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To put it frankly, we don’t have to be here. Not one of us had any choice in the decision to come to this place, to be born. And yet our sole goal, before all else, is to live as long as we possibly can? Presumably we do this in order to gain something more in the process of living, than that which was formally asserted, prior to our own existence. Procreation, while being a possibility for the majority of our species, is certainly not a necessity---and for that reason, should no longer be a reason to extend our lives beyond our own choice to end them.

So, at the end is where we begin. There is no obligatory nature to our being. You and I were accidents---one of a billion numbers thrown out at the roulette wheel of our evolution, and after coming to this reality, you assert your nothingness as the only true freedom, and therefore, the only one that matters.

Though so much of what we see and hear in our everyday paths brings images and words of this need to fear death, in fact, paradoxically, this fear is used as a threat by all agencies of authority, in order to keep us in line, to make us speak when spoken to, to do what is required to keep those who are in power relevant as the keepers of the realm. We are supposed to tremble at the thought of our cessation of being, so as to modify our behaviors to fit into the mold (whatever that mold may be, according to whomever may be dictating the mold), to fulfill the status quo, to do all that we can in order to assimilate our own personal quirks which define us as unique, in order to become physical and aesthetic manifestations of that very nothingness which our lives embody.

To curb the sense of freedom that pumps in our veins is nothing worse than the most perfect crime, perpetrated by those that decide what “crime” is. But we are dealt a hand, and each one of us holds a wild card, which we can decide on our own, to cash in at any time.

There are people who believe that it is our mortality which defines us. They do so by stating that without death being an absolute, there would be no purpose, and therefore that our existence is something which firstly, is supposed to have purpose, in that all that we do is somehow better than death. Yet if you ask these same individuals if simply not dying is a way of life, in which purpose is somehow gained in the act of survival itself, they will scowl and no doubt have a mouthful in retort. You may even want to get a bottle of water and a comfortable chair, for you are in for a lecture.

But the quest for purpose is not an act of survival. Man, most certainly, cannot live on purpose alone. Those species that came before us did not wonder if they had acted morally on the campaign trail, or whether they had helped the starving kids in a third world country when they were struggling to hunt, gather, make shelter, etc. in a world where there was no such thing as science, modern medicine etc. Survival was the way of life. Even then, there was no obligation to live. Living was a means of instinct---a place where deeper thought had not yet registered.

A history of purpose would reveal that those elemental questions of birth and death were answered by many thinkers before they became organized pools of thought. One can argue that this has not changed, for even now as we are bombarded every day by all kinds of media imaginable for all types of reasons, both those that are supposed to produce profit as well as those that are not---we still negotiate as consumers, as cultural sponges, those things that we find substantial, and those that we find to be fluff. None of this is done out of obligation. Our ability to choose, however illusory one may believe that it is, given the deceptive composition of our first world “democracies,” still outweighs the complete absence which may have been closest in those totalitarian dictatorships which have existed in the past, and which still thrive to this day, albeit it with a different guise.

Our nature of being is both accidental and transient. There is nothing intrinsically special about our being here, and our being here takes the form of nothingness. What we make of these facts on our own, through our own personal decision making process, entails both the will to do so, as well as the understanding that the process of making purpose is all that can be had. Obligation does not factor into our existence, once we become aware of these realities. Rather than our lives simply being the attempt to avoid death, our death is the one option that we hold so importantly next to our heart. Our ability to take our own lives in the face of whatever we deem to be unworthy of our actual living process, is really the only act we can take which cannot be shaken by those outside ourselves. Yes, there are plenty of unexpected variables which can factor in, blocking our choices in the short term, but as any human with the ambition to do anything might mention, the more important goals often carry with them the hardest struggle.



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Comments

The following comments are for "On the Obligatory Nature of Being"
by delapruch

@delapruch
Eloquently written.

In the past, I've asked why on different levels. Why me? Why is there suffering? Why am I here? Why do others seem to float on by while I feel sorrow or pain? Purpose seemed evasive. Time passed without it.

If we are here accidentally and death is inevitable, why? To help others or help ourselves seems meaningful in the interim.

