“Faith is not an explanation, but rather confidence that the explication ultimately exists.”
-Nicolás Gómez Dávila
If you read my blog, then the question that inevitably arises is why a young man would expose his fragile nervous system to so many different psychedelics. Ultimately, the answer is that I don’t really take psychedelics for entertainment. I don’t even take them to treat depression. Rather, I want to understand the meaning of it all.
Why would you want to understand the world, when you can just enjoy it? Well, to explain that, allow me to tell you a story. Yesterday, I was walking through the forest, when I stumbled upon a mental institute. I looked it up on my phone and discovered the story of one of the young women who had spent some time there, before committing suicide. She had tried to commit suicide a number of times. She was rescued by passerbys and pulled out of her car, before a train struck the car.
Her parents and family continued to care about her, but ever since she was an eighteen year old who returned from a trip abroad, she seemed to have lost her mind. She lost weight, stopped eating and cut herself. At some point she threw boiling water on her feet, in an effort to “stop the pain in her head”. She had even started hearing voices.
The psychiatrists thought she had borderline personality, but the onset was rather late for that. However, at some point, shortly before committing suicide, she told her parents what had happened. She was a young Christian girl, whose ambition it was to go to community college and become a nurse who takes care of the handicapped.
Before going to community college, she decided to go on a voluntourist vacation to Ghana, motivated by her faith to seek out a way to help those less fortunate than her. While there, she found herself alone at some point and gang-raped by five local construction workers. Thus she was traumatized beyond anything I can imagine and ultimately she ended up committing suicide. You can find the whole story here. It is basically the only thing I have been capable of thinking about today. I didn’t seek this out, I stumbled upon it by accident.
The question one must aim to answer, is why these sort of things happen. The direct answer is obvious. Young blonde women are irrational and naive. That’s why they didn’t receive the right to vote until about a hundred years ago. Everyone needs a racist uncle Bob sometimes, but young blonde women need uncle Bob in their lives more than anyone else. For everyone’s benefit, the world should be ruled by bitter, miserable and cynical men, who were exposed to high concentrations of testosterone before birth.
We would close the borders, deploy biological weapons (Shi Zhengli did nothing wrong folx) and be left with a genetic aristocracy of 160 IQ vegetarian Buddhists, Hindus and Jains who rule a world inhabited by half a billion people at most. If this offends you, the reason is because you’re not capable of true empathy. The reason most intelligent women have an angry white male fetish is because they realize that hatred is simply the shadow cast by love.
But that is just the surface level reality we are forced to cope with. We can say that mankind failed, but that does not answer the question: Why does God fail to protect the individual? That’s the more difficult question to answer. You might say that we are guilty of moral failures of our own, but I see plenty of those go unpunished. You can look up plenty of cases, of famous pedophiles who were not exposed until after their deaths.
The other answer, the obvious one that most people resort to, is that God does not exist, the only thing that’s real is matter and that we are merely a cosmological accident, a quantum fluctuation that emerged when nothing accidentally gave birth to something after an eternity of nothingness. They think that we must place our faith in science, that a handful of people with Phd’s will protect us against misery.
But who will guarantee to me, that after injecting their mRNA vaccine into my upper arm, I will not be washed away by a megatsunami a second later? Nobody can guarantee such a thing to me. I live out my life, surrounded by unquantifiable existential threats. I can be kidnapped and tortured for all I know. Man’s inventions can deliver me no cure for existential anguish. Scientists and politicians can offer you no cure for existential anguish. Only faith can cure such anguish.
This idea, that we are just a trivial consequence of matter, is a difficult explanation to cope with, because it raises numerous questions of its own. How does matter experience qualia exactly? I know I feel something when I stub my toe against my bed, but what is doing the feeling there exactly? Sure, the neuron receives a negative signal that it passes on to my brain. Yes, I’ve figured that part out. But where in the equation, does that turn into an actual feeling? What does a neuron do exactly, to produce a feeling? There is no proper answer.
But worse, if I’m just a complex chemical reaction, how can I experience choice? Tomorrow I decide to put a gun against a bank teller’s head and demand he hands over some money. How can you hold me responsible, if this was the inevitable outcome of a complex chemical reaction? It’s impossible to hold a chemical reaction responsible for something, it makes about as much sense as punishing water for melting at zero degree celsius.
From my perspective, the only thing I know with certainty is that I experience qualia and experience free choice. I know that I exist. On the other hand, when it comes to the external universe, I exist in a state of philosophical solipsism. Does any other conscious being capable of experiencing qualia read my blog? I don’t know. In fact, I can’t possibly know the answer. Does physical matter have an existence independent of my experience of it? I don’t know.
What then, about God? From my perspective, God may just be my own consciousness, stripped of all the limitations that it chooses to impose upon itself. In the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy in Hinduism, we believe that Atman, our own inner self, is the same as Brahman, the ultimate reality. On the other hand, the external world around us, the world of sense-impressions, is an illusion, designed to conceal the ultimate reality of Brahman from us.
