“Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink.”
You might be wondering… “What’s with this absurd man crap?”
The answer is simple. More than any other approach to living a life, Absurdism resonates with me. I think I like the rebellious aspect!
To me, it is clearly Absurd that we rational people have no fundamental basis for being rational. We must act, but our actions make little sense. In a very real way, our actions don’t even matter. We so desperately want our lives to have meaning, but the universe is cold and indifferent to our actions. Fortunately though, this also makes us truly free.
One aspect of creating a meaningful (and absurd) life is balancing two conflicting ideas. In a cosmic sense, what we do during our lives does not matter. Yet, what we do here does make a difference — to us! A million years from now it is unlikely that any record of my life will have survived, yet obviously it matters to me that the people I love are happy today. I accept this absurd situation. My actions have only whatever subjective meaning I choose to give to them.
I have abandoned all hope of finding any transcendent significance in my life. I try not to hope for anything more than life has given me. My chief passion is the Art of Living, and the life of an artist is the greatest life I can imagine. Making things — creation — is my real work. If what I make just gathers dust after I make it, that does not matter. What matters to me is that I keep doing this work. I try not to concern myself with whether what I do is successful. I try to focus instead on doing the best work that I can imagine. This struggle is enough to fill my heart.
The beauty in our lives makes it worth living. I have my experiences, my ideas and my friends. The objects and memories which I create are all that I know of this world – and they are enough.
“All is well.”
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If you want a more detailed explanation of the differences between absurdism and existentialism or nihilism, the Wikipedia article about Absurdism is a great introduction.
The Wikipedia article about Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus” essay summarizes the reasoning behind the essay.
I stole the “Sisyphus at Work” sign from Eugene Wallingford’s blog entry about “Working Hard, Losing Ground”