They say two thousand zero zero it’s party over – out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine
My own sister (the lawyer), trying to coax my own mother to doing something important but difficult asked rhetorically last week: “mom, you’re 78-years-old. Imagine you had cancer – would you still want to do this?”
I realize that may sound harsh but it is the same question Steve Jobs asked himself and it is the the same logic that is implicit in the Prince song, 1999.
In other words, having no future forces you enjoy the present more.
I have heard repeatedly that it is the finite nature of our lifespan that gives them such value. I think that is spurious argument and that meaning and value is subjectively determined.
Scarcity creates value only to the existentially uninitiated
Imagine a world that John Lennon described and you immediately seize upon the problem. If you had no possessions, religion, hunger, then how could there be wealth and power? This living without archons (or alien overlords) would be anarchy and the most feared dystopia to some people who define themselves in relative terms – they exist merely to have relatively more power and to be in control.
Other people feel that a world run by robots in service of man’s freedom to just be and to create would be a eutopia.
So what determines our happiness and why is it so elusive? If you want to read a really profound article about existential depression, read this.
The central conundrum of the human condition is that as three of Buddha’s four noble truths are paraphrased here: “All living things suffer. The cause of suffering is desire. The antidote to suffering is the renunciation of desire.”
Cheryl Crow sang “it’s not having what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got” which I believe was also mentioned in the Talmud: “Who is rich? He who is contented with his lot.”
It is a failure of the natural healing of the subconscious that allows people to become so depressed that they wish to take their lives. Like a bell resonating to its own gloom, they become deaf to the the gentler and subtler notes of living.
But the meaning of life doesn’t derive from it’s scarcity unless you are suddenly confronted with its loss, as with this man who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge.
People rationalize that limited lifespans are a good thing like idiotic artificial intelligence bots that will answer the reason we die is so that we can have a life. It is a circular, line segment, logical dead end.
People say they like wrinkles because it proves they laughed. But try posting your picture of a lifetime of smiles into your online dating profile and see where that gets you. The truth is, people romanticize the beauty of a fleeting life only because they don’t believe there will ever be a cure for aging.
I, on the other hand, do believe there is a cure for aging and therefore my life takes on an existential problem which I describe in this blog about Groundhog Day versus The Truman Show.
If you don’t believe that the dysfunction of suicide represents a false and obsessive narrative steeped in impulsivity, watch one of my all-time favorite movie scenes from Kieslowski’s White.
SPOILER ALERT: This man has hired the other to kill someone- himself. When he faces the truth of the moment, it is undeniably true. Warning: THIS CLIP MAY SHIFT YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS for the better…
To learn how telomerase activators and adaptogens can mitigate depression in many people, watch this video podcast that I did: