Considering the fact that this is something I think about on a regular basis, I think this is a brilliant question. I walk through my life so concerned about all the mistakes I might make, all the things people might think about me. I make decisions based on external reactions over my own ideals and dreams and then feel angry at the external stimulus. As though it is the very thing that controls me. What?!

I don’t even know if you exist? What the heck?

After seeing my dear friend John Glover in “Waiting for Godot” I kept thinking that it seems as thought the common fear and quest of most people is that we are ultimately alone and there may not, in fact, be any real point in our existence, if we do actually exist which we can never really prove.

Ok, so then why anything?

The answer for me is: I really don’t know, but there is something beautiful about the enigmatic structure of our own experience. And if I can train myself to look at my life as one big experiment, the consequences and the failures as simply a check list for what does and doesn’t work depending on my hypothesis and the result, I think I would spend way less time stressing and way more time building.

So often I spring out of the gate with an idea, get some information back that is not what I expected and then simply shut down. I am sure you all have been witness to several of these impulse ideas… depending on how long you have been around. Which brings me to my next point.

I don’t know if you exist, or if I exist, or if this train I am riding on, with my friend, as I write this, is actually something true and tangible, The only thing that I do know is the experience I am having in this moment.

I know my leg is sticking to the seat. I know my friend who is staring out of the window is looking beautiful in her blue sweater. I know that I will bail on myself, but I wont bail on the people I love. I know I have too many pride issues, too much respect for the people I have been working with lately, to run away from my dreams and ideas if the data goes against my hypothesis.

And so, I know the virtual human team with no actual proof of existence is a gift. Because whether or not I know for sure if this is some big game or not, I know I am enriched and enlivened in my own mind and body because of the life I have lived. And the more teams I join with people I love, the more experiences I have the courage to sit through. The more boundaries I will test, the harder I will push.

So why? What’s the point?

Well, why not?

If this is just dream within a dream, I am going to do everything within my power to make it a damn good one. And since I lack the strength to push through on my own, I will look to my team-mates to nudge me with their valiant life choices and examples.

We inspire each other. Whether here or not, we effect each other.

This is a beautiful, hypothetical existence, and I want to go hard while I can.

Allendh, I hope that answers the question.

What do you all think?

Xo
a

Add yours Comments – 84

  • Hammad

    on May 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    If we live by the assumption that we cannot prove the existence of anything, then anything is possible. An assumption about control is simply one of those things. Ultimately, every belief we hold is at some level of faith, dependent upon the reliability of our senses, whether physical or through some other means. However, it is not necessary or even worthwhile to assume that everyone else outside of myself doesn’t really exist to further solidify the case that I have total control over my actions, i.e. that I have free will. Have you watched the movie “The Matrix”? Everyone except a select few literally were living in a dream world. Any belief that they held was a concoction of “The Matrix”, even if the belief they held was they weren’t actually living in the real world while they were in “The Matrix”, which actually was actually true within the objective reality of the “real world”. That is why solipsism is faulty. No real conclusion about an objective reality can be determined because how does one know when the dream stops and reality begins?

    And I didn’t say that questioning “what’s the point” was nihilistic, I said hold a view that maintains “what’s the point” leading to a “why not” is dangerous. If I believe everything is a just a dream, if I want to kill you, I could just rationalize to myself, you’re not real anyways. You’re just a figment of my imagination, and I don’t want you in it anymore.

  • Ric H.

    on May 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Allison, we all have unique backgrounds and experiences that we bring to each new or familiar situtation we encounter. Many years ago I realised that some people do not look even a moment beyond the here and now, and pretty much live in a defective way. True, they are the extremes, and from their attitude to the several Benificents life and history have sent our way, there is every shade of disfunction and self-actualization in between. So don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as you ‘hypothesied.’ with that as a given, my suggestion is to follow either the teaching of Confuscious, “Don’t do unto others what you would not want done unto you.” Or the “Golden Rule” which suggests a more positive and proactive role, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Always remember that some don’t want to be helped, and others want to do as much harm as they think they can get away with. So carrying a .45 at all times might serve as a good stop gap! LOL!

