Category Archives: life

What You Will

Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.

-W.B. Yeats
This is quite a self explanatory and self sufficient little quote. It stands alone and says everything it needs to say in a nutshell. No one knows the meaning of life. It simply is – something which exists – for its own sake. You make of it whatever you will because in the end, nothing really matters. If you are the sort that wants to believe in some kind of afterlife, that may well be, but that too is after life.
Life, in and of itself, is an isolated unit within your existence.
Life is comprised of the mundane, the exhilarating, the monotonous, the unsustainable, and most importantly in my opinion, the ever changing. It is never one thing, and permutes each day, week, and decade. The person you are now is probably not the person you were ten years ago, twenty years ago, or the person you will be twenty years from now. You can call it development, or numerous other adjectives, but it is always growth. If you are the sum of your experiences, then as time moves on, you acquire more and are in a constant state of growth.
Some believe others regress. It is never regression, but rather flux. You may have bad times, prolonged to what may feel like an eternity, but ultimately these too are experiences. You can learn from them, or simply learn to identify them. In the long run, there are no bad experiences, just opportunities for growth. In the short term, it can feel as if your life is falling apart.
If you want to believe that life is a recurring event, then would it not make the most sense to want to live it to its fullest? Or would you rather repeat monotony ad infinitum?
And that is yet another learning experience. Fulfillment is not always full. Sometimes nothing is fulfilling. Something quiet is fulfilling. Other times you need the unfeasible noise of life for extended periods of time. And by unfeasible I mean temporary. That time in your life where you lived in a way that cannot be kept up indefinitely, that simultaneously pleased and exhausted, and was deteriorated with age, where, looking back, you cannot fathom doing again.
Ultimately, life is what it is, and it is. It came from nothing, and prepares you for nothing. Make of it what you will.

Particles in a Circle

If time moves in a circular pattern (an idea that I believe I have now beaten into the ground), then does that mean nothing new is ever produced? I originally stipulated among several posts dealing with this matter that while time, and by extension history is circular, there is always a slight difference in each recurrence. However, how long before the slight difference also becomes engulfed in the closed circuit of time? Basically, at what point do events, all events, exist within a loop of repetition and a complete cessation of novelty happens?

So maybe history and time are not a single geometric shape, but rather a combination of circles, ellipses, and lines of various sizes, interacting and counteracting.

