I’m not sure I am making a lot of sense here, but I need to get my thoughts out somehow, even if they are somehow raw and messy.
What if the deepest value there is can only be created by overcoming bad stuff? Like, we fight to overcome some big fat challenge that turns our life to hell. We fight, we struggle, we bleed, we cry, we are tormented, we are driven to the brink of madness, we defy the dark forces that threaten the very fabric of our souls, we grow in battling forces about which we don’t know whether they can be defeated. And then we eventually win against all odds. Wow, that felt really good and meaningful. We just got loads of value from overcoming “bad stuff”.
But if that’s how we generate our deepest value, isn’t this “bad stuff” really necessary for us? How can we clearly distinguish between good and bad, when the bad is a necessary ingredient of the really good?
Ok, let’s say we don’t think about deep questions like that and go on defeating all the grim challenges we are faced one after the another. Ageing, poverty, diseases, wars, death, suffering, taxes, unfriendliness, bad weather, the light barrier, stupidity, lack of wisdom, and so on…
At the end of this process we will have turned into beings of nearly unlimited power and wisdom – in other words: gods. And then? Then we need to think about what creates the deepest value, because the challenges we have been faced with so far have all been won by us. At the pinnacle of our power and wisdom we might feel some kind of anticlimatic about having gotten rid of all the “bad stuff” that seemed to have given our lives a deep sense of meaning. So, what will we do?
We come up with illusionary bad stuff. In other words: We weave narratives and games that are about imaginary worlds in which “bad stuff” exists and in which imaginary characters struggle to defeat the “bad stuff”. So, the gods play games to give their existence deep (imaginary?) meaning again. The gods could play the characters themselves, or the characters act on their own. Those game worlds would be interesting and meaningful.
We could be in such a game world (without knowing it). We do the things the gods can’t do anymore: We struggle against “bad stuff”. The gods might even want to be us, or even become us. They might even envy us for our dramatic situation, our vitality, and the intensity of our predicament. They need us to give their own lives deep meaning. Otherwise, they would need to create actual “bad stuff” in their worlds again, and that would be kinda crazy. Like starting wars again just for the kick of it. Playing games is much safer and controllable.
So, will the gods play forever? Perhaps only maybe? Maybe the gods will find better ways to create deep value and meaning without relying on a dramatic requirement on “bad stuff”. Given that they are gods, this outcome seems even likely. But what if it is really the case that overcoming “bad stuff” is really the best thing there is?
If that was true, it might explain a lot. And if we accepted that fate, we might start becoming grateful for being faced with all this “bad stuff”, while at the same time working towards overcoming it – and eventually becoming gods in order to play forever…