Meaning is Not Necessary
Postnihilism is a philosophical movement I've been working to articulate and define since 2019. The underpinning axiom of Postnihilism is this: meaning is not necessary.
More written material here: https://github.com/daveshap/Postnihilism
Definition of Nihilism
Postnihilism is a philosophical stance that challenges the traditional emphasis on grand cosmic meaning and purpose. It states that meaning is not necessary or intrinsic to life. Postnihilism values individual subjective experiences and struggles, embracing the transience and uniqueness of each moment. It encourages following intrinsic motivations and curiosity rather than extrinsic forces. Postnihilism does not deny that meaning can be found, but sees it as a secondary pursuit, not the supreme goal of existence. The central axiom of postnihilism is that meaning is not necessary. It focuses on the individual's journey rather than a universal narrative.
In summary, postnihilism moves beyond nihilism by letting go of the demand for overarching meaning and instead finding value in subjective lived experiences, appreciating each ephemeral moment, and pursuing intrinsic goals and motivations. It liberates the individual from the constraints of searching for objective cosmic purpose.
Embracing the ephemeral - appreciating transient moments as valuable in their own right
Following intrinsic motivations and curiosity
Rejecting the necessity of cosmic meaning or purpose
Valuing unique subjective experiences and struggles
Finding fulfillment in satisfying basic human needs and drives
Challenging transcendental narratives
Japanese concepts like wabi-sabi, ichigo ichi, Zen Buddhism - emphasis on transience, imperfection, letting go
Postmodernism - challenging metanarratives and assumptions
Thinkers like John Vervake, Friedrich Nietzsche
Maslow's hierarchy of needs and other frameworks of human motivation
Meaning is not necessary
Focus is on the individual's journey rather than a cosmic narrative
The universe itself has no intrinsic meaning
The demand for meaning may be an unnecessary cultural construct
Humans have intrinsic motivations and needs aside from finding meaning
We should let go of the expectation that life has a grand cosmic meaning
Subjective experiences and moments have value without appealing to a larger purpose
Finding subjective meaning is secondary, not the supreme goal of life
In summary, postnihilism integrates influences from postmodernism, Eastern philosophy, psychology, and anthropology to form a perspective centered on the individual, intrinsic motivations, the rejection of religious/cosmic metanarratives, and an embrace of the transient nature of existence.
Childhood abandonment - All people experience some degree of childhood trauma or neglect, which can damage their sense of self and worldview if left unaddressed.
Social abandonment - The emphasis on individualism and self-reliance in modern society leads to disconnection, isolation, and alienation from community. This crisis is exacerbated by technology like social media.
Cosmic abandonment - The rise of secularism and scientific understanding reveals a cold, indifferent universe with no apparent meaning. We feel existentially isolated.
Self-abandonment - The overwhelming despair, futility, and fatalism that arises from the confluence of childhood, social, and cosmic abandonment. This manifests in self-harm, addiction, loss of self-care and compassion.
In essence, the nihilistic crisis stems from abandonment at all levels - personal, societal, and cosmic. This abandons the individual to their own devices in trying to find meaning and purpose without traditional religious/cultural narratives to hold onto. The result is an existential crisis, confusion, and despair at the apparent meaninglessness of existence.
Postnihilism attempts to provide an alternative philosophical stance to move constructively beyond this nihilistic crisis, letting go of the need for cosmic meaning and focusing instead on subjective meaning, intrinsic motivations, and appreciation for the transient present moment.