A Bonfire of Meaningless Belief

Many of us might wonder why so many people (and indeed – nations) fall backwards upon a pyre of absurd belief and foolish cruelty. The larger portion of humanity that now inhabits a twilight world of near-perpetual, technologically-mediated connectivity and material dependency should, it seems, be perfectly content with the meaning and methods we now possess but we are generally anything but sated. There is a vast and yawning void of meaningless experience that we seek to fill with so much acquisition, control, wealth and influence but none of it ever provides anything more than a fleeting Burt of dopamine attainment and then we are all off again in madding crowd to the next great spectacle and WiFi connected domestic tool.

There is a vast and yawning void of meaninglessness here because that is the core nature of existence. Yes, we make transient meanings through our lives, our loves and our dreams but in the end we are all just rearranging patterns of words and objects in ways that could hardly ever withstand the onslaught of change, complexity and confusion which holds the center of things.

The lesson here, if indeed it even matters or means anything, is that humanity is racing from pillar to post seek purpose, wealth, power and a way to plug the hole through which all life and memory eventually dissipate into nothingness but this slide into oblivion is actually the kernel core of our existence. We seek meaning in absurdities because the world itself is absurd.

There’s probably a way out of this ridiculous situation but I doubt anyone would be willing or mature enough to give up what they have to potentially receive a much greater, vaster and more lasting sense of meaning and psychological peace. We find ourselves trapped in a world that elevates noise as trivia to the level of profundity to mask the unpalatable fact that it is all entirely contingent as meaningless.

We celebrate the transience in ways that mimic permanence but only ever accelerate the arrival of more doubt, more uncertainty and more intractably meaningless experience. Dancing around the bonfire of hollow and haunted belief will keep us all going for a little while longer but I expect that it is precisely in this way that humanity’s infancy will never end.

So, dance around the bonfire of meaningless belief but whatever you do, don’t fall in – there is nothing there.

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