    Seriously though, you probably do not realize how many people truly want to care about you, me, and so many others, but we are all to some degree shy in that respect, expressing our caring for each other. After all, the Benificents are usually killed rather unceremoniously, because those who seek power are scared to death by anything remotely close to an “awakened” soul.

    Here is a related post from my My Space that may seem rather ethereal, or suggest something esoteric, but I believe one can accomplish very much for self and others by listening to the “small voice” that isn’t even made of spoken words when dealing with others.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008
    Alive!!!
    Category: Life
    Some feel like they will live forever… but they are usually the young thinking they have all the time in the world.

    Some believe they will receive Eternal Life at some point in the future… but how can you be Eternal if you have not been Eternal?

    I believe that the spirit lives on forever, and has already done so. So we should each treat each other as Sacred creatures, with courtesy, kindness, and respect so that no-one’s dignity is sacrificed and the Will of God can finally Be Fulfilled.

    Some fools live as if the most perilous thing in this world is to become a victim, so they all to often victimize others. I say that the most perilous thing in this world is to interfere with the Will of God for any one of us. Remember, The Lord Breathes Life into each and every one of us, for reasons only The Lord fully Understands.

    Be Sacred, and Be Blessed… Forever!

    LOVE,

    Ric H.

  • Beth

    on May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Regardless of whether my life is real and I actually exist, I believe I’m here living it and to me that’s better than not existing and believing at all. If it’s all just a dream then I’ll make it a good one, if it’s real then that’s great too.

  • Tabby Chapman

    on May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    @Hammad. Right I agree to some extend. “what’s the point” and “why not” are not really connected. Unless you’re trying to look at both sides of the coin in order to make an objective decision.

  • Tabby Chapman

    on May 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    @Hammad. Right I agree to some extend. “what’s the point” and “why not” are not really connected. Unless you’re trying to look at both sides of the coin in order to make an objective decision.

  • arash

    on May 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I just reported Tabby for double-posting!

  • arash

    on May 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    This is a video of David and Gnome last halloween dressed as Allison and Tabby trying to prove their existance;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Z9y5Pe7I8

  • Jade Ruby

    on May 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Posted by Allison Mack:
    ***Considering the fact that this is something I think about on a regular basis, I think this is a brilliant question. I walk through my life so concerned about all the mistakes I might make, all the things people might think about me. I make decisions based on external reactions over my own ideals and dreams and then feel angry at the external stimulus. As though it is the very thing that controls me. What?! ***

    The way I feel is as if no matter what I do, it isn’t going to be the right thing, no matter what I’ve *done*– it isn’t the right thing. I now accept that my own preferences are different from others, but some seem to think that I *have* to choose their preferences, because it simply is their preference. There is interaction if-and-only-if I choose their preference. When I accept that, and move on with my own preference, they get angry at me. I’m like, I don’t want to do it that way, and they’re like– you *must* do it this way or we won’t interact at all! Then when I say ok fine, bye– They’re like *WAIT* you *have*to* do it this way! I’m still like—yeahright! So I get annoyed, and they continue to remain angry. Why is it my fault they don’t want to change, after I accept that I want something different?

    ***I don’t even know if you exist? What the heck? ***

    Well I know that I exist.

    ***After seeing my dear friend John Glover in “Waiting for Godot” I kept thinking that it seems as [though] the common fear and quest of most people is that we are ultimately alone and there may not, in fact, be any real point in our existence, if we do actually exist which we can never really prove. ***

    This is the thing about life on other planets. If there is interstellar travel, I highly doubt that the speed of light will be conquered by a physical vehicle. That leaves 1) inter-generational ships and 2) FTL communication only. Until then this planet is what we have.
    Oh gee, is it really up to each of us, as existing, to find our purpose?

    ***Ok, so then why anything? ***

    We are to say that the light shows us the possibilities. In the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth says:
    14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16, KJV)

    This is just the tip of the iceberg when delving into questions of existence, with or without our modern information.

    ***The answer for me is: I really don’t know, but there is something beautiful about the enigmatic structure of our own experience. And if I can train myself to look at my life as one big experiment, the consequences and the failures as simply a check list for what does and doesn’t work depending on my hypothesis and the result, I think I would spend way less time stressing and way more time building. ***

    Building and recycling.

