Existence Notes

Because I can imagine significantly superior scenarios compared to the actual situations I experience everyday, I can determine that this world does not maximize for my short-term delight. Therefore, it would be futile for me to focus on such things. I can also reasonably deduce that “surprise” is an inherent part of this world. Like any well-written narrative, the reader never knows what’s next.

Applying these assumptions to the question “How do I get what I want?”, results in an answer of “uncertainty”. But at least this answers the second question: “Why don’t I always get what I want?”. In short, life will always leave you guessing. Does this aspect support the notion of random-chance? No, because “randomness” implies outcomes that are too far from the storyline and “chance” implies a probability (which uncertainty denies).

That leads to the question: “If uncertainty is certain, should I even try to achieve a goal?”. Sports and games are the embodiment of this question. Games by their nature are fun and futile – you invest your time and effort into the game’s premise, then lament or celebrate depending on the outcome (an outcome that is completely meaningless outside of the game). So, should you attempt a goal? Yes, it’s a game and games are fun because of their uncertainty.

Relatedly: the things you want, most likely represent a finish-line more than a cure for dissatisfaction. In other words, you will not achieve a lasting fulfillment from the attainment of anything in particular. If you win one game, you simply play another, and so on. When you’re participating in a game, winning a prize feels vitally important, but this sensation quickly fades upon the game’s conclusion (with a proper attitude of course).

Based on all this, let’s see what we can apply to a theory of existence. Perhaps life is like a role-playing game in which a character stumbles through an outlandish narrative. This narrative is not random, it’s tuned to the traits of the character. Outcomes are purposefully uncertain in order to maximize an attention-grabbing effect. Life seems to prioritize captivation of its audience above all else – even sacrificing a character’s comfort to achieve this end.

Lastly: attitude matters. The prevailing theme of one’s life tends to adhere to one’s attitude. For example, a lighthearted outlook tends to encourage sitcom-style situations whereas a dour outlook tends to invoke sad or tragic circumstances.