Existentialism (noun)

I take a class of kids, aged 14 to 16, teaching the physics of sound, and technical production.

I mention the word “existential”, as a personal joke.

One of the kids asks what that means.

And I reply.

So you know how our existence is futile? How we are in control of our actions, and we only find meaning within our own individual understanding of the universe? How our actions are our own, and despite pain and emotional agony it is an individual’s choice as to how they live their lives and strive through this, in order to find personal happiness?

What is the point? Each of us must find our own ideas within our freedom – still adhering to constructs of society, of course, because while our actions may have no ramifications in the greater scheme of things, we are still individuals in a working society and can still be punished (or not) by the community in which we live – and embrace this freedom, despite realising that good actions may not necessarily result in good results, especially in regards to an afterlife?

How religion is a way to sort through this mess, and find meaning – and while that is all well and good, you can be at ends with what you know to be true deep down, and perhaps, if we find no solace from our own actions, that death is the final and only way out?

Well that’s existentialism, kids. Now, let’s revise.

– Scott Sandwich

 

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