Saturday 2 April 2011


Sometimes I philosophise about life,
In fact, fairly often.
I guess some people might call me lame for not just 'getting on' with it,
but the way I view it is that we only get 1 shot - 1 chance at whatever it is that we should try and do while we are aware of ourselves in a corporeal sense.

If you haven't been put off this post by now, then I guess you might have some interest in reading the rest.

(there is some stuff about my every day life at the bottom)


Coming from my somewhat atheistic standpoint it seems to me that you have to accept that life,
on the whole,
and in the grand scheme of things,
is pretty pointless.

We come from nothing and we return to nothing.
As they say - Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.
We return, in the form of chemical atoms and molecules, to the universe which spawned us.
After that, nothing remains of our bodies, no soul, no ghosts, no nothing.
As such it is a little hard to attach a great deal of meaning to life.

I for one dont particularly have a problem with this,
but it does raise the question about what I should do while I am still capable of walking, talking and even -at times- dancing.

A while ago, I read Richard Dawkins' book - 'The Selfish Gene',
and while it opened my mind to the way we are honed for passing on our genetic information,
it really just made me resent being held hostage to my body.
I want it to work for me - not the other way round.

For animals who dont get to make a decision the actions are ingrained,
but now we have evolved to think outside of, and overrule our base instincts...
Dare I say it...but is reproduction of your own genes actually that important?
is having a lineage something we should to aspire to - or is it something our genes are trying to influence?

Lots of people say that they want to be 'remembered'...and I guess I can understand where they are coming from,
but as with all things, I am wary of spouting the same old rhetoric as everyone else.
A simple question to ask yourself perhaps is:

'What does being remembered really entail?'
-Memories of your actions?
-Memories of what you looked like?
-Memories of how you made people feel?

Are any of these things actually at all important once you are dead?
Maybe through the actions taken in your own lifetime, you could change things in the world so that other people could have a better experience in their own?

For sure, Martin Luther King certainly set an entire race of people on the path to freedom from oppression, and this must have felt pretty good while he was doing it. It may also be worth pointing out - that as a Christian he probably felt (and I dont suggest that this was his main motive) that his actions would lead him to greater satisfaction as a member of heaven than would ever be possible on earth.

But I wonder how he would have felt about his life if he looked back on his life from the gloomy standpoint of my mind.
Would he feel he had gained sufficient satisfaction from his deeds to justify the way he spent his life?
Is it possible that he may have gained even greater satisfaction from going to every brothel in the US and overdosing on hallucinogens while having the time of his life?

Now to be clear, I also feel that this seems like a cheap way out.
Based on what I have said I might as well find myself a huge chunk of heroin and just bail out of life right now...
But I dont think that this is the case at all...
We are lucky enough to be conscious of ourselves, and be living on a planet with so many things to fascinate and keep us entertained.
As such, I feel like I should try my hardest to see, do and experience the maximum amount of things I can and to be the best collection of molecules I can possibly be?
(Obviously these feelings get pushed away when I consider eating an entire box of chocolates or something similar, Infact, even writing this seems to contradict what I am saying...but we are all prone to fail to certain urges. Maybe I feel like by explaining this standpoint I could encourage people to understand me better, or perhaps 'improve' their lives - god forbid such arrogance).

This video from TED got me thinking about things.

If you cant be bothered watching it (it is a bit long - but hugely interesting) - it essentially points out that people from different backgrounds either are or say that they are just as happy as each other, regardless of their position in the world.
Unfortunately, people with the most choices also end up being the grumpiest because they always feel like they are missing out on something.

Now for the past few years I have felt like I fall into this category,
I certainly don't feel like I have a firm grip on the best thing to be doing at any one time.
Should I go on this trip, should I go on that trip? This uni, that uni? This course, that course?
In the end I either dick about and don't do anything, or feel like I have made the wrong choice.
Which is definitely not ideal...

But the problem is I genuinely feel quite blessed.
I really feel like I could go and take on anything I want and become good at it.
But there is always that nagging I doing the right thing?
What if...after 10 years of climbing, I suddenly realise I was wrong all along, and I should have been working in an office so I could live in comfort and raise a family?
Should I have got a steady fulltime job and experienced as much as possible,
or just winged it - scrimping and saving so I could spend all my time on the road?
Should I pick my trips to inspire others to do something similar?

When it comes down to it though, I guess you have to make a call and go with it,
because to do nothing - will lead to the worst outcome of all.

Either way, I have written all this now.
So I hope you don't feel too overly depressed about the whole 'life' thing...


My finger is still a bit busted up, but I set some easy routes today and climbed a little to keep moving.
I have taken to doing right arm fingerboarding since I cant do much of anything else.
I will be alternating core and RAFingerboarding till my finger repairs.

And I wont be getting back on that traverse ever again.

No comments:

Post a Comment