This one may be a little “screwy”, but its premise is the value of the concept of Nothing. It may seem like a nihilistic stance to go around stating, and/or proclaiming that one believes in Nothing. That Life has no meaning because of what ever reason. That one will die someday, that everything turns to “dust”. Somehow this seems like a shortsighted position to take. That stance, I feel is just a cursory understanding of what Nihilism can entail. To truly delve into such Nihilistic thoughts via either rationalism, or emotionalism (however one proceeds about it).
Is to eventually come to a conclusion that all is truly worthless….except what I give meaning to. By giving meaning to the stance of Nihilism, one essentially become a self-contradiction. They apply meaning to a value that destroys all meanings. How can one accept this? It is through a route that Nothing may be in fact what is true Reality. Just think about it for second, or awhile. If one erases, and demote all concepts that they had inherited from their predecessors through schooling, or soaking up of information.
One would literally be aware of Nothing (ignorance), including the concept of Nothing (a blank slate). It has no meaning, but oddly if one is somehow still aware of Nothing. They have a new concept of which to be aware of. That there’s Nothing to be aware of (catch the double meaning?). Thus one starts to drift away from the state of Nothingness, and into Meaningfulness. That Nothing is somehow meaningful. That it serves as the base state from which all meaning is derived. Is it ineffable, somewhat, for a cursory approach implies that nothing is known.
And yet, consider for a moment Socrates maxims of, “Know Thyself.” & “I Know Nothing”, and all the religious/doctrinal traditions of invalidating the Ego/Self. That the awareness you are aware of is just an illusion, and not the true nature of Reality. Oddly one then arrives at the bottom of the metaphorical well. That I am “Nothing”, but now adding in the phrase of God’s reply to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”. That one is literally whoever they say, or realize they are. That a philosopher’s Authenticity is one being faithful to oneself. Thus Ego/Self destruction is a violation of one’s own significance. That to invalidate one’s own worth in the pursuit of spirituality is really a violation of one’s own faith towards oneself.
Now we fall upon the notion of Religion/Spirituality, and that is to be oneself. Not conform to some odd doctrine, but to truly express one’s own individuality. To be of faith to oneself. Maybe egocentric, but again believing in Nihilism annihilates all meaning. Therefore it only has meaning if one accepts its application to oneself. Nihilism is a tool that clears the plane. To allow one to create new foundations for oneself, and to realize just who they’re meant to be.
Finally, to draw this back to game design (at least a little), Decayed Laurels is about these notions. That what Nietzsche uttered may have some veracity;
“Companions the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks — those who write new values on new tablets. Companions the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Decayed Laurels is about what happens when one embraces, or strives for that Transcendent Nature. Do they maintain their morality? Their sense of Self? Does one do whatever they wish being that they are a “god” (or God….)? In essence will they hold themselves accountable? If not they’ve “rotted”, and thus have a Decayed Laurel…a rotten victory.