You’re supposed to do this, then that, then…what? We are often told by others with confidence the ways to live a fulfilling life, as if told by ones that have existed countless times before—as if by some divine miracle, God has explained it all to some select few, to be passed on to another innocent life, pure and worthy. At least, one would think as much, anyway, if we are to believe those who virtually profess to know the mind of God.
They don’t, of course, but are convinced of their own delusions; however, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. As I’ve said before, everything in this life is a coping mechanism—a way to cope with the existential dread intrinsic to the human ego: I exist, but why? Do I actually exist, even? It certainly seems I do, but I am, after all, of a finite existence only, as are all things that indeed exist—born from the infinite. What, then, is this randomness given identity? What narrative is this, predetermined for me? Why this one?
It is this certainty in others that most bothers me, and increasingly so these days. So certain do they seem, so convinced of purpose are they. In the words of Zenos viator Galvus, a fictional character in the Final Fantasy XIV universe, “Never have I understood those around me—understood their obsessions. Besieged by their banality, the world was a mire of tedium and trivialities.”
Everything we do is to run from the one and only real question in this life: “Do I exist?” Of this question, most of all, we seek certainty within a dream, and when it is not readily granted, as is always the case, we seek to distract ourselves from it. Fulfillment lies in the distraction itself: how well did we succeed in this life in deluding ourself from the truth? In his final breath, Zenos asks of the Warrior of Light, “Did you find…fulfillment?”
We may very well believe as much, but we shall never know. The answer is always beyond us; and thus, the only fulfillment to be had is in how well we manage to delude ourselves for when it is all said and done. How well can we manage to distract ourselves from the truth? If this post is any indication, one is inclined to think maybe not so well.
But, that’s just it: to have a fulfilling existence, one must remove all doubt; one must settle upon a satisfactory narrative, convincing oneself that this be the one and only truth—one’s purpose—lest fulfillment forever elude us. We find purpose in the lies we tell ourselves; whichever lie we find most comforting becomes our purpose—whichever lie most deludes and distracts us—is the one that ultimately fulfills us. And, this seems to be the only way to find fulfillment in this life.