“It is not necessary for a man to be actively bad in order to make a failure in life; simple inaction will accomplish it. Nature has everywhere written her protest against idleness; everything which ceases to struggle, which remains inactive, rapidly deteriorates. It is the struggle toward an ideal, the constant effort to get higher and further, which develops man-hood and character.” - James Terry White

I was immersed in a weighty discussion with a good friend of mine the other day; as they often do, it evolved into criticism of certain western cultural movements, ideologies, and philosophies that have deep potential to either crucify or create order in the world.

It inspired me to meditate on the very utility of our words, and the meaning we give to those words: what it meant to sit with another man that I respect and investigate the honesty of our thinking, to evaluate whether our ideas are good ideas or bad ideas, to scrutinize and deconstruct our assessment of how things ought to be. We dug to the root of our cognitions with the intention to confirm whether or not they actually belong to us, or perhaps, were merely superficial understandings of someone else’s finely-tuned speculation.

Whether we came to a consensus or not, what I understood from this dialogue was that we were both on the same pilgrimage; a struggle towards an ideal. The path that creates order out of chaos.

You need structure (order) for anything to exist at all. By creating order out of chaos is to manifest something meaningful. Which is why I think our society is in such chaos. We are deconstructing god, morality, gender etc. and dispensing with the transcendental principles so there is nothing left to be contended with. If everything is meaningless then why not fuck it all? It is apparent that we need to come in contact with chaos (the undiscovered) so we can uncover our hidden and infinite potential - or at least, create enough order to be able to stand on solid ground so that life isn’t simply catastrophic misery.

This is the fundamental meaning of life. To me, it is what it means to “be” a man - putting yourself in order - the constant effort to get higher and further. There is no relief in excusing yourself from bearing the weight of your own suffering. But, there is honour in mastering one’s self so that a man may not be a burden to others. And if he is a strong man, perhaps he has developed his character in a way that he is capable of tolerating himself.

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