Small events, like a person’s life, revolve around the axis of one circle, whereas history, in the larger conception of it, operates along the axis of a different circle. Do these circles then become bifurcated, intersected and altogether skewered by infinitely continuous lines, reinvigorating circular repetition with an onslaught of newly produced events?
It would seem that the lines interact with everything to varying degrees where some gently graze circuitous paths, and can be identified as inconsequential events, while others violently impale respective circles to produce events of mass significance. But even so, these new events then become absorbed within the circular paths, hence recurring wars, or non human inventions like climate changes outside the immediately visible cyclical seasons and delving into categories like massive eras of varied temperatures.
While this seemingly alleviates the problem of lack with an ongoing infusion of new events that will eventually become consumed into the cycles, one of two things must occur. Either the cycles infinitely expand, or are destroyed. This is apparent in the human life cycle, abundant in repetition, along with seemingly new events, and the circular path each person follows expands until it ceases to exist at death. But how does this play out in the larger spheres of the universe? If each circle represents history and time, does time then expand? For how long? What happens when expansion can no longer be accommodated?
In The Gay Science Nietzsche first asks this very question of eternal recurrence, beginning his life long obsession with the repetition of time (and while most will recall this thread from Zarathustra, which is definitely his most quoted and often anthologized work, Gay Science precedes with this strand). I don’t believe he ever answered this question, and instead (perhaps ironically) came back to it on multiple occasions, getting a bit closer to some sort of truth, fully aware there is not one, but multiple truths that can satisfy his theory, and refused to fully acknowledge any of them.
His idea of eternal recurrence, despite the name, reminiscent of an ever complete circle, is actually more similar to particle theory in which events scattered throughout will randomly combine and recombine in almost identical patters in order for repetition to occur. I think his failure to pin down logistics to such a theory is partly due to his omission of a force acting upon said particles. While they may recombine there is little to suggest they should do so in any specific pattern, or that recurrence can happen with any regularity.
Kierkegaard earlier came to an understanding of a similar principle and did in fact take into account that something must act upon events in order for “free range repetition” or repletion to occur, but he too did not identify the force and for the most part simply acknowledged that it occurs through some sort of leap of faith (which for my purposes here is an exaggerated oversimplification of his many works).
Scientifically the universe is expanding, and has been doing so since creation (however you may want to believe that transpired), alluding to the idea that time exists within an even larger sphere, existing before itself. In other words, there was time, expanded to its point of saturation, ceasing to exist, and  regenerated ad infinitum. Otherwise how else could it be explained that time simultaneously exists cyclically and linearly? It would have to be one or the other, and it just simply is not.
I will not negate that there are particles, but I will argue that they are not free floating, and rather prearranged within the sphere; it is not the particles which recombine to form reoccurring events, but the sphere itself that moves them along. However, this too leaves several unanswered questions. To argue that the particles are prearranged implies agency to do so at some point. When? Further, it implies a start and a finish, relegated into the idea of recurrence where the beginning and end are but one, yet it still does not account for how they got there to begin with.
Do they randomly combine into a string along the circle, and then repeat over and over again, engulfing new event particles as they come into contact with the linear string of events until the entire thing implodes upon itself only to begin again? And if so, then the next time there is again no guarantee that they will represent the same formation, meaning it is not an eternal recurrence per se, but rather an approximation. Marbles scattered on an endless ground.
Where are we in all of this? Do we exist at some indiscriminate point of this repetition, or are we currently inhabiting a time right before the entire structure breaks down for renewal? Nietzsche was terrified of the idea that our lives, as they are, will be repeated without end. Camus accepted it. Kierkegaard seemed to be indifferent.
Nietzsche focused primarily on the negative aspects of life that must be played out over and over again across a multitude of lives, recirculating our pain with each recurrence. Camus filtered the theory through the microcosm of one life span in which we perform redundant tasks throughout.
Regardless of whether we are performing and reperforming the same acts, or bound to live the same life over and over again, the difference is only in whether repetition happens in the short or long term. I would think it is both (picturing the spheres of existence as nesting dolls) and repetition happens on every level.
The next series of questions has less to do with the physical or temporal limitations of this theory, but rather with the repercussions on the human psyche – a most fragile structure.
The idea that your life will repeat itself eternally is only horrific under two circumstances: focusing  solely on the negative aspects of your existence and the refusal to acknowledge and/or accept fate (with the various nuances and implications associated with that word). The first of these can deplete the human mind, stripping it of its most essential source of survival, hope.
Hope needs to be brutally murdered in a dark alley. It’s sheer existence presupposes disappointment because in hoping you are setting yourself up for failure. However, the human mind feeds off hope, blind to its degenerate nature, and when hope exists in short supply there is a preconditioning towards depression, nihilism, and general despondency. If where you are now you will be again, then hope for anything else is not just futile, but perverse. Should all notions of hope for “something else” cease to exist, a prevailing sense of acceptance can be born from that void, essentially counteracting the second horrific circumstance of eternal repetition, which is to say, resistance.
But how can the mind be scraped of hope? And, dare I say, is all hope bad? Does hope come in categories? If it does, how are they segregated? We live the same life over and over again, unconsciously even when cognizant of it. For example, I may now realize that the same events have transpired hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of times, but my cognizance does not breed consciousnesses; I do not know what happened after this immediate point of my existence in this very moment. In other words, I may have lived tomorrow a hundred times, but I, right now, do not know what will happen. So can I hope that X will happen even if it never did, and never will? And what if it does? Does hope provide some sort of relief? Does the relief not then get taken away when what I hoped for does not transpire? Is hope in itself a never ending cycle where we are all destined to continuously hope for that which we will never have?
The more I continue and offer posits to reduce the gaps in understanding time and how we interact with it, it appears infinitely more questions arise, ones which I cannot answer, and don’t believe anyone else can either except with further theories that themselves will produce further questions. If that in itself doesn’t prove everything is a giant loop, then I can’t imagine what would.