    ***If this is just dream within a dream, I am going to do everything within my power to make it a damn good one. And since I lack the strength to push through on my own, I will look to my team-mates to nudge me with their valiant life choices and examples.
    We inspire each other. Whether here or not, we [affect] each other.
    This is a beautiful, hypothetical existence, and I want to go hard while I can. ***

    What inspiration for us all, thanks.

  • Adam Walker

    on May 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    We exist in this brief moment in time only to exist to the next moment. We are here for the sole purpose to serve one another and to assist each through this phase of our existence. Sometimes I wish my life was a dream especially when reality becomes too much, but I know that I will be comforted and encouraged to keep moving and finish this race.

  • Tabby Chapman

    on May 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    LOL arash. Too funny. At least we know the report tool is working! I got the report in at dinner and was laughing that my own post got reported!

  • David Hayes

    on May 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Row, row, row your boat …

  • Beth

    on May 4, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    That’s good, David.
    That’s funny.
    I like it.

  • BOUROUX

    on May 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Hi Allison.
    Your response was truly honest and amazing.
    Your analysis of your existence, your strengths and weaknesses is really inspiring and refreshing. Your comments fill me with joy and hope.
    May your dreams become reality.
    You are amazing.
    tanks for sharing with us your dreams.
    Good night

    Claude.

  • Joe

    on May 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    mmmmmm….
    so.. basically.. if I understand you right.. your answer is…”it doesn’t matter whether our existence is real or not…
    because real or not.. you can “experience” / “feel” your own existence, and the beauty of this life.. so you’re just going to try to make the best out of this life…”

    And you ask, what is the point of making the best of your life/existence? why do that?

    And I think your reason again is,
    “Because I can make this life the best it can be, etc.”

    (Of course your answer is so much more beautiful than my poor summary)

    I love the way you describe things,
    but somehow I feel …..you still haven’t answered the question “why” and “what is the point” here. 🙂

    It’s kinda circular reasoning (sorry to be anal Joe):

    “I can make it good- why- because I can it good”

    So May be the purpose is not important…
    or is it?

    so again I ask, what do you want to get from “do everything within (your) power to make (this life) a damn good one” ?

    And if there is a “damn good” life for you 🙂 what would it look like, feel like, be like?

    anyway, those the questions I have been asking myself too and I found “first level” answer for myself 🙂 and already made a huge difference to allow me to go on new levels of exploration..

    great questions / topic for discussion 🙂
    thanks for sharing..

  • Silvia

    on May 5, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Hi Allison,

    I was fascinated when I read this part: “I walk through my life so concerned about all the mistakes I might make, all the things people might think about me. I make decisions based on external reactions over my own ideals and dreams and then feel angry at the external stimulus. As though it is the very thing that controls me.”

    – I managed to free myself of such things as far as possible and I have to admit that this was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Besides I never consciously cared about such things because I saw the destructive nature of these aspects. So I fixed that. Yet, I sill have such thoughts sometimes, but strangely enough only in retrospect… That’s weird!

    About our existence…
    Well, I guess I experienced too much to ask this question again. A dream within a dream… when I read your posting I thought about the movie “the 13th floor”. This puts a new prospective to the whole thing… rather a nightmare actually. However, I believe in our existence. I wouldn’t say that this was the ultimate proof, but I think pain and death show that we exist. Have you ever hold the hand of a dying family member or friend? It’s somehow so surreal in those minutes you see the time running out. The shock of your lost keeps you from realising at first, but then the pain arrives, the next morning comes and you start to realise that this is all real. The lost is real and it really hurts. An other example is physical pain. Have you ever had so much pain that you thought the pain alone would kill you? I did and I know others who experienced this as well. So I come to conclusion that if we do not exist, there would be no pain and no death. Something that does not exist does not come to an end because it’s just an illusion. My opinion.

    Enjoy your experiences, crazy chick! 😉 I hope yours will be better than mine.

    xo
    Silvia

  • The Friday Philosopher!

    on May 5, 2009 at 5:03 am

    “If this is just a dream within a dream, I am going to do everything within my power to make it a damn good one. And since I lack the strength to push through on my own, I will look to my team-mates to nudge me with their valiant life choices and examples.”

    This is beautiful, I have yet to come across a better description of the way I understand life.

