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The bad stuff is much more reliable than the good. It has more certainty about it in the same way that it is easier to destroy than create, in the same way that eventually everything dies. Dying is such a certainty that we prefer not to think about it and live our lives like it will not happen. Death is not an event in life as Wittgenstein cleverly stated. Good things are less predictable and rare by comparison, happiness so fleeting that you often don’t notice it until it’s gone.

But there is something curiously wonderful in the fact that death wins eventually; that ultimately the sun will burn out and take the Earth with it; that even the universe itself will reach heat-death so that almost nothing can exist in it. It may even condense back to nothing. It will have come from nothing and gone back to nothing. Nothing is the default.

We should appreciate this because in a way it makes the stuff of life all the more interesting. We are dead far longer than we are alive. The pre/post living period is a virtual eternity. It is precisely that if nothing else which makes the tiny bit in the middle where we find ourselves all the more incredible. That there could have been anything at all existing at any point, and even more so to be conscious of that existence as we are, is itself phenomenal.

Whether existence is pre-ordained by some transcendent entity or simply the result of a series of blindly random facts, it's incredible either way and something to rejoice in even if one’s time is short - especially if one’s time is short.

that anything has existed at all is the phenomenon



philosophy • 23.01.03