Feeling Mad: Part 2

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by Ben Huot


You are now in the Writing Section

I learned philosophy, during this period. I then took many ideas from Philosophical Taoism and Christian Existentialism. These ideas help me deal with my mental illness.

One of the big ideas of Taoism is finding a way to deal with failure in life. I believed I had failed, because I was unable to complete both my schooling and my military service. Another concept from Taoism, that was helpful, was the idea of uselessness. This is where you realize you are safe, because you are not important enough to harm.

I have embraced skepticism, because I have lost trust in the government, as they have lost trust in us. I am surprised society has not collapsed yet and that gives me incredible joy. I have basically no expectations of anyone now.

One of the chief reasons for Taoism is to reduce the suffering you can and accept what is inevitable. I avoid suffering, by not taking needless risks, by not traveling or engaging in high adventure type activities. I am ok with my difficult situation, because many people deal with much worse problems.

Taoism also makes us doubt our confidence in what we think is real. We think the waking world is real and the dream world is not. Who are we to make such a distinction? I have adopted a kind of pacifism, because I cannot be sure of what I perceive as always being real.

Christian Existentialism teaches grave responsibility, with free choice, as the decisions you make are universal. Existentialism does not endorse the sacrifice of the few for the many. Existentialism is skeptical of any system used to explain people, because it is hard to predict outcomes, or do a fair analysis, when you reduce people to numbers.

Existentialism does not believe people can be objective, because only God can be. Kierkegaard believed people were closest to God shortly after they sinned.

He believed that we should pattern our Biblical ethics after romantic reasoning. We would rush out to help those we love, when they are in trouble. In the same way, we should do what we know the Bible says, that we know, before we endlessly debate what we cannot know.

Kierkegaard was a romantic and a man of action. He believed in taking time to enjoy life and our interactions with God. Camus felt similarly.

Camus called his philosophy Absurdism, because he believed there was no legitimate reason why there should be an increase in suffering, in the modern world. He famously made the analogy of a person or god being punished, in the underworld, by being forced to repeat the same task, over and over again. Camus imagined that he would be happy. Camus was very sarcastic.

Existentialism has inspired me, to make the most of my situation, be focusing on the things I can change. I do not see the need to a explain everything in life, or everything I do as well. Our situations can often appear hopeless, but maybe we should expect less of life.

I am not going to suffer myself anymore, for the good of some general idea. I am going to focus on getting closer to God and transform myself, by making better decisions in my life. I think people are always worth more than a good cause.

I believe the individual people I interact with are as important as what happens on a national scale. I say this as Jesus only impacted hundreds or thousands in His lifetime. Centuries later, billions are saved by Him as He multiplied His efforts over time. I can find purpose in life, even with my limitations, by being creative and working on a micro scale.