“Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy”.
I’m staring into the abyss. It’s a vast and empty void. It is inescapable. Inevitable. Suffocating. Intimidating. Liberating. It’s a relief. I am seduced by it’s pull. So beautiful and devastating. Everything is absurd except nothing. No energy is ever gained or lost. It is only transferred. Echoes of the past are as important as predictions of the future. Not at all important. All equations must balance. All equations eventually equal zero. They are null and void. Necessary and pointless. Nothing matters. Nothing is the only thing that matters. Nothing is matter. Everything is made of nothing. Nothing was the start of everything. Absolutely everything is actually totally and completely 100% nothing. Everything equals nothing…
There was a particle. It was unimaginably tiny considering it was unimaginably dense and hot. Why was it there? Who or what put it there? Maybe it had always been there. Just floating about. But what was it floating about in? There was nothing that existed other than the particle. The fact that there was such a particle makes no sense at all and yet there it was. Defying all logic by simply existing. And then for some inexplicable reason this godforsaken particle went bang. It could no longer contain it’s mass and simply let go of it all. The whole thing exploded and expanded at an insane speed. Matter was created. Hydrogen and helium burned and formed stars. The stars were gigantic and pulled other objects around them. These other objects were planets made of more complex elements and molecules that had made the decision to join together. Everything is based on the fact that particles are attracted to each other. Why is this even the case? What is the purpose of more protons jamming together in a nucleus that require more electrons spinning around it to make the charge equal zero? And more protons means a totally different substance. Everything is made of this stuff. Molecules get more complex. Carbon based lifeforms arrive on Earth billions of years after the start of everything when the universe is now huge. We’re made of the same things that made the stars. That one particle gave birth to everything.
Time has no meaning once you reach the void. Here you see flashes of everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will happen. There are infinite realities. Infinite civilisations rise and fall in the blink of an eye. Every species will have it’s time. That time is finite. The human race is only another cosmic anomaly – a minor mistake that will be rectified by the universe when the time comes to eradicate us.
Eventually life evolved to the point where very recently (in relative terms) human beings came to exist on Earth. We think we are capable of great things. We are self aware. We are curious and we explore. We work out how the world works and how the world came to be. We know things about the stars and galaxies that are whirling around us light years away. We have escaped our atmosphere and ventured into space. We’ve travelled as far as the Moon. Which is nowhere at all. Everything we know is probably far less than 0.1% of all that there is to know. Everything we know is basically nothing.
Over time we have used the knowledge we have acquired to advance our technology. We now have planes in the sky taking us around the world and the internet connecting us all wherever we are. And our technology will advance further. We can only imagine what we might be capable of in 1,000 years time if we make it so far. Maybe we’ll leave our solar system and colonise other planets. But there are so many things that could happen that would end it all and make all that we have achieved meaningless. A meteor could end things. Nuclear war. Overpopulation. Climate change. Advanced extraterrestrials could obliterate us for shits and giggles. Eventually our own Sun will destroy us anyway. The universe is a hostile place to be floating around in. Even if none of those things happen and we have left Earth before the Sun kills us how far can we go? Think of how much we have achieved over the last 1,000 years and imagine how much we could achieve over the next 1,000. But then also imagine what we could be like in millions and millions of years time. Potentially we humans could have that much time and in the grand scheme of things it still isn’t much time at all. We could be godlike. We could know everything. We could change reality as we see fit. And maybe just maybe we could answer the greatest question of all. What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What was the point of us coming into existence and evolving to what we may have become by then? The God hypothesis would be answered one way or the other. Maybe there’s some ridiculous reason for all of this that right now we cannot begin to fathom. Maybe there are possibilities that our brains are not even capable of coming up with just yet. It is highly unlikely that we will ever get that far. To survive for so long and getting to that point is pretty much impossible. It’s absurd that we’ve made it this far. And even if we get there will we find any meaning to this madness? Doubtful. It all seems so random. That is quite a thought though. Imagine that there are no answers. Nobody created us. There is no reason for us to be here. Life started randomly and without purpose. We survived and evolved just for the sake of it. We passed on knowledge to our kids and them to their kids throughout history just to carry on and keep going. We saved money in bank accounts. We spent years obtaining meaningless qualifications. We thought about health and safety. We fought crime. We won and lost wars. We watched 22 men kick a bag of air around and cheered when that bag of air crossed a line and hit the back of a net. We accumulated wealth. We listened to music and nodded our heads. We went to work for an average of 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week for 50 years of our lives just to pay silly bills and eat shit food. We went to the cinema and watched blockbuster movies that cost hundreds of millions of pounds to make. Films that lasted for two hours of our limited lives and that we had forgotten about a few months later anyway.
The absurdity of it all….
I would ask you to join me at the void but the question is not required. For you will join me sooner or later. There is no choice here. Little choices get made along the way. These choices branch out in elaborate and complex ways forming a multitude of parallel universes. In some of those universes you are perceived to be a failure and your journey here is a simple one. In some you are a success and have a happy life. But that was an illusion. Failure is not so different to success for all roads lead here. And here you get to rejoin the stars. The destruction of a particle lead to your creation. Your destruction leads back to where you were created. Destruction equals creation. Everything must balance.
