraham, and Mohammed made Life even shittier and more horrible than it already was.
How are we to deal with this? Are the small thrills afforded by random bouts of happiness/joy enough to compensate for the hours of tedious torture Life entails? Is it enough to just be content, to just be glad to be alive? If being alive can be described as being it's own reward, why does the reward so often feel like a punishment? I once thought being alive and suffering through everything would be worth it even if all I had were my records and books to keep my mind occupied. That was not enough though. I could not enjoy what I had taken in without someone to share it with. I think life can be worth it if you get to be in Love. Even once. Real, true, deep Love. Love is joy as much as it is pain, but it makes life worth living. At least that is how I feel at this point in space-time. Maybe in my future I will think that creation, the act of creation, whether in art, work, or in actually making a new human, is what makes life bearable. It seems to me that those that create, whether it is for mass consumption or for personal delight, whether in business or in a relationship, are the ones that seem happy.
Happiness seems to exist in those who have created something new for the Universe to get a handle on. I once read humans/sentient beings described as the way the Universe has found to study itself. Maybe happiness is just a human construct, but it seems to flow from creation. An utter failure in nearly every aspect of his life, Vincent Van Gogh found his happiness creating images in oil paint. He had every reason to wallow in misery and failure but he painted to feel that joy, that happiness, that quality of existence that is everyone's goal in Life. Even through insanity and isolation he created images which brought so much pleasure to the world in the century and a half since his death. Had he only known. He died penniless, alone, sick, and miserable. Life sure knows how to suck.