One person I know said, there must be an afterlife, otherwise why at all?

Sandra

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: June 6, 2011 )

No Afterlife
@ Sandra. Thanks for taking the time to read! As far an afterlife defining meaning, I definitely don't agree with that. We are free to make our own purpose. Helping others on our own, without prior obligation is far more an admirable trait than to do so to get gold stars in an "afterlife," or to get a pat on the back by a fictional character like "god." We are products of evolution---that's all. : )

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 6, 2011 )

No Obligation.
@ windchime. Firstly, thanks for reading & for your comment! In response to your comment:

"Any beliefs or lack of beliefs in the afterlife, reincarnation as Wile E. Coyote, atheism and agnosticism, etc etc. are also moot. They are superceded by the fact that our only obligation is to die. What all beliefs are, really, is contrived comfort.

Dying sooner or later by our hand, or otherwise, is moot because the outcome is the same."

*Atheism is defined as "the disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings, "god," etc. Agnosticism is defined as "the intellectual attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge" Perhaps rather than lumping them into the same paragraph with established nonsense which has plagued our species for thousands of years, like ideas of an afterlife, fictional characters like "god," etc., you should consider non-belief or disbelief as an answer to any "obligation" set forth by these established ridiculous systems of thought. You have no "obligation" to die, as an obligation defined is "something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc."---in life, there is no contract with anyone---you are an accident, as am i---the process of evolution churned us out, and that is it. this piece refers to the lack of obligation that you have to any imagined ideas of authority that humans bred in order to give easy answers to much more complicated questions so that they could sleep at night. speaking of obligation in terms of death is a "moot point" death is self-evident, and if you live as Tom Cruise's character in a film (which is out to get ratings, and therefore "obligated" to produced pseudo-romantic lines like the one quoted in order to keep individuals in their seats, etc.) you are living vainly---you cannot assume than anything will be said of your life when you are dead, as no one holds that obligation---everyone is hear as the result of an evolutionary lotto---our death has no duty put forth, not to a "greater being" or to the people around us who, whether they like it or not, are all in the same boat. obligation is something that is instilled in our heads from childhood and whoever raised us, as a way of giving us answers to questions that those who have raised us believe solve these questions. you have no obligation to them in believing these either. there is no obligatory nature of being, you make your own life, and to speak of death as an obligation is to believe you owe it, or something, someone outside it, something---you do not. you still sound as if you believe that you have an obligation to something, and the fact remains, you don't. you don't even have an obligation to yourself to hold up your own structured set of ideals, beliefs, etc., because of the relative nature of your everyday existence---also, no one else, nothing else has any right to come into your life demanding that you uphold such a fictitious process.

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 8, 2011 )

No obligation.
Who are you obligated to? There is no obligation to anyone or anything to die. You die, that's it. Obligation, as defined in the first response, deals with a sense of "duty"---this is a culturally instilled concept. There is no "duty" in dying. I do not feel that if I don't die, there will be dyer consequences. I do not feel that if I don't die, that I won't be living up to my life's potential, or that I would be disappointing someone else---I don't feel any obligation where death is concerned. Sorry.

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 8, 2011 )

No obligation.
And I'm not obligated to respond at all.

( Posted by: delapruch [Member] On: June 8, 2011 )

The Nature of Being
Delapruch,

I do my best not to comment too much on the content of writings posted here (unless it’s relevant to the learning and growing of an individual as a writer) and so will stick to remarks concerning the writing itself and no on your (or my) viewpoints on life, death, etc, etc.

I agree with Sandra that you've spoken very eloquently here. You have a smooth and flowing style that enjoy.

The only thing I'm a bit fuzzy on is the...summation (not sure if that’s the right word) of this piece. You've made the individual points clearly and concisely but what's the overall point of the essay?

You may have stated it quite plainly and I just missed it. I do that a lot. I was just curious because I found this piece very interesting, but was afraid I missed something.

Clear thoughts, good pacing, and very attention getting. Overall a fine piece of writing. Keep it up, it’s always a pleasure to read you.

Much Love,

Dave

( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: June 10, 2011 )





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