Of course you can also choose to take your chances. Perhaps all morality is an illusion human beings came up with themselves, you’re an emergent complex system built out of matter and your life is intrinsically meaningless and it’s up to you to decide what you feel like doing with it. If that happens to be the case, the next question becomes: Why bother?
Why bother living, if you do not feel the presence of God’s protection? You’re going to be dead eventually anyway for the rest of eternity, you can just skip out on the twenty or so years of your life that you’re going to spend with a prostate the size of an avocado and a bald head filled with wrinkles and just pull the trigger already.
What’s the matter exactly? Do you want to stick around, to see how Pakistan and India fight a nuclear war with each other and trigger a nuclear winter leading to a band of hungry bandits invading your house and tying you up so you can watch as they torture your family before slowly killing you?
If it is eternal nothingness that awaits you, if that is what you truly believe, why spend another few years living as a secular hedonist, before eventually losing your sanity and ending up with Alzheimer’s disease, causing you to lose all autonomy and spending your days witnessing ghosts and having conversations with people who are not there? That’s what happened to my grandmother.
I don’t do that, because I believe there is some sort of meaning to it all. I don’t believe that I just got lucky, that I was born into the Netherlands in the year 1990 AD as opposed to dying of malaria at age three in rural Congo in the year 1420 AD because of random chance and thus get to spend my days watching Netflix or gulping raw oysters and should put all of these questions out of my mind. To me, that is an absurdity.
Congratulations, you won the lottery! You’re the lucky inheritor of a healthy body and mind in the year 2021AD in a developed Western nation. You live in one of those thirteen timelines out of 15 million where the Soviet Union and the United States did not blow each other to smithereens during the Cuban missile crisis!
If you live a happy life, do you never stop to ask yourself the question why? Perhaps you have a lot of money, good friends, a healthy good looking body and a bunch of good looking women of childbearing age, desperate for your affection. Why did that happen to you exactly? How come you’re not a hungry ten year old orphan, wandering around in rural Nigeria as bacteria from your own mouth are consuming the flesh of your face?
Do you just take it for granted? God, the laws of physics, fate, that sperm cell that had all the right genes and managed to fertilize your mom’s egg, something took a big barrel labeled “happiness”, removed the lid and poured the contents over your head. Then that same mysterious something took a big barrel labeled “misery” and poured it all out over someone else.
And you? Hey, don’t worry about it! Just donate 20 euro to Unicef every month, you’ll be fine, now go out and ask that hooker if you can snort coke off her ass! If you inadvertently snort too much coke, then it’s going to be over for you, so there won’t be anything to worry about either. Does this sound sensible to you?
What do you plan on doing with your life? Beat the SP 500, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Two girls at the same time, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Finish your Phd thesis, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Make a great work of art, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Play some Call of Duty, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Go backpacking in Vietnam, before eternal nothingness awaits you? Between now and the heat death of the universe, 0.000000000001% of time exists in which you are capable of meaningful thoughts. Are you going to spend that scarce time finishing your TPS reports?
I believe I exist for a reason. I believe there is a point to all of this. I don’t claim that I understand it all, but I have faith. I have faith that it serves a purpose. I have faith, that despite how powerless and flawed I may be, God is merciful. When I smoke 5-MeO-DMT, for a moment it feels like everything makes sense.
But then I return here, to this realm, where I am a bipedal ape in a mortal body that has perhaps thirty good years left before the decay becomes overwhelming. This realm, this enigma, where bad things happen to good people and where everyone seems perfectly content living out their lives on autopilot.
I used to think that smoking Salvia Divinorum in the forest and witnessing a new dimension ripping open in the corner of my vision where a group of clowns poke fun at me in front of a carnival tent is the most bizarre thing that ever happened to me. But I was wrong. It’s this. This here, what I experience here in this very second, this is the absurdity.
This world, where people want the government to keep them safe, as they live out their lives as blobs of fat that they call brains, protected by a thin layer of bone and skin that they call a skull. This world is the absurdity. This world, where you can watch people die, gored to pieces or simply drop dead on the floor from an aneurysm or a heart attack. This world is the absurdity. This world, where the biggest pleasures and pains are handed out seemingly at random, where an invisible random number generator makes you beautiful or hideous, wealthy or poor, intelligent or incompetent. This world is the absurdity. And the biggest absurdity of all? That its people treat it as normal.
I enjoy my life, from time to time. I don’t deny myself all pleasures. But to live for my own pleasure? I don’t have that kind of courage. To live for your own pleasure feels like inviting God’s wrath to me. Rather, the reason I’m here, the reason I bother to get out of bed in the morning, is because I want to understand. Understanding is what drives me forward, faith is what allows me to cope with my understanding.