It’s been a thought I’ve lived by for years now.
“Laugh at life, or life will laugh at you.”
The way I see it, life is always laughing at us, it’s just whether you choose to laugh back and laugh loudest. In all honestly, when you stop and really think about what life is, I find I either just want to sit down in a corner and wave a white flag, or just laugh for all I’m worth. I mean, our ideas about our existence are quite vain, but they need to be because there’s an underlying reality that we don’t want to accept.
When you ask what purpose there is in life, you’re not trying to find the answer to existence, but something to fight against what you know already. You just don’t want to admit, acknowledge or accept it. What purpose is there in life? None. I could say writing gives my life meaning, but whether I choose to put words on a page or sit down and do nothing, the net result is still the same. My fate is to dust, the fate of all I do is to dust, and though we all might try to gain immortality in some memory, that just turns to dust as well.
It’s bleak, it’s nihilistic and we hate it because existence is inherently hostile to any attempt to give it meaning. We crave meaning, because it is comfortable.
There is relief in accepting this, and then laughing at how absurd existence all is. It’s the strangest liberation I’ve felt. Almost everything we do then becomes funny, and mostly because we take what we do far too seriously. It’s funny that I choose to spend my time writing fiction novels, when that very activity contributes nothing to me.
So I laugh at the fact that I write.
I also laugh at the fact we’re all tiny specks on a ball of rock whizzing through the vacuum of space around a giant burning ball of gas. Doesn’t it just sound mad?
It really hit me once when I was recently taking one of my university exams last week. I was sitting there, in the hall, in silence. All the tables and chairs lined up in orderly rows, and for three hours I had to write. It was incredibly helpful then for the meaninglessness of the situation hit me then. I had the sudden urge to burst out laughing, because it all suddenly became so absurd.
So that’s laughing at life, but what about life laughing at you? By that, I mean how if we take things too seriously, it is very easy for random events to derail our carefully laid plans and generally frustrated our attempts to achieve whatever goal we were focused on. In the end, things go wrong, and our perceived control of our lives really is more of a fanciful illusion than any truth. I mean, how can you say you’re in control when you don’t know all the possible outcomes of one choice? There are too many paths to take, and they all branch off from each other in unforeseeable ways. While we have the power to make choices, we don’t have the power to know all the outcomes of that choice.
But why should I still laugh? I don’t know why I do sometimes. Some days I want there to be a meaning or purpose, but other days I’m glad there is none because it makes my mistakes altogether as meaningless as when I do something right.