Nihilism I.

"Only God can save me now..."

At the lowest ebb of this most recent confrontation with Nihilism, or should I say, when the battle seemed most hopeless and victory seemed all but impossible, I truly thought it might be better to kill myself than to have to keep fighting against the black yawning abyss of the nothingness that does indeed lie just beyond everything we can think or do or dream and is the sole truth I have ever arrived in my unassisted reason. Fortunately for my soul, however, that which does still look forward to the day of its salvation – such a salvation that I have not to ability to bring about in my own strength but only He who has the power to bring anything about, especially those things most fleeting, ferocious and precious, and fortunately for those who do indeed love me (my wife, daughter, mother, sister, extended family, and a few choice companions I suppose) – I was graciously reminded above all of my cowardice to actually carry out such a willfully conclusive act as the intentional killing of my own self and, thus armed with this vital bit of self-knowledge, walked back from the proverbial ledge in favor of continuing my life of boredom, tedium, repetition, monotony, emasculation, and lonely isolation.

But such is the way of all men, especially those so condemned to languish in the unending decadence of the present. How is it then do I feel uniquely robbed of the thoughtless joys of life and forced therefore to live with the gloom of nihilism always looming on the other side of my vision, whether real or imagined?

For this, I have no answer. I do, however, know the answer that the world would compel me under threat of ridicule and condescension to confess, that I simply “look on the bright side”, “count my blessings”, and “forget my worries and woes”.

I am, alas, a man who – more than most if not every man who has ever lived – must have his life, thoughts, and every action he might undertake enthused, for better or worse, with sufficient purpose and meaning, yes, even of the transcendent and paradoxical kind. For if life and death and indeed the possible persistence of my own soul is not constantly on the line and their endurance or not suspended always in the balance before me, I say again, why bother doing or thinking anything at all?

If one can answer me, he is truly a god! Not merely a god among men, but a god among gods. In the glorious light of such a luminary, I will be the first to fall at his feet in worship. But he does not exist and truly cannot be on this earth. No, no one can answer me. No one under the sun can “help” me, or give me any lasting absolution, or even a sweet swig of water to slake my ever-parched thirst for the holy and worthy. No one can answer me nor can anyone contest the unassailable, hopeless claims of my flesh when it rears up in the agony and anguish in its war with Nihilism.

Only God can save me now, and He yet remains distant and paradoxical and impersonal as ever, as I suppose He always will, as He shall and even must. For He is God and I am a man. He is holy and I am defiled.

Nothing good dwells in my flesh, no not one thing. As I live “under the sun” I am the most wretched blasphemer and idolater contemporary times have ever birthed. I am not merely bad, I am evil, and revel in such depravity; depravity which is most poignantly expressed as a very direct and unambiguous hatred of God and the opacity of His ways and will. No amount of consolation and the denial of others can extricate the evil of my soul from its source, which, I suppose, is my heart, black, putrid, and vile as it is.