I once looked at myself in the mirror and saw 50 shades of nihilism. It comes in various flavours and degrees and at least I believe it is not related to pessimism. Most people I’ve talked to, have told me that nihilism is a dark way of looking at life and missing out on the beautiful opportunities. The ultimate destination is death and we make many stops in our life before we end our journey. Don’t take nihilism in the negative sense. It is a beautiful and a liberating phenomenon.
To me, it gives me a broader understanding of the matrix. When I say nothing really matters, it does not mean I am being ignorant. There is just peace in realising the fact that there is no right or wrong and opinions are subjective. Have you wondered what true freedom is and how it feels not being pinned down by social constructs?
Nihilism can affect you based on the kind of person you are. It can engulf you and make you devoid of everything. You are immune to happiness, sadness, anger, excitement and other emotions. You ignore everything because nothing really matters. I personally start questioning everything. Why is it that people do things they do? Why do they form opinions and have differences? How come there are people who want to impose their beliefs upon others and since when is it okay to judge someone based on their actions and views? I mean in the end it boils down to nothing. You can be a rich businessman with billions in your bank account or a fisherman in Hawaii. Both are successful in my opinion. And both go down in the end to rot. This is a planet that’s been going around the sun for infinite years and when everything is so incomprehensible and unstable, we are looking for concrete concepts. We are all insignificant and so are our beliefs. No one cares, so chill.
On the other hand, nihilism can have a positive effect on you (total paradox here). You can opt to go with the flow. There are no good choices nor bad ones. It’s as if everything was predestined and you just have to deal with it. When you understand the philosophy of this, you will look at life differently. You can make what you want out of life and experience all the greatness, grandeur, filth, frivolousness and ultimately meet the end. All the hopes and dreams that society has manufactured for you to achieve are false. Given riches, you will either crave for more or wear out eventually. Given nothing, you’re going to curse your damned life or try to turn it around. And one day, the delusion will cease to exist.
Why do I say Nihilism is peaceful? Because you don’t care nor worry about anything. There is no burden that is carried on your shoulders. All the negative moods that you experience are a result of the opinions and concerns to meet the standards that have been set. Relieve yourself of all that and you’re done.
Now ask the silly questions. I have got this, “If you feel you’re a nihilist and there’s no point in anything or life, why don’t you just kill yourself?” The answer is simple. As humans, we have an obligation to live, follow a good path without creating trouble for others, maybe even reproduce and live normal. Just because you are a nihilist, you don’t have to act all depressed and go around telling people that nothing really matters. A nihilist is not bitter, negative or an anarchist. Living and believing in nihilism are two different things. I can enjoy my life, live and laugh or even pretend to have a sophisticated lifestyle. In the back of my head I can wonder about the purpose of everything and feel what I want to. It’s okay to have that void in your mind. Not everything has to make sense.
What does it feel like to be a nihilist? In case you’ve never experienced it, imagine this. Think of anything and everything that makes you happy. Think about the factors that keep you going. Your motivational drive, your reason for striving. Now imagine they don’t exist. No, you did not lose them, assume they never existed. The person you loved, your social status, money etc. What would your reaction be if they never existed in the first place?
Many people have questioned nihilism and asked if it in anyway connected to spirituality. Isn’t this what Buddhism preaches? Or was it Hinduism? That there is nothing in the end and everything is an illusion. So are they the same?
NO. Not at all.
Nihilism, though it is of many kinds, revolves around the notion that there is nothing in life. Whereas Buddhism or Hinduism urges us to be self aware and does not disregard the physical life. We think that the spiritual teachings ask us to remove all attachments, whether emotional or physical to achieve enlightenment. Truth is, there is no need to denounce anything, in fact there is a way to work around it. There are a lot of things lost in translation and hence these misunderstandings occur.
Share your nihilistic views and you’ll be met with skepticism. I feel that life is complex, so are relationships. Our mere physical and emotional existence in this world is like a grain of sand in the desert. We exist, because we have to. In reality, there is no purpose. We are evolutionary beings and there is no defined design that we need to accomplish. There is no path. An atheist will look at it as a biochemical reaction and a believer will look at it as God’s mysterious plan.