Rutherfor muses on the very nature of life, jobs and progeny
Something has been eating away at me for some time now, unsettling me,
causing me to toss and turn at night and in general getting under
my skin. I've been racking my brain for over a month now wondering
what it could be. Then last night after watching Blade Runner on video
for the countless time it came to me during the closing scenes, in
which, Batty the android close to death himself acquires a degree
of humanity and saves the life of his adversary.
Batty - "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe attack
ships on fire
off the shoulder of Orion, I watched sea beams glitter in the dark
Tan Hauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears
rain. Time to die".
Adversary - "I don't know why he saved my life, maybe in those
he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life anybody's
my life. All he wanted were the same answers the rest of us want.
Where do I
come from? Where am I going? How long have I got?"
It was upon hearing those words once again that I remembered amongst
many things I had to do this summer was write a piece relating to
' what is
your philosophy for life'.
For me it is like being asked to open Pandora's box, life is something
have struggled to make much sense of. In part this is due to the fact
have yet to reach an acceptance of what the brief period of time (life)
we have all been allotted is about. For as long as I can remember
always hated the notion of death, I clearly remember as a very young
waking up one night, running downstairs and alarming my parents with
news that they were going to die. The sudden realisation at that young
of our own mortality angered me as much as it did the androids in
Runner and has troubled me much of my life. Discovering that we are
better off than them I am often torn between wondering whether life
most precious of gifts or the sickest of jokes - as someone once said,
know one can die is to be dead already".
Although I haven't struck out on a course of vengeance against my
the androids did, it has led me to question his motives. If the price
life is knowing that it is finite then it is surely not meant to be
squandered. I often wonder what is the purpose of the journey that
all embarked upon. There must be some be some point to it, some skill,
knowledge, some thing that needs to be acquired en route. We all share
common origin and destination - birth and death - yet it is the journey
between these points that has the capacity for uniqueness and still
us conform to the nine-to-five hierarchical lifestyle.
Some would argue that life is a trans-generational journey. The journey
by the individual being less important in itself that the knowledge
wisdom acquired and then passed onto the next generation and then
and so on. Each generation learning from the previous but able to
world about them with fresh eyes and renewed wonder. Which is fine
can track this from afar and may even have a degree of validity, but
still leaves you wondering the purpose of the individual within this
on-going evolutionary process.
Are we duty bound, slaves in effect to our gene pool and meant to
tow the line. To work hard in order to accumulate financial wealth
so that we can pass it on to the next generation in the hope that
they will do the same until the line of ascent becomes solvent enough
to dispense with this tedious necessity. All the while longing for
fortune to bring in some ship not steered? Or can we travel a more
pleasant but less profitable route? Taking the long-term view I can
see that pursuing the traditional corporate route would benefit those
that are to follow me, however I am also certain that this would prove
to be a woefully dull life as far as I am concerned. Not having children
of my own yet but recognising that at some stage I might, I find myself
in somewhat of a quandary!
I find it extraordinary how accepting and forgiving we are of our
fate and the system we are born into. We spend our early years getting
an education, so that we can become valuable and productive members
of society. If we do well at school we are invited to apply to go
to university and plunge ourselves into debt in the process. We then
use the knowledge gained to get a job so that we can repay our student
loan. After a few years of working the next move is to get a house,
which necessitates getting a mortgage and saddles us with another
debt for the next 20 to 30 years and we think we're smarter than other
To a degree we are of course superior to most animals in so much that
have ' domesticated' them to conform to our needs, but essentially
we are no
different. An ant colony has a ruler / queen, workers and soldiers
our own society, they may even gain a degree of freedom via the tasks
fulfil, much as Dostoevsky theorised. - So where does that leave us?
true freedom would bring only chaos and it is only by imposing
self-restriction that real freedom is actually gained.
So where does that leave my philosophy, pretty much in-line with everyone
else's I guess. Firstly to find a job I actually enjoy doing. Secondly
have children and therefore continue the journey and finally hope
bugger to win the lottery, so that I can do the things in life that
for a living prohibits either because I don't have the time or simply
afford to pursue them.
© David Rutherford - Who is now alive and well and working
in the city
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