    None of us truly know if anybody really exists, I talk to hundreds of people on a daily basis and most of them don’t even know my real name! They, and indeed, even I have no way of knowing if the world around us is real or a dream, and if it is a dream, we should ask ourselves, do we want it to be an enjoyable dream, or do we want it to be a nightmare?

    Sadly there are people in this world living the nightmare because they refuse to look or feel that they can’t look to others for guidance. I once felt the same way, and this only changed when someone else pointed out the flaws in my self pity. Even though I already had my suspicions, it is nice to finally discover that I am not the only one who has pondered over life as a dream!

    I just hope that your words inspire others to fight for the dream over the nightmare!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Friday

  • James

    on May 5, 2009 at 5:08 am

    @Tabby, I guess I’m just a nihilist when it comes to the nihilistic assumption that our existance means nothing. I just can’t see the rapture in that that others do.

  • Gnome

    on May 5, 2009 at 5:18 am

    David and Arash,

    Since I didn’t get my pinch can I presume that I don’t exist or should I presume that you two don’t exist?

  • Becky W

    on May 5, 2009 at 5:59 am

    “We inspire each other. Whether here or not, we effect each other.”

    … How true this is. In fact by me reading your blog, it did inspire me in a way, in turn it effected me. (LOL. Not infected, though it did infect me with a spark of insight.)

    How strange it is that a person from across the world can affect another person, having never seen them, but by sharing with the world a mere thought wrote down on a piece of paper, or typed out on a screen. You can effect or infect so many people. 🙂

    And in by reading this, it would in turn effect you in some way to know that others are thinking and rationalizing, by the gentle nudge of your thoughts or someone elses thoughts wrote down or typed as information that others all around the world will read.

    This gives the whole “give a penny for your thoughts” a different meaning…

    Thanks for Sharing!

  • RUPena

    on May 5, 2009 at 7:00 am

    WOW!! Never before have I found someone that has thought the very same on this subject. Now there are so many in comments that I can associate with. I have always thought, since I was a little child, that none of us really exist. That we are simply someone else’s dream. Still to this day my simple mind doesn’t understand how things we take for granted work. Things like the radio, or the internet, or television. They all just work and we all believe that there where a team of intelligent people that made it so…. But what if it wasn’t a team? What if we are in someone’s dream? and in dreams anything is possible.

  • David Hayes

    on May 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Gnome, The true meaning of “machu pinchu” is “must I pinch you?”

  • Gnome

    on May 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Dear Davis………

    That makes so much more sense now….
    Im going back there in June, maybe I get some bruises this time…

  • Karen

    on May 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Brilliantly said! As my favorite band Superchick sings, “Stand Up! Write the soundtrack for your life. Life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. You’re a light on a hill meant to shine so bright!”

    Seriously, all we can do is try and try our best. It’s the trying and the doing that will make us have that fulfillment come the end.

    Excellent post!

  • paul

    on May 6, 2009 at 9:37 am

    “So why? What’s the point?”

    The point of Existentialism, I always thought, is that existing is enough. At least, it’s all we’re gonna get…

    I came across this interesting passage in Homer’s Odyssey:

    “And the ghost of Atrides Agamemnon answered, ‘Son of Peleus, great godlike Achilles! Happy man, you died on the fields of Troy, a world away from home, and the best of Argive and Trojan champions died around you, fighting for your corpse. And you… there you lay in the whirling dust, overpowered in all your power”

    To the ancients, it seems, the point was renown, to live on in men’s minds and in song for great things accomplished. But it seems it was small consolation:

    “‘Time was, when you were alive, we Argives honored you as a god, and now down here, I see, you lord it over the dead in all your power. So grieve no more at dying, great Achilles.'”

    “I reassured the ghost, but he broke out, protesting, ‘No winning words about death to my, shining Odysseus! By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man– some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive– than rule down here over all the breathless dead.'”

    So maybe the point is… more! More life!

  • J

    on May 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    One of the beautiful things about being human is that no matter what a thing is, we can always make it something else. We can make meaning. We can take something negative and make it positive. We can face our fears and turn them into triumphs. The possibilities are endless. “What is” matters less than “What Can Be”.

