/I’m probably wrong…

WARNING! This post goes in the face of most established spiritual concepts and may result in frustration to some.

I have found myself questioning my belief structure a lot as of late.

When I was faced with my death five years ago, my thoughts on how there is no reason to anything were confirmed. This vindicated a lifetime of being a devoted atheist and solidified views on nihilism. The resulting several years have given me more than ample time to reflect on and research concepts that people have been arguing over for millennia.

So, what have my observations brought me to? It is clear when you read my latest book how I view life in particular, but in regards to our purpose in life I have always been a bit dodgy.

That fact relates right to how I view spirituality as a whole. It also explains my humour. It does not matter, there cannot be reincarnation (because it makes no sense) and there cannot be an afterlife. Therefore, when we die, we die.

Those more astute may ask “why do you claim reincarnation is impossible and an afterlife is silly?” and I cannot fault you for thinking that.

Reincarnation is the idea that we get reborn into another being. Now, this has been explained that we get brought back into another human and that we get brought back into animals. Both I find equally improbable and silly. To say that “we get brought back” is to admit that we have a soul. Fine, I say, but what defines a soul? I have looked it up, and find the definition unsatisfactory. To assume that we have a soul and nothing else is just horribly ignorant, and to say everything has a soul brings into question what everything is. It you use the definition where everything that is alive has a soul, what is considered alive? Are you including plants, cells, and animals? If you do, the argument could be made that you could come back as a brain cell and a skin cell could be the next generation. If your answer is no, then the definition of a soul is restrictive.

For an afterlife, you have to consider how long life has existed. How diverse all of everything is; how varied your day-to-day is. What definition is there to be considered for this afterlife? Do NOT say religion: that would imply that if you have no choice in your faith and everything is meaningless.

Seriously, though: all because Jim (you know, that guy who did that amazing thing that saved humanity) had no way of being involved with that one deity, he has no right to be in your afterlife? And what exactly does happen to him and his “soul?” If the argument is going to be hell, that is a full place. If the argument is purgatory, there are billions of people there. If that doesn’t matter because reasons, why did I not see the gates or door or whatever of these places when I died? Did I not really die because I came back? Were the doctors just mistaken on what there machine read, and they got kicks out of telling my family that I was gone?

I will end this by saying I am sorry if you became frustrated by any concept I dwelt on for more than a couple of words. I wrote this simply because I found myself being asked a lot about whether the character in my new book was dead or not. Please, leave any arguments below. Regardless of whether or not I respond, I will be thinking hard about what you have to say and I will be questioning my personal anguish in relation to your insights.

Journey: Nihilism at its Finest

I should preface this by warning those who care that this will contain spoilers for the game Journey.

Yes: Journey. The game by ‘That Videogame Company’ which came out in 2012. I love everything about this game: The art style. The soundtrack. The narrative.

To those who don’t know or never cared to know, Journey is a game where you direct a nameless, voiceless character from the beginning of a map to the end. The path is full of puzzles and various clues to a past. Nothing is explained, in a tradition sense, and the clues are there for you piece together as time goes on.

It is a simple game in every way. That is what makes it so daunting and stressful at times. I do find that part mildly ironic. I first was introduced to this game by someone who sold me on it by claiming it is relaxing.

Due to the fact there is no narration and little text, the player is taxed with finding the correct path from point to point. You are doing so while trying to complete the task.

What task?

Well, the game does not tell you. Ever. You assume it is important. You assume that it will be explained as time goes on. However, you get to the end and…

Yep.

The game concludes with a cinematic recap of the environments you just tread while the credits roll and beautiful music plays in the background.

It is kind of an anti-climax, but I still found it incredibly satisfying.

You see, I took the game to artistically depict my views on life.

All that matters is now. The events that happen later are, yes, in consequence of what now contains. This does not change the fact that whatever you are feeling now is all that matters.

Journey displays this by telling the player to go on an adventure. One that does not contain any direction except for the walls of the environment. The player has to then endure many difficult trials with NO rhyme or reason except to get to the end. Then, there is end. You die. Well, maybe not DIE, but you do stop existing in the ‘physical’ realm.

The strangest part of this ending was what I felt when I realized what had just happened: I felt accomplished. I felt like everything that needed to be done was done. I had a tonne of fun playing the game, and when it was over, I realized that I could play it again if I wanted to, but there was not that longing to.

That sounds so much worse than I intended it to. I played it again because I WANTED to. Not because the game was taunting me with a ‘maybe’ further play-through. I know I missed secrets on my first play, but my second I knew I was playing as a new character. My previous character was dead, and that was fine.

I cried just as hard the second ending as I did the first. Yes, me, an adult male, cried at the end of basically a cartoon with the bleakest outlook on existence that I have ever seen portrayed in that artistic medium.

Recently, I started following a play-through of someone playing Journey. It had been five years, give or take, since I had played, so of course I was compelled to watch. His commentary was annoying at times, he missed things that I noticed in the background, he went ways that I remembered as being wrong ways, but I will still link as many people as I can to the playlist because I think the game is that important.

To answer the question preemptively: yes, I wept at the end. I wasn’t even embarrassed, even though my dogs were looking at me like I had something wrong with me.

So, why did I open with a bold comparison saying this bleak, beautiful game is anything like nihilism? The game shows that there is no reason for anything we do. Like the game, life is a bunch of attempts at things until something sticks. In the end, it really does not matter what we have done. What does matter is how happy we are at the time.

I will take this opportunity to say that this is a blog, not a direction on how to live. If you are going to take my words to heart, talk it over with someone who understands the direction in which you are taking it. I am just kind of waffling through this post wile I keep my pets away from things they should not eat.

Also, I would like to point out the irony in me saying ‘only now matters! later means nothing!’ as I write this post one week before I post it.

I HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD HALLOWE’EN!

You’re so vain

I do not know how arrogant this is, but I am listening to an old album while writing my next book. I think (because I cannot bring myself to bullshit) that I am almost done: maybe just a page or two left before editing. I think I am going to name the book “it doesn’t matter” in all lowercase because I am a douche. You would think, in a time of hashtags and trending, that I would write something and name it one word to keep things easy. I am, however, convinced that the aesthetic is fantastic.

Just released the first chapter of the new book recently. I hope you like it!

Just saying.

(this post doesn’t matter)

I think I may have done all I can with book two. I am sending it to a friend of mine to read over to let me know how bad of an idea this was. In the event that this was not a bad idea, however, I will have a new book out in about six months! It is called this book does not matter. and it is short, again. Twice the length of You’re Not Dead, however.

This will be the first fiction that I have written that is more than a few pages long. That part makes me incredibly nervous, but also really excited to share it with the world.

TACKED ON LATE: The post that I made last week was post 150. I might be the only person who finds that a really cool number.