Monday, October 27, 2008

What is a Perky Nihilist?

Before you start reading, who knows what Brad Pitt has to do with todays blog post? Anyone?

The question has come up far too often now to not address it publicly so here I go - my reasoning behind the handle Perky Nihilist. In case you're short on time, yes, I am a Christian and believe in God. No, my philosophical views do not conflict too sharply with my spiritual views. The end.

Now for the long version~

As a Christian, I reject the aspects of nihilism that believe in the absence of absolutes; I very much accept as true the disillusionment that can occur when you search for meaning while living in our modern, consumerist, unbalanced culture. And really, who can separate their beliefs, values and "truth" from the society, culture and environment they are living in?

But the Bible is truth...

Yes, it is. But when studying the bible the first thing you must determine is who was talking? Where were they? What was going on at the time? What issues were they/the church facing? So even the bible is, on some level, truth that cannot be fully excised from the culture it was written in.

I have some serious health problems and have weathered more than my fair share of hardship, injustice and loss. If everything means something and bad times and good are personal and more than just the symptoms of life then I don't know how I would manage. I believe that good times come and sometimes you feel so blessed that your happiness is like a light glowing around you - too powerful to ever let the darkness in. But the darkness comes along despite your imagined security. At other times life hurts so bad that you can't find the strength or even the will to lift your head off your pillow. You just want to lie still and pretend you don't exist. But you carry on and someday down the road you are happy again. It can't all mean something. Good and bad come and go as constant as the seasons. As they say, sometimes you're the dog, sometimes your the fire hydrant. For reasons I haven't fully explored, this makes me happy. Genuinely, to the bone happy. The meaninglessness I perceive in all the suffering comforts me and helps me smile and joyfully carry on regardless of circumstance. It's not personal. It doesn't mean anything. It's not for a Greater Good. It's just life. Plain and simple. And if I'm going to keep living it then I need to suck it up and carry on.

I think heaven will be wonderful and in regards to my time there I am incredibly optimistic. This part though, life here and now, it can be impossibly tough. So I choose to not be like Habbakuk, asking, "How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not save?" (Habakkuk 1:1) but more like James who said, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, whenever you face trials of many kinds." (James 1:2)

So there you have it, a perky nihilist.

Fight Club is a book that best put into words the way I feel. Here is a one minute video that I think does a good job taking a jab at modern culture. Warning: at the end of the segment the man uses the word "pornography" and at the beginning he is sitting on the toilet reading a catalog - you can see the side of his leg. If this will offend you then don't click play.


Laura O'Donnell said...

Hi Nicole, I have to admit I never questioned your handle b/c I actually didn't know what a nihilist was. I know perky, though, and you're definitely perky! Your post makes sense and I can identify with what you're saying. Sorry to hear about your health problems. I know its hard to run around with kids when you're not on top of your game.

Anyway, I came over to tell you that I cleaned my toilet with the handtowel last night.

Laura O'Donnell said...

About the handdtowel - it was quick and easy! And I did it at night after I put my kids to bed. I saw the dirty towel and decided to put a load of wash in, and then I remembered to clean the toilet with it first! It only took a few minutes and was 1 less thing I had to do the next day.

Sassy Pam said...

What a great explaination. Love the references.