The Nihilist

Was just reading an interview with Chuck Palahniuk, in which he was talking about themes of identity in (American) literature, and discussing the reinvention of ones self.

Intriguing, and appealing. I wonder, however, how one manages to reinvent themselves without abandoning everything they have around them. I guess I am feeling somewhat akin to old Chuck at the moment. Nihilistic. Or maybe just bored.

There is this great notion of sacrifice, you know? It makes us stronger, it makes us better people, it brings us closer to “god” (whatever that is), it is the foundation of learning and spirtuality.

Does selfishness, and an abandonment of sacrifice therefore, mean someone is not a spiritual person, or does it make them plainly selfish? Do we learn lessons by ignoring opporunities to give up what we want in favour of someone else’s need, or remain stagnant? Does it make us “bad” people?

And do the answers to these questions remain the same if a person has never been a great sacrificial little lamb? How the fuck do you measure sacrifices against selfishness anyway? Oh he’s so fucking selfish. Oh he’s so generous. Oh nobody knows, where nobody goes, and nobody goes because that’s part of the sacrifice.

I’m beginning to confuse myself here.  Or maybe I’m just confusing everyone else with myself. Hmmm…

I like that, in case you haven’t noticed, that hmmm…


~ by Gethin A. Lynes on October 28th, 2007.

2 Responses to “The Nihilist”

  1. Great post.

    I think the best work on trying to find value in selfishness is Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness. Hers seems to be the way to argue in favor of selfishness, if that’s what one wants to do.

    And I think one of the best discussions of boredom is in Heidegger’s The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics (believe it or not.)

  2. I say: Take care of yourself, for you can’t rely on anyone else to do it for you. Likewise, give of yourself, for you can’t rely on anyone else to help those in need, either.

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