A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist.
Humans, a primitive being gifted with unmeasurable cerebral capacities, skilled enough to survive and take over his environment, despite a negatively frustrating physical weakness compared to the animal kingdom’s ruthless capacities.
Empires, civilizations, kingdoms, warlords and godlike glories made human history. Made knights into kings, kings into gods, until the presumed god fades away… but then what’s a god to a non-believer.
To face the rising blasphemy that made humans thinks they are living among godlike divinities, a higher power (some would call it god, others mother nature, other ones just believes in it as a superior being) intervened to plead its supremacy over us, using religions and prophets through history. Maybe we became the center of the universe, maybe our virtue made us the ones who control our destiny and our choices, or maybe we were wrong about it….
And then a few hundred years ago, we became conscious and found ourselves In a strange place filled with other beings, we could eat some, some could eat us. And then humans could evolve into a supreme race, our intelligence became our arsenal.
The things we always thought of as impossibilities became facts and axioms, traditions and mores became heritages instead of ways of living, and standards became even more sophisticated and far from survival needs. We were finally confronted to the wonders of science.
The human brain was indeed so complex, it made us live in an illusion, a bubble that was ought to explode since the first time the idea of existentialism emerged.
Kierkegaard’s major works made The Danish philosopher the father of existentialism, as in a single day in 1843 he published no less than 3 works per day. He was not writing for the money; he was working to save himself, and, he thought humanity. And then came Albert Camus and Sartre’s Nausea to improve existential thoughts, until the thought became a reality and a whole stream of reflections.
At last, came optimistic nihilism. We learned that we were a temporary stage in history, that we were living in a medium stack of dirt illuminated and moving around a star, in a small part of an average galaxy, in a cosmos that we will never leave. We realized that if we were lucky to live one hundred years, we would have 5200 weeks at our disposal, and in our 25 years old only 3900 weeks would be left.
Many of us would stand powerless while confronted to these statements, but if the universe has no purpose, then we get to dictate what its purpose is without overthinking of what matters or what does not, we’ve got to become optimistic nihilists.