The existential conundrum at the root of my and Dan's life is that, in our recognition and full acceptance of the futility of existence, how do we motivate ourselves to do anything? How might we live a "fulfilling" life? And what does it matter if we do or not?
It has perhaps been the most concerning point in my adult life, (I shouldn't really speak for Dan but I have a hunch based on countless long Sunday afternoon discussions in his pickup, circling the Wisconsin countryside) as I've ambled aimlessly down no particular path and while it matters little to me, it certainly seems to go against the grain of polite society. And in any case, it breeds bad habits.
And so we are trying to find some sort of meaning, and maybe that's spiritual in nature, but I also feel like spirituality is linked to do doing, to creating. And I don't want to find this spirituality, as I guess I'm now calling it, because I'm afraid or trying to make sense of the incomprehensible fact of mortality, but as a means to live each day in earnest, because it feels right to.
For awhile Dan found comfort in the pursuance of excellence; that, while we are here, and like Camus says in The Myth of Sisyphus, probably not going to kill ourselves, we might as seek perfection in all that we do. But this feeling waned; what, still, is the point?
He introduced me to Eckhart Tolle, to The Power of Now. To centering oneself in the moment as life is but a constant present state of mind. The past nor the future exist, or rather, they are but figments of memory or imagination that have no bearing on the present, which is the only moment you are actually alive.
Mostly I find comfort in this, even in life's mundane moments when it's especially important to recognize truths of existence in order to not wither away from boredom. It amplifies these times, to meditate on the fact that happiness comes from within, from embracing whatever circumstances arise, from wu wei, or essentially non-action, not fighting against the present conditions, whatever they may be. And so embracing whatever happens, not creating a dichotomy of good and bad, allows us to exist in harmony with our surroundings.
And so this is what we strive for, and of course we fail often because it is hard and because we don't always try, and also because we've been restless in the past and ready to make something of ourselves, although there creeps in the past with all its mental trappings, and the ego with its desire to be recognized as having accomplished something.
This is circular, still, I understand - we don't have any answer to the question of why we do anything but alas, we are doing something, maybe to see what it feels like. And my recording of it I am viewing as an exercise in diligence and to create a pleasant routine by which I might pass the time, and not a sickening homage to my ego, which is how I rationalize backing away from other pursuits.
In ANY case, Dan and I are becoming homesteaders because it feels like a lovely way to lead an authentic existence and maybe brings us closer to our biological natures, where we must face a daily struggle to stay alive against the whims of Mother Nature. After all, we are only human.
Having for all our lives enjoyed the comfort of never having to guess where our next meal will come from or how we might stay warm or safe, it is perhaps in our personal best interest to understand these struggles more acutely, to have to work for our own survival.
We'd like to share our experiences here, to meet like-minded people, if they exist, odd ducks as we are, and have them share their experiences too, so that we may all benefit from advice and grow together (literally and figuratively!).
Welcome to Greener Pastures!