Ever since childhood I have been obsessed with attending church and as a product of that obsession I have attended the church services of nearly 20 different religious traditions. My fascination with religion was and is deeply rooted in what is essentially a deeply rooted fascination with the idea of death. I remember as a child going to church, while sitting among the believers, I would see what I felt was completely obvious but it was not till much later in life that I realized how oblivious others were.
The connotation of church is usually a place of solace and hope and you think people going there would be happy and enriched by the process— in short, their happy place. But, as a child I saw nothing that resembled happiness. Casting my gaze across the pews and looking deeply into the eyes of each and every person, the only emotion I would ever see is a deep rooted state of despair.
I attended many different churches, as I was fervently searching for a religious tradition that differed from my past experiences— I wanted to find human happiness. And, no matter where I looked— despair was the only thing I witnessed. It was later in my adolescents that I finally realized that the drive behind all of this was, in essence, death anxiety— they were deeply afraid of death and are simply and desperately latching on to anything with semblance of hope that perhaps death is not the only option.
I always found the idea of accepting, in a pure and visceral way, the finitude of life as altogether liberating. Being free to live and free to die without reservation, pretense and defense is, to me, the way we are supposed to be. Accepting responsibility for our own existence and living freely and blissfully in our own experiences. The existential dilemma that I face everyday of my life is my process of perpetually contending with trying to understand what it means to exist. Is my existentially-driven desire to accept and thrive in my freedom the reality of things, or is my ego just rationalizing my hedonistic Id into making me feel what I believe has value. In other words, is my rejection of religion, ideology and dogma legitimate or is it just me mimicking my own personal variation of faith.
Nearly every single day of my life, as I lay down in bed to fall asleep at night there is and always has been, one single preponderance of thought that is the source of my excitement, happiness, despair, fear, anxiety and confusion— the angst of human existence. I am not sure why so many people are fixated on trying to understand what it is to die, when we haven’t seemed to grasp: what it is to live, yet. But, it is this deep thorn that has driven me to my task, my drive and my mission.
As I see it, I should question any and every system that implicitly or explicitly infringes on human freedom. Every system that insists that life is easier or safer while bonded in a cave. Every system that persists on controlling the hearts and minds of beautiful and autonomous beings under illogical and disingenuous motivations. I have no intent to wave my finger, to dictate or to control. If I explicitly expressed a path to freedom— that act, in of itself, would be to deny ones freedom. As my path, may not be their path or your path. I concede and accept that ultimately I know nothing, except what I have perceived as my own experienced reality— which, I will question, contest and reject until the horizon of my existence is cleared into a void of absolute nothingness. With nothing behind me and nothing in front of me. With nothing in my past, nothing in my present and nothing in my future— this is the spot where my existential resolve begins: Motivated by angst, and reasoned with philosophy— I will hold your hand and be your friend, and deep within the void of existence we will discover our humanity together. This is my mission.