In 1995, I remember the hype around the release of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. At the time The Smashing Pumpkins were the biggest band in the world. The album was audacious. A double CD – my new vinyl reissue is over 4 pieces of black vinyl – spanning a wide array of songs, feelings, and space in between.
There was one song on the album with the title Here Is No Why. Billy Corgan is renowned for cryptic song titles. This is no exception. Finally, I think I know what that title means. And that in itself is quite ironic.
I am developing a new hypothesis regarding the human condition – specifically our need for explanation and reason. We cause ourselves significant suffering in our need to understand why. But if I’m right, and Billy is too: Here Is No Why.
We live in a world that is ambivalent. It doesn’t care a whit about us. Were the human race to vanish, this world could still continue.
There is no rhyme or reason in nature. It is simply a system of happenings. Things happen. These things are neither good or bad. These things have no intent. They are just happenings.
Most people find the very purposelessness of nature disconcerting. Without a meaning they cannot grasp it. And in seeking to grasp it, define it, study it, and understand, they miss what it essentially is. What does understanding nature get us? It’s a big question worth pondering.
All these happenings around us – and even in us – are neither good nor bad. Our definitions just don’t have meaning where purpose cannot be defined. The truth of happenings is true whether we look at the macro or the micro.
Microbes, viruses, diseases, infections – none are hostile toward you. They have no aim. There is no why. They just are.
When someone disagrees with us, or we have an argument with a loved one, or we miss out on a promotion. We wonder why. We agonise over it. Yet maybe that situation was just a happening. Maybe the other party went with an unexplained feeling. Just another happening.
In our desire to find reason we expend so much energy, and to what end. Does it really benefit us? Do we really need a reason?
This desire of ours perverts everything. Think about reading a book. How often do you just want to finish it. That’s the reason for the activity. Yet it is an activity that needs no reason. Like dancing, why do we dance? We dance because we dance.
Living is like dancing. The meaning of dancing is to dance. The meaning of life is to live. We don’t need a why.