Once you reach a state of mind such as I have described there seems to be two ways you can go from there. There are attractive qualities to both options. Option 1 is one of extreme destruction. If you see no meaning in anything then just what is the point? We can do whatever we want. Morals are absurd. The law cannot hold me back. Prison does not scare me. My own life has no value. Nobodies lives have any value. You’d think anger could make a person in such a state of mind do terrible things. Except anger is also absurd. All that makes sense is a cold and calculated logic. But at the same time going on a murder spree and spending life in prison wouldn’t matter so much to a person in such a state of mind. Choices and morals do not exist. Prison may be boring. But all choices lead to us being buried in the ground eventually anyway. And when that happens nothing we did in life mattered. Our memories are gone just like everything else. When you think like this you live completely without fear and you may choose to do exactly what you want no matter how mundane or devastating the consequences may be. Live on the edge. Let go of the steering wheel. Let the chips land where they fall. Let your pocket aces go up against 7-2 off suit and lose and smile about it. Go over your overdraft. Drink dangerous levels of alcohol. Do every drug imaginable. At the same time. Annex Crimea just because you can. Throw a brick through a window just because you can. Don’t tidy your house, let the pizza box land where it falls. Steal things when nobody is looking. Steal things whilst people are watching. Punch your friends. Hug your enemies. Walk up to a bin to put your chewing gum in and then throw it on the floor anyway. Withdraw all your cash and set fire to it. Leave the toilet seat up but piss on it first. Smash everything and everyone until they stop you and keep going anyway. Be a menace for your own amusement while you are here on this stupid spinning rock. Leave nothing but chaos in your wake. In the grand scheme of things none of this matters at all. The universe will remain unaffected. All the nukes on the planet couldn’t even cause a ripple in the cosmos. There is no meaning. You have no influence. Do not for a second let your ego think that your actions have any real consequences.
Sooner or later. That is the only real choice where we have a hint of control. We can allow the void to have us now. Or we can take a moment first. To us that moment may last as long as 100 years if we are fortunate. To the void it is not even measurable as 100 years is simply a negligible amount of time. The void can wait 100 years. The result is still the same. The outcome unavoidable. The void will take us like it takes everything. It will rip us from existence as easily as blowing out a candle. The void does not judge. It is neutral and fair. Have you had your moment? Good. Now come further. Peer in. Let go of everything. This is not truly the end. It is not a new beginning. Time is a circle. The void is infinite. You are one. One cannot truly be destroyed by infinity. One divided by infinity does not equal zero.
Then there is option 2. In the grand scheme of things the universe does not care whether you choose option 1 or 2. You can even switch between options whenever you like. Option 2 is similar to option 1 in many ways. You still let go and have no fear. I suppose it involves more restraint so that you are able to fit in with society to some extent. With option 2 you accept that everything is pointless but you try to look past it and have as much fun as you can. You try to experience all that this existence has to offer. Simply because it is less boring than throwing in the towel and giving up right then and there. There will potentially be days where you forget how little point there is to everything that you do in the grand scheme of things. When you are laughing and having a great time maybe for a few moments lack of meaning becomes meaningless. As pointless as the world is and as pointless as humanity is somehow things still manage to have an affect on people who have lost all meaning. To understand the lack of meaning of life in my opinion is a higher way of thinking. It is honest and pure. Full of logic. Looking for meaning is the most pointless thing of all. There is none. But once you understand this you are dancing on the borderline between sanity and insanity in the views of society. Choose wisely. Fit in. Have fun simply because it’s fun. Be nice to people so that they like you and want to be your friend so you can have fun with them. Hug friends so they keep on being your friend and so you can maybe have more fun. Try to not punch friends or be horrible to them cause then they might not be your friend anymore and then you might have less fun. Save a bit of money so you can do fun things. Pass on knowledge over generations so technology can advance and maybe one day because of this an iPhone 27 might get created and it might just be the most fun thing you’ll ever own. Travel all over the world and see pointless place after pointless place to have as much pointless fun as you can. Try to not kill people because if you do you will go to prison and that probably will not involve as much fun. Maybe holding onto the steering wheel is a good idea because if you crash maybe you’ll only break your legs instead of instant death and that will mean you’re on crutches for a few months and that will lead to less fun most likely. Always aim to have more fun. Have as much fun as you can take until even fun becomes boring. Once fun becomes tiresome then you can always switch to option 1 and lose the restraints. Then go out with a bang with as much chaos as you can be bothered to create. Both options end the same either way. Fuck your life. The universe owes you nothing. It’s a miracle it is kind enough to let you exist in the first place. Humans may never have evolved. A meteor could have killed us. Your Dad could have been wearing a condom the night you were conceived. That particle didn’t need to let go of itself. But it did. And now you exist and you have to deal with this condition of existing as best as you can. Do whatever you want. It will not matter.
These words do not matter either. The end.
I cannot resist any longer. The void’s pull is too strong. The vast nothingness is too beautiful. The black vacuum hugs me and swallows me like it swallows everything. The very atoms that contained me in this form are ripped apart in a release of glorious energy. In that moment I could move mountains. I form my own black hole and engulf countless worlds. As they pass through me I can see all civilisations throughout the entirety of time. They rise and fall like waves breaking on a beach. All of them truly, amazingly average. All of them mildly admired before being crushed with indifference. My pull gets more powerful until nothing can escape. I engulf all that there is to engulf. And I hold everything tight and crush it all to nothing. I am all that is left. Just one dense and tiny particle. I could let go. Time is a circle…