Monday, January 18, 2010

Moment of Clarity

Education in our lives is always an obvious ‘choice’. From school to high school to college; you’re not really expected to think about the fact that you have to study, you just do. But after graduation, there is a possibility that you might have to pause and think, ask yourself where you want life to head. That’s when I decided I should study further. In retrospect, I realize that more than anything, I was looking for meaning. But a master’s degree in Sociology can’t really do much for anyone’s philosophical quest. All it can do is look pretty on the CV and get you a 5 figure salary. Not that, I was very hopeful about the job lending meaning to my existence but it was worth a shot. But as it turned out, that almost a year in the job and life seemed even more pointless. And today, when I’m back to doing something I really like (which should technically restore my faith in the world); I experienced life in its absolute meaninglessness. There is no point to anything; I don’t know what people are doing and where people are headed. I don’t know why there is any reason to wake up in the morning and go about doing things like we always do. And for a change, I don’t feel like I have a problem. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the world and its ways. I don’t know why no one can change it. I guess agency and everything else around it is a myth. We’re not really agents of anything. We just go about living life in the setting we’re in and sooner or later, we shall all perish. I suppose everyone in life goes through this crisis at some point in their life. But I only just experienced it. Someday, I hope, you will too.


  1. By now I would really like to consider myself as an expert on Existential Crisis. In fact we can safely begin to call it....the EC.
    Well, as far as my understanding goes, Life is definitely a meaningless void of nothingness and somehow for some strange reason we were given a completely different picture since the time we opened our eyes to this strange world. Hence I too faced a similar crisis right about the same time.

    However I feel that this experience of belonging to a meaningless scheme of events, is very different for those who have led a life "economically" different from us. If we could place ourselves in the shoes of those with lesser means...I think there is a lot to learn. For instance if we perceive each stage in our lives as a Rite to Passage to the next phase...there is a sense of meaning that life bestows on us.

    For instance you as a student of higher studies in Sociology, bear the responsibility of understanding and analyzing society in all its depth and intricacies and you should use this knowledge to consult and help those who might benefit from your expertise.

    I really feel we can exert Meaning in our lives by doing our job really well and earning our share of respect from only that. I think it is quite settled that no one is special...however there is a certain virtue in riding this flow of meaninglessness with your head held high and doing what you like to the best of your ability.

    However as you know and I m sorry for repeating this so feverishly.. that not everyone gets the opportunity to do what they really like. For instance no one really wants to be a dish washer..or iron other people's clothes. But it is important that we understand this and appreciate the hard work that they put in and in the process give Meaning to their lives through sheer acknowledgment of their labour.

    Yes I agree with you that the ways of the world should be different. Its really not fair that we get to think and talk about meaning..when there are people who can never dream of beginning to think about it through the course of their lives. But changing our society would only be possible if we could wipe our world of all the social and historical legacy of which we are a part and parcel.

    How can we ever expect to change our world when a person who has spent 10 lacks on his management studies is more valued than someone who has been toiling through thick and thin laying one brick over the other with his father, for the last 18 years of his life.
    I guess I bored you with things you already knew too well 

  2. Hmm, Guess we've had these conversations way too many times. I don't know if thinking about meaning is really a matter of privilege that comes to us by virtue of belonging to a particular class of society. It's hard to say. Any claim I make would involve being presumptuous.

    But hey, stop being so guilty for what you have and where you belong. Sometimes we have to accept things as they are. You're guilty for all those lesser privileged than you but there are those who are way better off than us too.

    And start a blog. This is fun!

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