Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That would be Nihilism for me, thank you.

I have been feeling rather nihilist lately so I need to write about it. For those that may be unfamiliar with Nihilism, here is a nice definition from Wikipedia.

Nihilism (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.əlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.əlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Since I have discovered all the issues about the Mormon Church, life has taken on a troubled meaning for me. I decided that the Mormon Church did not work for me, so I had my name removed. There, done with religion. Now what?

Lately, I have found happiness to be a little fleeting. On some days I feel okay and others days I feel a little down. I am sure all the TBM's would be the first to point out that the reason is because I rejected the "true gospel," but I do not feel that way. For my entire life, the church was always what I could depend on to look for meaning in life whether I liked it or not. Since stepping back and re-evaluating my choices in life, I simply do not agree with the philosophies of religions, especially Christian religions. I do not feel like a damage individual that requires saving through atonement.

So what is the point of life now? I wake up, go to work, come home, spend time with the family, then go to sleep only to repeat it all over again tomorrow. Sure, we have various distractions like family activities, vacations, family visits, biking, etc. Nevertheless, who cares? Does it even matter?

Feeling that nihilism? Yeah, that feels good.

Is there a god? I do not know for sure, maybe. Does he or she care about me? Possibly. What if there is no life after death? What if this is it? Is there a point to living? Sure, family members love me, but does it matter? If life ends here, what difference does it make whether I am here or not? Maybe this is why I cannot really call myself an atheist. I would say more agnostic. There might a god out there, it is possible, but who can know for sure?

One of the more interesting philosophers of nihilism is Friedrich Nietzsche. Here are a few interesting quotes from him.

There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.

What is it: is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man?

Better know nothing than half-know many things.

So why do I have difficulty finding lasting happiness? Is it because my former views of eternity are now so questionable? My relationship with my parents seems so unresolved. We cannot talk about anything of substance anymore because I do not think the same as they do anymore, just nice surface pleasantries now. I am sure that visiting with them after Christmas will be a fun experience. <<< Sarcasm, in case it was not obvious.

Yeah I know, quite a downer of a post. This is just how I am feeling at the moment and I needed to express it. I will work on being happier.

Is it always like this!?

And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away on a strange day
-The Cure-


  1. I don't know how to explain exactly how or why, but it gets better... WAAAAY BETTER!

    Perhaps the greatest part of my whole journey, it that I'm the one calling the shots now.

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

  2. The post Mormon blues! Been there... still visit there from time to time.
    I think you were onto something tho. Being raised as LDS (especially a Utah Mormon!)- all our lives, we are told (*cough-brainwashed-cough*) that unless we live this exact way, we will not reap the highest rewards available. Everytime I drank a Pepsi, I felt a little worse about myself. Everytime I ran to the gas station on a Sunday, because we were out of milk, I felt a little worse about myself. These things add up!
    And then, somehow you see a light. And you start investigating and questioning everything you've been told. And you realize--perhaps it's not as clear cut as they've always made it out to be! For me, this has been the part that gets me down. For so long I put so much of my worth in what the gospel taught. And so much time and energy. Then to realize and discover how much of it is just man's ideas. Ideas that I no longer wanted a part of. And accepting that these ideas that are so deeply ingrained in you, may or may not be true... this would and still can bring me down. It's really hard to break the habits and beliefs. Especially when you live here in Utah.
    I'm totally rambling. I'm glad I came across your blog. Reading about other people's experiences as a recovering Mormon makes the journey easier! Because it's not easy!!!

  3. Love this thoughtful post and the prior comments. FWIW. When I was a Mormon, I believed my life had some higher meaning and purpose. And I was always looking for both. Both proved elusive. But I was conditioned to always look forward to the future when things would get better. Pay. Pray. Obey. Hope for a better life. That was my life. That was my meaning. What a waste.

    Now I just squeeze the joy out of every moment that I can. And there are a surprising number of them. I find meaning in little things: sunrises and sunsets, my partner's smile, a bowl of his awesome buffalo chili, a first snow and a crackling fire, sneaking healthy things into our breakfast shake that he doesn't know about ... Life is full of joy, Bowie. Not to be cliche or whatever but finding those little joys is a daily adventure. For me, life is about living. Not some elusive deeper meaning.

    Again, FWIW, I can say without hesitation I'm living a fuller and more joyful life than I ever have. I would even venture to say I'm happier than any TBM I know.

    Cool post.

  4. I went through the same thing for a brief period but I didn't have a word for it.

    It's this huge hole left behind that used to be filled with a core belief system which defined who you were and what your purpose in life was.

    And now it's gone. So, there is a moment where we must come to terms with that. And all the beliefs that we developed which depended on those core ides are starting to surface and remind us further of that hole that's there.

    So now, this is the time where you get to decide what fills that hole. Rather than have those things spoon fed you from a church when you were young and didn't know better, you get to fill that hole with your adult sensibilities. And it can be whatever YOU what it to be.

  5. I appreciate the sentiments from everyone. Since discovering everything about the church, life has just been a huge roller coaster ride. I just have to keep working on ways to be happy and find meaning in life. Religion made that easy, now I have to do it myself.

    It's just another day.