My life these days is straight from the pages of a Murakami novel. Things just happen for some unexplained reason and I’m an innocent bystander watching it all unfold as things go from bad to worse.
Be like water they say. Submit to your surroundings. I’ve lost that fire inside me. That drive. That passion. I am now a soulless existence watching each day go by. I seek nothing. Not happiness, not love, not joy. Nothing. My life is a flatline right now. I want nothing and I crave nothing. I continue to live. I do my work. I talk to people. But there is no life inside me.
A few days ago I was hoisted up a crane by a system of ropes and pulleys. Four men pulled my weight up some 30 feet in the air where I dangled for half an hour trying to get something done. I remember looking down. I remember looking at those men. I remember looking at that rope holding me. I remember realising that this rope meant the difference between life and death. Should it give way, I would be splattered all over the main deck. I remember thinking it’s not a good way to go but if it happened, it wouldn’t be the worst thing. I remember thinking I had lived a full life. I had seen what life had to offer and if this was my way to go then so be it. Painful if it may be. I remember looking at the setting sun over the Nigerian coastline and thinking if this was the last thing I’ll ever see. I was okay if I had to go. For no particular reason.
That’s not because I am sad or depressed about anything. I have everything I want in life. I have everyone I want in life. But it’s all fake. Happiness is fake. A purpose is fake. We are a fake pointless existence. I don’t know who designed us and why we are here but everything about us is fake. Everything we feel is a chemical reaction inside our body. Everything that gives us happiness is triggered by our brains. Happiness is within but only a few things trigger these hormones. And it’s like having a drink. Eventually the effect fades away and you crave another one. Everything from holding hands to running. Everything that makes you happy is fake. The same way everything that makes you sad is fake. Your own body feels sad when it can’t trigger these hormones. That’s why you take up drinking and promiscuity. A temporary fix. A shot. I used to run for two years and then I had to stop because of an injury. I went through a withdrawal. They call it a runners high. And they compare it to a cocaine addiction. The withdrawal was brutal. I was irritated. I was angry. I fought with everyone. I threw things. Two weeks this lasted. And then I was fine. Like nothing had happened. My own mind turning my body into a wreck because I stopped feeding it the feel good hormones.
So what is real? How are we any different from a machine that has been programmed? You might say we have consciousness. But what is that? Even our thoughts are driven by hormones. It’s all a big chase for getting high. The number of celebrities who end up as drug abusers and finally end up in a rehab is astonishing. Why is that? They have everything. Money, fame, fortune and fans who throw love at them from around the world. But that isn’t the answer to happiness. Jim Carey once said “May you all be as successful as your heart desires so that you realise that it isn’t the answer to finding happiness”. Happiness is dynamic. One that that makes you happy now may not make you happy later. One person who makes you happy now may drive you crazy later. Nothing is constant. Yes the regular ones preprogrammed are always there. Like being in a relationship, having a sense of belonging, physical contact with people etc.
So what’s real? If none of our feelings are real and are a mere bio-chemical reaction then true happiness doesn’t exist. Nothing exists. Nothing is real. And if nothing is real then if I have to fall from 30 feet today or die an old man aged 90, what bloody difference does it make?