A CONVERSATION WITH AN EXISTENTIALIST DICKHEAD

Take a hike. No, really. I think it’ll be good for you.

“Hey man! What’s up?”

“Hey, take a hike!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you.”

“No, seriously. Take a hike. It’ll be good for you. The fresh air. Humans come and go, but nature is forever. Out there you find this stillness. You know, you can hear your own heart beat. It’s not like the heartbeat of the city. There you can hear the stillness of death. Where one’s own uniqueness becomes non-existent, making all life, and all nature for that matter, equal. Out there you can realize that every single individual has access to the grace and gifts of God, whatever God means to you. Rejuvenate the cathedral of the wilderness, and there, away from humanity, you can discover your own humanity.”

“So, I should take a hike then, huh?”

“Yeah, get out of town, man. Hit the road.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought we were having a conversation. I’ll leave you alone.”

“No, really. Get the fuck out of town. Get up, walk out that door and take a cab to the airport. Go join Americorps! Teach english to impoverished children in Sudan! Go DO something! Help people! There’s actually this amazing program offered by the UN. They organize volunteers all over the world. My sister did a stint there and came back a completely different person. It completely changed her perspective on life. I think it would be a really inspiring and fulfilling experience for you. Being confronted with the way of life outside your own tiny bubble, to actually see it face-to-face, how other people live. You realize that materialism has been predicated on the narcissism of small differences to achieve a superficial sense of one’s own uniqueness, an ersatz sense of otherness which is only a mask for underlying uniformity and sameness.”

“So, I should go out and see the world, then?”

“Get lost, man. Hit the road.”

“Ahh, now I see. Get lost. To get lost is to lose one’s way. To not truly hit the road, but rather to leave the path entirely. A clear view of one’s self must be a pre-requisite for understanding self-actualization, which is one’s realizing one’s own potential. In leaving the societally normative path, we can understand how we have built our vision and identity, or self, in context to, and framed by, social constructs. When we can become free from subjectivity and achieve a balanced view of our self, we can more easily measure our potentiality. Those who are immensely successful at realizing their potential are the only individuals who can truly hope to reach self-actualization. Is this what you mean?”

“No. Buzz off. Beat it. Scram. Vamoose! Make yourself scarce. Skedaddle. Get the fuck away from me! I am tired of talking to you! You’re exhausting me. Walk away from me, do not look back, and do not stop until you’re at home.”

“By home do you mean the metaphorical…”

“FUCK OFF!”

“I don’t find that to be fulfilling for me at this moment. I mean, I have tried many diff…”

“I’m leaving.”

“Well, good luck on your journey then, fellow traveler! Man, what a nice guy.”

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