'Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism suggests that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual is an isolated being born into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning.'
It's easy to be a Nihilist. Not take responsibility for anything and complain about the world. I've been there, done that. In fact in my late twenties my career plan was to drink more red wine and maybe build a shack in the back blocks and drink more red wine as my levels of cynicism peaked.
But in the back of my mind, I knew that was a self-deceit which was trying to cheat my soul's reasons for being here on the planet. And though t came down to me...'there has to more to life than than this dead-end'.
Soon after that in about the year 2000 I went along to a massage in Canberra. Half through I suddenly felt flushed with heat, then I just burst into tears and sobbing uncontrollably for what seemed a long time. The massage therapist excused herself when this started and I mumbled that I would be okay. Then it clicked. My underlying anxiety was locked up in my nervous system. Somehow this massage therapist unlocked long held emotional tension in my musculature.
I eventually hauled myself off the table, paid the masseur and sat under a big gum tree for some time feeling very clear and soft in my body. What became clear to me was that my own damned up trauma has somehow been released and that this was the true beginning of my healing journey.
There was more to my existence than thinking that life was generally meaningless. This set me on the path toward Bodywork and Breathwork.
'History Never Repeats' was a hit pop song on the radio of my late childhood. The next part of the lyric was 'I tell myself before I go to sleep' hinting at the rising fear inside that History Does Repeat.
As I flit over the news and other media about 'the chaos to come' and the rising tide of intolerance and bellicose grandstanding, I'm always flabbergasted about our need to be right about ideas.
If I ask myself or another, what is the point of great conceptual ideas if you have to make other humans' lesser than you.
As soon as I step out of 'being right' and 'making others wrong', there is more room in my heart for more empathy, even if I'm seething with anger in that moment.
People's wings will take flight if the conditions around them are not threatening.
I WAS STRUCK BY THIS SCULPTURE after reading an article about right-wing protests in eastern Germany (Chemnitz). The artist was making a point about wolves hunting in packs. Despite cultures pretensions about civility, intense survival instincts still break out when aroused by fear (e.g. activating that part of the brain called the amygdala, or more informally the lizard brain). So any concerted effort to instill fear in us about the 'other' or 'the devil' can really ignite passions and in lightning speed. Combine that with strong ideas about race and national identity and presto! You have an excuse to dehumanise and do harm to others. I don't for a moment pretend that I don't have this lizard brain in myself, but any acting out is kept in check by an awareness that I COULD become a perpetrator.
This is the essence of why we should bother turning toward our pain/shadow/unloved aspects of ourselves - to decrease the likelihood of it breaking out uncontrollably under pressure of propoganda or environmental stress.
Technology and being 'smart' won't change it. We can however bio-hack it with powerful modalities like Breathwork and Bio-Energetics. There practices elicit strong emotional responses which help diffuse mind-body tension. More room for love and grace then appears. And god we need that now more than ever.