My Personal Search for a Meaningful Existence


I am the representative embodiment of my nihilistic culture. I am
narcissistic, insatiable, petty, apathetic and I am above all an emotional
invalid. Yet, up until very recently, I was not consciously aware that I was
guilty of having any of these wholly pejorative attributes, because I had
unconsciously suppressed my inherent will to attain a meaningful existence, in
favor of the comfort and security that complacency and futility provide. There
exists in me a void, that is not uncommon to find in the members of my
Eurocentric society, which is derived from the conscious or unconscious
knowledge that our culture is entirely devoid of meaning. This is, more
specifically, the plight of my generation, which has been defined by its
disillusionment, apathy and inaction, rather than its accomplishments, beliefs
or ideologies. Escapism is the safety mechanism that enables our flight from
actuality, and subsequently our ability to exist, because we have been cursed
with a wealth of advantages and a lack of restrictions. For example: I am free
to choose my own religion, I am not stifled by or subjected to economic
disadvantage, I am not bound to subservience by an oppressive or tyrannical
government, I am blessed with a myriad of conveniences by my technologically
advanced society, and I come from a nurturing and supportive family, so who the
hell am I to complain about my circumstances. The only explanation I can give,
in retort to my profession that I have been cursed by my inherent advantages,
is: since my life is completely devoid of any profound suffering, it is
subsequently lacking any meaningful happiness, because man only experiences
these feelings in terms of their relative relationship to one another. Thus, I
vainly invent my own wholly unfounded reasons to bemoan my existence, in the
same way that a hypochondriac invents his psychosomatic illnesses, because the
longer we feign to have a justifiable cue for suffering, the more that that
suffering actualizes itself. The primary source of my anxieties is derived from
the inherent knowledge that I am condemned to be free, in a society of
relatively few restrictions, which subsequently requires me to be the master of
my own destiny. Thus, I am not only culpable for determining my own fate, but I
am also wholly responsible for finding a meaningful purpose in my existence,
which instills me with an intense feeling of trepidation, because I\'m not sure
I\'m ready to shoulder such a profound responsibility. I live in a nihilistic
society, that is founded on man\'s narcissistic will to pleasure and power, that
is run by the “all-powerful” green, and that is defined by its laziness and lack
of tradition. Thus, it seems almost futile to search for a meaningful existence
in our Western culture, because it is this very society that has taught me my
convoluted and misplaced system of priorities and beliefs, but man can find a
meaning for living regardless of his predicament. Therefore, in this paper, I
will attempt to redefine what I believe is the essence and meaning of my human
existence, by combining the meditations of a variety of different philosophic
thinkers with the conclusions I have attained through the contemplation of my
own personal experiences.
Nihilism is the characteristic value-disease of our times. The word
comes from the Latin root for nothing, and it describes the belief that human
values have no evacatory or meaningful power. Although there have been
transient episodes of nihilism throughout our species\' cultural history, the
label is usually applied to the crisis of valuation that now infects our Western
culture. Friederich Nietzsche, the famous German “existentialist” philosopher,
predicted that the traditional European system of beliefs, which are primarily
derived from the teachings of Christianity and Greek Philosophy, would be
questioned, and subsequently abandoned during the twentieth and twenty-first
centuries. He believed that with the widespread proliferation of education
people would start exercising their free-will, and temporarily abandon the “herd
mentality” that has historically caused the masses to “blindly” accept the
ideology of others. Nietzsche prophetically predicted that with this newly
acquired freedom of thought, and the subsequent “death” of traditional European
values, people would frantically search for, and embrace, new, false sources of
meaning. He included as examples: the forthcoming of cataclysmic wars, the
proliferation of materialistic greed, and the pursuit of ever more powerful
forms of intoxication, all of these theories coming to their fruition during
this century. The traditional European values that have defined our culture for
centuries are certainly not yet extinct, but their prevalence and influence has
been severely curtailed, subsequently creating a state of confusion