I would describe myself as an agnostic atheist. So I lack a belief in a god or anything like that. It doesn’t play any role in my life. But I don’t claim to be sure that there isn’t a god. But, for me, the idea that there was a big bang, and then a universe and it expands, and then there are humans, and then no humans and that’s it – that to me is absurd; even more absurd than all the religious stories, all the creation stories. It might be true, but it’s absurd.
I do believe that things matter. In a very abstract way. I do believe that it matters when I do a good thing. But that’s based on this abstract notion of the observers, or the audience. You know, as with a TV show? I don’t know what the audience is but somehow I think of there being viewers. It’s just a feeling. It doesn’t have any rational reasoning behind it!
Lots of aspects of different religions interest me. I’m not an expert but I’m interested in Christian kindness and compassion…I like the Buddhist idea of – I mean this is a stereotype but – the removal of material desires…
I have this really weird thought that when I die, I’ll get to feel on the effects my actions have had on other people. Like let’s say I do a good thing, I’ll view myself from another person’s perspective and I feel what the person feels. And if I do a bad thing, say something like I cut someone off in traffic, I go to that person’s perspective and feel annoyed. And then at times I’ll be a little rude to someone and I think from their perspective, and I think, “yeah actually, that’s not such a big deal, I can deal with that.”
Now of course if you ask me, is that really going to happen? Will I feel all these things on my deathbed? No, of course not. But it’s a nice thought. And it helps you live a better life. It makes altruism egoistic. If you’re mean to someone you’ll end up feeling that too…in the afterlife.
I think I come across as pretty positive and cheery. But what people might not realise is I struggle with dark feelings about the tragedy of the world – that everything’s decaying and dying! I don’t want kids because I’m not sure life is a gift I want to pass on, or if I want to be responsible for putting a life in this world. That’s the same with my Dad, the same with my Grandfather. Life of the party but there’s another side to you.
What I’ve been struggling with my whole life is derealization – the feeling that the world isn’t real. It’s like looking at a table and realizing that it’s not what it seems. It’s a response to anxiety and stress. Your brain disassociates from reality.
You have normal life with your job and your possessions and your friends and it’s all really normal…but it’s also really fucking weird, right? What is this reality? This life? This absurdity of life. It’s like “okay, we’re on a rock, floating through space…why is this happening?!” Without everybody screaming, you know? And sometimes you can push it away, but if you think about it too much…like I did technical studies and I felt the further I went into theoretical physics, the more I’d have it all figured out. But I realized in the end, the more you dig, the more questions pop up.