This happened a few years ago. A friend of mine had been teaching a university course on existentialism, nihilism, Sartre, Nietsche - and the whole dark black hole of utterly and totally depressing, not to mention suicidal, worldview philosophies. For some reason (?!?), she found all this very depressing. She knew about my shamanic outlook and about my more positive view of existence. She had played around a bit with shamanisn a bit before this, but it didn't really take. We had a long talk.
I asked her if she could tell me with 100% certainty that her depressing world view was the right one. She admitted that she couldn't. However, she could easily defend her view by pointing to the incredible mess the world is in. I also admitted that I am not 100% certain that my far more positive is the right one. I have only my shamanic experiences to support my more positive view of it all.
Now since both of us agreed that we do to some extent have free will, I asked her why she would continue to believe in such a difficult philosphy if it made her nothing but miserable and she couldn't even say with 100%certainty that it was the right one. Why not choose a worldview that makes us feel good or at least gets us out of the depths of depression? Why not focus on all that is good and beautiful in life instead of all that is ugly and difficult? Focusing on the good and beautiful does not mean that I don't see the ugliness and terrible problems whereas, unfortunately, more often than not, those who focus on the terrible problems do not see the beauty.
Of course, I BELIEVE in my worldview - a very shamanic one. But do I KNOW in an absolute sense with certainty that I am right? No, I don't. Within the bounds of my experience I can say I know that I am right - for myself - not for anyone else. Anyone who would impose their own worldview on others is intolerant (and the one thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance
Maybe life is utterly and totally meaningless. Maybe Jesus will raise those who have accepted him body and soul from the dead after the end of the world. Maybe the suicide bombers will get their 72 virgins on the other side. Maybe alien spawn are walking among us. Who knows for sure
? I don't.
But I do know that I choose to live compassionately in a world of great beauty surrounded by my guiding and protecting spirits, all without denying the ugliness and terrible mess, because otherwise I too would probably commit suicide.
By the way, my friend stopped teaching that course. She has her ups and downs like all of us do, but she isn't mumbling about suicide anymore.