We don’t know much. But what we do know is we experience love and suffering. Some on different scales but we feel the same things. The same feelings take a toll on our nervous systems. Our nervous systems are our way of interfacing with this reality in many different ways.
In our journey as human beings we suffer and watch others suffer. The others we see suffer in turn causes us to suffer more. We don’t know much but we know this to be true.
If you put all organized religion and watered-down mysticism to the side you’ll admit you don’t know what the hell is going on. We don’t know why we’re here. We can say we’re here to leave the world a better place than we found it but that’s only our attempt to take a crack at the question of why we’re here. It’s just some morally righteous thing to say. But in the scope of trying to imagine the infinite all of the guesses as to why we’re here fall flat. We’re not even a speck on the Universe’s radar…and at the same time we are the Universe. Which is weird.
But nevertheless eventually if you’re intelligent enough and actually give a fuck you’ll confront yourself with the question of why we’re here. And then you wake up and realize that nobody knows. Everybody living at this time is in the same boat. None of us know. So we have to start from a place of acknowledging what we DO kind of know already. Which is that we all love and suffer. So then what?
We’re basically all passengers on the Titanic waiting to go down at different times. Watching others drown first then eventually ourselves drowning while others watch. So we have vices and “things” to help distract us from the fact that we’re drowning. But the distractions fade as well as the effect the distractions have on us. So then what? What matters? Connections to people, to the others who are drowning?
Starting from a place of somewhat common knowledge I believe we can at least try to comfort each other while the Titanic goes down. I know that’s a pessimistic way of looking at things…but it’s actually not. It’s deeply painful and poetic. It’s realistic. It’s horrible and amazing and euphoric at the same time.
The poetic pain screams at us and threatens us and comforts us. That we are all dying and living at the same time in this present moment. That we can share each other’s suffering and love and help each other cope. I believe this is what art is about. It helps to alleviate suffering. Music, visual art, all symbols we use to convey feelings and ideas, to really connect with others to break down the illusion of separation.
Some of us are better at this process than others simply because we think about it more and feel it deeper than others. Which actually makes us more responsible in the process of pain alleviation. Because of how deep we feel it we’re able to go further down the road within ourselves to deal with it. And people gravitate towards others who feel it deeper, even unconsciously.
Again, we don’t know why we’re here. But in our collective unknowingness maybe in the meantime we can find a little meaning in helping others feel a little better about things.