It's a Finite Kind of Feeling

Fake oil over fake canvas. Mixed technique.

I would like to tell you that it is going to get better. However, I haven't been trained to lie. It will worsen. Eventually, accepting fate perhaps too late, you will sheepishly slide under the snout of the dark shark waiting for all of us at the end of the journey. And you will enter his mouth. All in. Darkness, my friend, is slowly creeping towards all of us.

Freud was wrong, you see? The old man believed that humans were motivated by both the will to live and the drive towards death. He thought that the latter is what compels humans to take risks and to fall into self-destructive behavior. This error is quite surprising, as Freud himself was fond of, let's put it this way, substances. And these substances were clearly destroying him while he was willingly taking them. It is far simpler to link such indulgences with the momentary pleasure they bring, be it escapism, revelation, or societal bonding.

The issue here is that, as long as the suffering does not tip someone over the edge, life is all humans know about and, henceforth, they cling to it. Because humans cling to what they know. Moreover, we are all going to die. We know it. Like kicking a can down the street, though, some postpone facing the reality. But it is always there.

That is why I like to think about human life as a prolonged hospice care. Life is about managing one's pain caused by the slow decay of all mental and physical functions, including the sporadic or feverish use of substances (be it vitamins, kale, whisky or morphine), and develop mechanisms to cope with the trauma of ceasing to be. Every instant of life is, in a way, seen through the prism of accumulation of memories to make the final stages of life more bearable.

The consequence of such realization is twofold. On one hand, since the humans talk about the unknown based on what they know (what other option do they have?) there is no intelligible way of articulating the unknown that is death, and that produces frustration. On the other hand, the world beyond one's grasp is infinite and the friction between finitude and infinite causes anxiety. Deprived of a language capable of verbalizing what lies beyond one's reach, whatever is unknown becomes chaotic and menacing. Incapable of becoming the everyday observable (i.e. the constant, predictable and apparently eternal flux of nature), the agony of not being one with the everything flourishes like an unstoppable toxic weed within the carcass of existence.

Would everything be better if eternity would be at everybody's fingertips? This is a theoretical, futile endeavor. It has taken way too many generations for humans to be what they are. Their limitations (finitud included) shape how the transit through the hospice of life. How many generations of madness would it take for human nature to adapt? Provided, that is, the process is not truncated by madness, chaos, and exterminion.

Ask yourself: how would you enjoy playing a never ending match of checkers?