Dan Kang

Existence

I feel like I’ve woken up out of a dream and into a reality that is nothing more than a lucid dream. And the sensation is not to be attributed to any foreign chemicals or substances entering the body, but a slow realization that we’re alive and when we’ve developed enough to even realize what that means, we’re so used to it that we take it for granted. How utterly magical it is that we exist. To exist. To see things, touch things, taste things, smell things, hear things. To be able to command my fingers to press down on black keys that ultimately channel wordless thoughts into words on a screen. How fortunate we are. And yet, how alone I feel. Utterly, inevitably, hopelessly alone.

Acknowledging the entirely fickle nature of my existence raises similar feelings to when I was neck-deep in Christianity as a junior high student. In both, I am fully aware of the fact that my life here in this world is but a small blip in the universe’s timeline. I am but one man existing after and before billions more. There is a major difference between the two experiences, however: one is full of hope, and one is full of despair. Although I would rather be filled with hope, I would much rather embrace the truth.

And there is no more fear. Fear of pain, yes. I don’t think that will ever go away. But fear of failure, fear of humiliation, even fear of death – all those seem to fade away in the face of the it’s-but-a-passing-moment nature of life. Risks are easy. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Only when I forget just how temporary we are do those fears come rushing back.

But when I am fully aware, I am free. There is no more ego, no more need to protect a fragile self-image. There is nothing but the self, but one becomes selfless. Sometimes I read the words I write and think how it sounds like absolute nonsense and gibberish. And I hate nonsense and gibberish. But it’s what comes out.

It was definitely a moment. Not a slow realization over a period of time, but a sudden one. I think I was lying down in bed thinking about… whatever I think about when I’m lying down in bed. My future, maybe?

I can already feel myself going back to how things were. Forgetting the absurdity of it all, and taking this all for granted. I hope I never forget. My biggest fear is that I’ll look back on my writing, my thoughts, my realization a couple months – no, weeks – from now, and think “what the hell was I thinking?”

There was no special knowledge that was acquired, no hidden truth. Just a realization, an experience. And when I focus hard enough, I can bring myself back to the state I initially was in when I’m grateful for absolutely everything and feel so empowered and free. When I interact with others though, it all disappears. I want to talk to someone about it, but I don’t know who would understand. I know I sound crazy, and everything I would say would be things everyone already knows, but I don’t know whether they would really know. God, I sound mystical and elitist and crazy all at once. Human consciousness is a strange thing.