  • Amanda N.

    on May 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    The universe is a grand thing.It is so huge and vast.And on earth alone there are billions of humans.I always wonder how does one make theirself signicant with all the billions of others in the world.I think it is with our family and friends were we find our existense to hold somthing of importance.It is nice to meet a stanger and leave a good taste in their mouth though,if you know what I mean.The questions of “what is our purpose” or “why are we here”,will always remain in the deep recesses of our mind.I’m not sure if we’ll ever find out while we are living.Most likely not,it would have to be when we die and leave this planet.I do like that we can choose for the most part how our destiny plays out,I think that very much deals with a great part of our existense as humans.

  • Dennie D.

    on May 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    when I was younger I questioned everything about life…
    the main question was:” is there more to life than we can see?”
    my answer was: there’s gotta be more…

    if you stop and stare to life itself we have to start with, is there really life in this world and if we live, how do we know it…
    I live cuz I think but do we really think..

    to conclude my conclusion: if you’re asking things about life or life itself, you’re ending up with more questions than with the one you’ve started.

    “If this is just dream within a dream, I am going to do everything within my power to make it a damn good one!”

    just make the best of it….

  • Ana

    on May 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Well as a writer I tend to think that we are all characters on the big book of life (written by God for the beleivers and/or the universe and/or life for the nonbelievers) sometimes in our life we play comedy, sometimes drama, sometimes we are just inspirational or self help characters so all of us have our places wether as leads or supporting characters.
    The only think we really need to make sure is to be entertaining because when we are not we just disapear from the plot! So yeah we are as real as any character ever is, IMO.

  • kEVIN

    on May 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Allison,
    Cliches run amuck when blinking philosophy stares. The bard once said dreamers often lie. Metaphysical thoughts, sarcastic rants, and pure, honest curosity are apart of this life. Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, is the Way, The Truth, and The Life. If anyone truly is interested in this train of thought, check out my site. Cool work on Smallville by the way. Take care all.

  • appleonahill

    on May 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

    well, i dont know what to think about life anymore. i have been thinking about this kind of stuff for quite a while now, and even though i am a christian, i still have trouble sometimes asking myself “What’s the point?”

    But you bring up a good point that i guess i just kind of been “skipping over” if it IS “just a dream within a dream” then:WHY? but then again: WHY NOT make it a good one.

  • Kasey

    on May 11, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I also saw Waiting for Godot. John Glover was absolutely astounding in it. I am so impressed by his acting range (going from someone like Lionel Luthor to Lucky is fantastic).
    I’m glad you wrote this- explaining how you understood the show. It’s such a transcendental thing- really hard to grasp and can have so many different meanings.

  • tn_tank

    on July 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    that’s very interesting… but again, yeah
    thanks for sharing 🙂

  • luzaleja

    on January 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    This is something I ask myself a lot too… Once i read… somewhere… that life is like a play… and what you want to do… is to live it, to experience all you can, to learn everything you can, to enjoy it… just before the play is over… thats what i want to do… thats what i tell myself when i ask that question… because i should not care if i exist or not… if its just a dream… like u said… it shall be the best one… if its not… then it is even more worth living… why not?!
    🙂

  • victory20112011

    on May 21, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Wow! I’ve been meaning to comment for sometime. I just mainly have remained silent and happily read your blog over the years. I just think that it is time to say something. I know you wrote this a while back, but I know where you are coming from girl! I too am really hard on myself. The main pressure in my life comes from the expectations that I have for myself. I’ve been around for the shutdowns and I have been there myself, Allison.

    This spring has really tried my soul! It is hard to remain positive at times you know what I mean. It seems like when I take a step forward, I just miss that anvil by the slightest touch. I don’t know if it’s karma, test or trials of our creator, but man it gets difficult at times.

    Then I have to get some perspective. I have a home, it was not distressed in a recent tornado here in STL or in the recent southern disasters. I have a new beautiful newborn baby boy who was born 7 weeks ago with a healthy set of lungs (especially @ 11:30 pm!) and everything else! I have a great family and some great friends too. THESE are the things I have to grasp for and quickly search for when I feel like things are becoming overwhelming and sucky.

    Totally felt like you tapped into my mind and my own thoughts of existence here. You have a friend who exists here in the Midwest for sure. My thoughts and prayers are always with ya!