Existence & Phenomenological Experiences

the gap failure

A study you could not pursue, a profession you could not practice, a goal you could not achieve, a status you could not attain, a love you could not own…a gap that is failed to be crossed.

Between each one of us and everything in life is a gap. It’s like we live our lives in discrete points not continuous ones; a manner that makes our rest is just a point and our burden is a complete journey, the crossing line between the point where we are standing and the point where we want to reach.


In this sense, our lives pass into phases in which we perceive a next point and we presume that this next point shall be our point of rest once achieved. For example, a college student burdened with the load of study sees the point when he graduates; and presumes that when he does, this shall be a rest point. However, when he reaches that point, the rest is just a point..now he foresees another point ahead (with another gap) and presumes again that this point shall be a point of rest…and it goes.

This continuous undertaking of a discrete path of life is what’s mandating on us a continuous gap. And gap means a stress inside you between where you are now and where you want to be. This is what’s making us always running…and most importantly, frustrated, hopeless, and angry in many cases…because in many cases the gap fails and we never reach the next discrete point we drew as our next station. We remain desperate as if life has collapsed in front of us; because once we drew our next point, it becomes the life to us…that when we fail to cross the gap and reach it, we see life fails!

Some call for considering those discrete points as multiple options. If you failed to reach a point, switch to another one. Well, that is not an option. Because life has to continue, we are compelled to move to another discrete point whether we like it or not. The luckiest of all is the one who could find a “Substitute” point to the original desired one he couldn’t reach…the saddest of all is the one who could only find an “Alternative”. What’s the difference? A substitute is something different in the form of the original but leads to the same end for it contains the like meanings; An alternative is something totally different in its meanings and its end. The saddest fact is that we are not that free to make a substitute or an alternative because many points we choose for ourselves have no substitute; just alternatives. The only thing that we can change is our own mind set or attitude towards that alternative in such a way that we adjust our desired destination to it instead of the original one…by convincing ourselves or by discovering ourselves in a new dimension. To illustrate with an example, a young person wishing to be a physician. This is his next discrete point in life; the gap is to pass the entrance exams and be admitted to the school of Medicine. The gap fails and that person could no longer admit to this desired school. In this case, there is no Substitute to being a physician unless entering that school, but there are alternatives by entering any of the rest. That person is confined either to be classified as the saddest of all since the gap has failed and there is no substitute or to discover himself in a new way by acknowledging that he is intelligent in Mathematics and can be interested and successful in being an engineer or a mathematician or to convince himself with the alternative he will pursue by saying that engineers have more lucrative job opportunities, for example.

But…we can never forget the impact of the gap failure. The painful feeling of it; especially, when imposed on us with the brutality of destiny. In this regard, it is the complete prudence to say that we must be restless in finding “Substitutes” and never rest and fade away in the outnumbered alternatives…Alternatives are like sand, but substitutes are like diamonds. Our only hope and our last vehicle in living a life compliant with our meanings is to find the right substitute(s) that could amend the painful gap failure or allow us to reach our originally desired discrete point; not directly but through another point. But giving up and blinding our eyes from seeing real substitutes will draw our life in a line that would not satisfy us. Though I classified types with no Substitutes on the theoritical level, we should not believe in having no substitutes. That young person can still live the life of a physician without entering the school of Medicine at the time he thought to be the only time to do so. The history is full of these stories…of people refused to accept an exile in a discrete point they didn’t wish to enter.

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