Make-Up is Absurd

If you really start thinking about it, life is pretty meaningless. You go through the same motions each day, participating in events, and hoping for the future, oblivious to the passing of time. Each time you drudge through your day, waiting for tomorrow, hoping for a nice evening, looking forward to another day, you are essentially looking forward to your own death. Tomorrow is just one day closer.

The absurdity of it all is that the sooner you come to terms with this, realizing your redundancy, the sooner you can simply enjoy life, within the meaninglessness, and accept the futility.

Yes, it is futility. It is a series of events that lead nowhere. Sometimes in circles, other times into nothing. Once in a while to a perceived something. But always nowhere. Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

The happiest people are those who can live within the redundancy, not simply accepting it, but enjoying it for what it is.

I wear make-up to hide. I pretend it makes me beautiful, and it probably does, but looking at my relationship with make-up over the years it becomes obvious that it is just another mechanism of creating a lie.

Make-up is a passive participant in the role I play each day from dawn to dusk, over and over again.

I don’t actually look that much different without make-up on, just less drastic, or dramatic. But no one can vouch for this because so few have seen it.

I have let men see me naked, but rarely, if ever, without make-up. I dated a man, saw him four or five times a week, slept in his apartment, for over a year, and he has no idea what I look like. Yes, it rubs off on pillows, fades with the night, but still covers and allows me to continue living whatever part I have assigned to myself. And everyone else is more than willing to play along – outside of these parts there is nothing, and some aren’t ready to acknowledge this, so the make-up stays.

You might think this upsetting, judging my lack of faith. But faith in what? How many incongruities between what we believe and what is observed can exist before a leap of faith is no longer possible? Yes, people knowingly, and more often than not unwittingly play their roles and acquiesce to mine because most still believe there is meaning. I enjoy the production I put on each day simply because that is all there is. I am not looking to find meaning underneath the foundation and eye liner. The person I create lives for the sake of being alive.

For thousands of years the greatest minds have pondered on the meaning of life. Yet there is still no concrete consensus. That must tell you something. I know I am attempting to use lack of evidence as proof of non existence, but think about it a little. Think about all the roles you play. How often do you perform the same motions? And outside of your roles and those motions, what else is there? If you were stripped of them, what would be left? What would you do? You would have to recreate. There is no greater meaning, just redundancy that demands performance – an exchange of one image for another.

I use my clothes, shoes, jewelry, to create an image, but nothing has been as steadfast and loyal as my Bare Essentials compact. And on those days I really want to put on a show, feel truly beautiful, exotic, and [insert adjective of choice here], then I get it professionally done.

I never tell the girls what I like, or what I am used to. I simply ask them to surprise me. That is the amazing effect of make-up. It creates. They paint me, stroke on alarming amounts of mascara, and I am suddenly a woman with luxurious lashes, cheekbones, and full lips, in shades I never thought matched my skin tone, but somehow were coerced into it. I stare at myself in the mirror, startled.

I guess this is who I am today.

At the end of the day my make-up wears me. It is formed into whatever role I assigned it, and it wants to live just a bit longer. And I want to live with it. It is never time for washing up before bed.

The day’s events are coated in powder and shimmer, and the fabulous person I got to pretend to be all day isn’t willing to let it go just yet. As long as I don’t have to wash my face, I don’t have to stop pretending. I don’t have to accept reality. I don’t have to step off stage.

But then I wash it off anyway, because I love it for what it is in the moment, and  I realize I get to do it all over again tomorrow.