Mankind has long contented itself with the harsh realities of a hostile and imperfect world, believing—each in their own way—that paradise would come to them. Some men worked for the promise of a better tomorrow, some put their hopes in religion, and yet others actively worked to shape the world into their own version of perfection. But these men have been blind to one, very unsettling realization. A realization that came upon a man named Jeffery Jermayne one night.
The revelation, which we will discuss shortly, did not come out of thin air, as many people believe epiphanies derive from. Rather, it had slowly been taking shape in Jeff's mind over the many years. It was not until—during an impassioned, theological debate with friends—he vocalized the concept and its enormity fell on him like a gut-churning sickness. Conversation stopped and the men in the room stared blankly at Jeffery, as if simultaneously daring him to repeat himself and wishing intensely that he would not.
Jeffery politely excused himself from the room, and spent the next two months in seclusion. At the end of this period, he had written a manuscript based around his idea. It would be comforting to say that this document has since been destroyed, but I fear that I can make no such claim with any assurance of veracity.
In the mean time, Jeff began showing his book to his peers, trying to generate critical responses. But, no matter who he tried, the results were always the same: His reader looked on his idea with skepticism, then doubt, then rage, then fear, and finally, grim acceptance. They left, older and sadder than they had been.
Jeffery Jermayne took notice of this trend and grew quite suspicious of his idea. At first, he had believed the idea to be his own—the product of his rational inquiry into the nature of humanity. But now, more and more, Jeff felt alienated from his revelation. By degrees, he found himself fidgeting nervously and casting side-long glances at the thinly bound manuscript.
What Jeffery feared, but would not consciously admit, was that it seemed as if the epiphany had discovered HIM, rather than the other way around. An irrational and paranoid fear, to be certain, but one that would not leave his mind. And when, after word of his theory leaked to the media and they pronounced it "The death of modern philosophy," Jeffery Jermayne walked off the end of a very long pier one night, and never surfaced again.
The late Jeffery Jermayne's revelation—which I will not elaborate upon with the same grotesque detail that he put forth- was not a terrible dictum that disproved the existence of God or cast doubt on the essential unity of the universe. In a certain light, it almost seems reassuring. Beneficent. It is reflection and doubt that make it disturbing and frightening. The scope of our senseless legacy of war is drawn into all the sharper relief.
Jeffery Jermayne's realization—devoid of those proofs and justifications that thrilled and horrified—was just this: No man dies without a purpose.
Death is so much more than the end of a single life. It is the very fuel upon which all things are built. We are not cogs in the Juggernaut of history, we are the grease between its gears.