The Existential Elephant In The Room

April 17, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

To live. That is the purpose of which our lives consist of. Yet to live in reality, amid facts, amid truths, amid the laws of nature and to understand them infallibly, and utterly. If I wished for a glass of water it would not appear in front of me, yet If I procured one through my own effort it would be materialized. That is the difference between the solipsism of fantasy, and the reality of the truth. That is the difference between idealism, which leads to human misery, and reality which leads to what is known to us as the best of our lives. Of course, when I speak of reality, I infallibly speak of Capitalism. 

The great big elephant in the room therefore is our own very existence, which follows us everywhere, some wish to follow it, while others cannot even conceive of its existence, yet reality hits us every time. It is there infallibly. Wittgenstein refered to it as a problem of language, and its lack of certainty, and to understand our own existence is undeniably connected to our inability to express ourselves appropriately. Some philosophers such as Aristotle believed that “A is A,” and nothing more. However much we wish that things were different, the truth is that they are not. Wishes do not materialize, whereas reality does completely. 

Yet there is a great deal more to living than just going through one’s existence and contemplating reality, it also involves molding reality within the constraints of nature to our own wish and our own power. To live fully and entirely, and to understand that philosophy can be in fact a great deal of fabulisms, when in fact it should not be our jobs to think of how we could wish for a cup of water, or how we could think of one, rather how to get up and actually get ourselves a cup of water. 

The ultimate point here therefore is that of action, rather than wishing for action. I will not improve my life by wishing for it, rather by doing it and taking the lead. Nathaniel Branden’s books are devoted to the idea that our ideas are irrecoverably connected to our sense of purpose, which comes from our careers, yet also our romantic lives. These two aspects however can only be molded by our own action, and not by the lack of it. 

Individuals find themselves with an elephant in the room that they choose to ignore, yet the ones that understand the elephant will begin to make it go away ever so slightly, usually by turning around and doing their work, or actually taking some sort of action in their lives. 

That is the ultimate purpose of philosophy: to understand our reality, as much as an Objectivist may at least. Everything else, is simple wishful thinking. The kind that Rand, and even Hitchens warned us about, yet the metaphorical, “existential” elephant is there, and the only way to get rid of him is to engage in one’s self-esteem, work, and to achieve under the freedoms presented to us by Capitalism.