Monday, September 12, 2011

Contemplating My Possible Worthlessness And Immortality

I am worth no money, but I must be worth something. What is not worth money?

I will start with a process of elimination.

If time is indeed money, then I can reasonably conclude that I am not worth time. I can also conclude that I am not worth the price of admission, since "the price of admission" implies a "price," and a "price" implies a cost, and the very idea of "the price of admission" implies some exchange of money.

Just as assuredly can I conclude that I am not worth my weight in gold, as gold is a universal standard of monetary value.

Is there, then, anything at all that I could be worth, given that the concept of worth is now inextricably tied to value, and value to some price tag? A price tag is, of course, the amount one is expected to pay for an item, and the amount one is expected to pay for something is generally agreed to be a monetary consideration.

Given such logic, I must reluctantly conclude that I am worth nothing, and if in fact I am worth nothing then I must turn my considerations, or ruminations, to the subject of nothing and its properties.

And there I find an inadvertent affirmation, or at least some small cause for hope: If, as I have heard said, "Nothing matters," then I might reasonably conclude that I matter.

What, though, does it mean to matter? Could I not reduce the question of my nothingness to something along the lines of "What is the matter?" Meaning here the matter, or mattering, of my personal nothing.

I am thinking here, and feel like I must now go backwards a bit, as something else has occurred to me as I typed the previous paragraphs regarding my possible status as a mattering being.

Another curious thing I have sometimes heard said is, "The best things in life are free." Free obviously meaning here "of no cost" or "requiring no exchange of money." Another possible bit of encouragement, this; since I am worth no money, I must then be some sort of "best thing" as well as free, and "free" is a word, surely, with many positive connotations, including unfettered or in a state of liberation. Yet I now think of the phrase, "There ain't no free," which, if there is truth in it, would once again consign me to a state of non-existence.

This consignment would seem to receive additional support from the following consideration: If I am not worth time, and time is --as people are fond of saying-- of the essence, then I cannot possibly be of the essence, and must therefore conclude that I am non-essential, which clearly contradicts the idea that I matter.

Perhaps you will at this point understand my confusion on this and many other pressing questions.

Again, though, I must look for a silver lining, for surely a man cannot long live without some hope of a silver lining, even if he has absolutely no fucking idea what "a silver lining" might mean in this or any other context. Be that as it may: If time is, as is frequently alleged, fleeting, and time is money, and I am not worth money, then I cannot possibly be fleeting, and so might possibly be immortal.

Perhaps, though, that is not a true silver lining, for surely immortality is an expensive proposition --one can only imagine how much it might cost to live forever-- and thus immortality would therefore be yet another luxury that I cannot afford, as well as, come to think of it, a rather dreary aspiration.