• Life is pointless, but at least life is pointless

  • June 22, 2020

  • Bare with me for a second, as hopefully, I can show you how this is a good thing. I do realise that this is quite the existential conundrum, given that if life is pointless, well what is the point of doing anything, ever?

    Who is ready for a tonne of analogies as I try and turn out another piece of content that is hopefully uplifting and is eventually somehow brought together cohesively to re-iterate my love of magic? My god, that was a mouthful, wasn't it?

    Perspective is everything

    Seriously though, perspective is everything. So for my first analogy, take the time to choose the right seat on the bus.

    Imagine there is a bus driving along a road and on one side is nothing but the face of a cliff rising higher than can be seen from the bus seats. It's dark, dreary and a little bit depressing to say the least. On the other side of the road, is a cliff falling away from the bus providing a gorgeous view of the passing countryside, showing scenery as far as the horizon. Let's say there are only two people on the bus, one is sitting facing the cliff, and the other is staring out the other side, seeing the scenery that is a sight to behold. Even though both people are on the same journey, started in the same place, and will end up at the same destination, which trip will be more enjoyable?

    You may not always be able to control everything that is happening around you, but that doesn't mean you can't affect how you feel and improve something by a slight change in perspective.

    Nothing really matters

    Joe Rogan said it brilliantly when he said, "If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking, hairless monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through space." And to compound on that, take the time to watch a video that shows the sheer vastness and scale of space compared to us. We are so unbelievably tiny and insignificant on a cosmic scale that we, as one individual, can have no "real" effect on anything.

    Remember what I said about perspective, though! This is a good thing, and it is a freeing thing. If we can't affect anything, that means no matter how colossal a screw up you achieve, and you can't derail things that much on your own.

    And if you look at time and how that works, you have not existed for so much longer than you have, and before long you will go back to not existing and will remain that way for the rest of time. What is maybe a hundred years on this planet compared to all of time?

    The present is the only thing that exists.

    If you have ever heard of Ekhart Tolle, you know of the concept, "The Power of Now", and if you haven't heard of him, I'd recommend you check him out. To give you a very, very quick summary of what he is on about, he talks of how the past no longer exists, and the future has yet to exist. All that exists is the present moment, the right here and the right now. Yet we as a species spend almost our entire lives either living in the regret of the past or anxious about the future, which is senseless when there is nothing but beauty right here and now in front of us.

    Think of what Master Oogway says in Kung Fu Panda, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present." Yeah, dropping a knowledge bomb from a kid's movie, who knew?

    I'm no meditation expert, and I want to get back into it properly, and I will (then I can tell you all about it, because why else would I do something if I can't brag about it on the internet?), but this sort of mentality has always helped me. In meditation, you need to quiet the mind, and for me, the best way to do that has always been to be wholly present, focusing on nothing but what I can experience in this particular moment.

    Life is pointless

    And here we, back where we started. Life is pointless, there may be a grander meaning behind all existence, and you could spend your entire life trying to figure that out. Some people have done just that, and it's why I always liked Philosophy as a subject! Now though, I prefer to look at it like this. If life is pointless, and I somehow won this ridiculous lottery that you have to win to actually exist, why not at least enjoy it. We're only here for a short time, so why not spread some joy in the world?

    If nothing else, I'll finish with one last story which has more to do with internal conflict. Still, I think starting with your internal battles, is a great place to start when you are trying to overcome the insurmountable task of giving a shit about the world.

    The white wolf and the black wolf

    An old Cherokee grandfather is telling a story to his grandchild about two wolves. He says, "You see, we all have two wolves inside of us. They are constantly doing battle with one another, and the fight never truly ends. There is a white wolf and a black wolf. The black wolf inside us is filled with fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed and arrogance. The white wolf is filled with peace, love, hope, courage, humility, compassion and faith."

    The grandchild pipes up with a question, "But grandfather, which wolf wins?"

    To which he simply replies, "That's simple, whichever wolf you feed the most."

    What does any of this have to do with magic?

    It may not seem like it has much at all to do with being a magician, and I don't blame you for thinking that. But have you ever performed an incredible magic effect for someone, only to see their eyes widen with disbelief? To see the look that we all crave, that moment where all disbelief is suspended? For me, that moment is what it is all about; it pulls everyone watching right into the here and now. Magic fills people with a sense of wonder and joy, that can make all worries disappear. For me, that's more than enough reason never to stop being a magician.

     

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