October 26, 2021


I live with a quiet discomfort. It is not a bother most of the time, for I am good at pretending it is not there. I hide it with layers of casual denial and mental gymnastics. But it is there. It will never not be there. And it is impossible to avoid when it reveals itself.

Why do I do the things I do? It's because I find it enjoyable and fulfilling, I tell myself. Is that a valid reason to do something? I'm sure there were people in the medieval ages who had a fulfilling life selling slaves, a morally sound thing to do in their society.

Clearly self-fulfilment is not an answer that fits. Maybe a more noble answer would be to uplift others. Who are these "others"? Should I be uplifting the mosquitoes buzzing around my grandparent's house? I usually uplift them to the afterlife with electric shock bats. Can't have my grandparents catch dengue. But I don't know why we draw the line about uplifting certain ideals and people the way we do. These lines are not real. These are decided (if not agreed upon) by humans. These ideals and values are something we ascribe to what is empirically, a bunch of matter interacting with each other (and this description is also a human construct).

Doué d’une figure terrible, le misocampe jouit d’une férocité sans exemple

Every action I take is determined by my human nature and my environment. The choices I make are the product of my human-ness. Most of the choices I make are not even things I think about, they are just a bunch of defaults configured in my genetic code. I do not know why I decided to write this as opposed to writing about lobsters. Even if I make a conscious choice, I almost never know exactly why I made them. The neurons firing away in my head determined that this was the choice I had to make. The amazing illusion is how often I convince myself that I made them fire that way.

I have an elaborate system of beliefs that I refer to, to tell myself why I do the things I do. On most days, I don't question these rationalizations. But some days, I peel away the layers. At the bottom of this deconstruction, I find nothing. Nothing remains to justify any action or choice I make. What remains is just an uncomfortable feeling. Uncomfortable, because that's how the neurons firing away in my brain made me feel. The foundation of everything I do sits on top of a void.