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Kenneth Lam

Centuries ago, “essence” was an undeniable term since it was supported by the divine certitude of God, and “existence” simply served the function to help us discover that essence. However, after the omniscient god was “gunned down” by the twin brothers of science and technology, everything had been changed. The presence of essence that was once definite suddenly became obscure. As a result, people became lost as they didn’t know what to believe any longer. Thus, a new myth of origin that could substitute the essence lost or at least divert our attention from this cruel reality was desperately needed. This is how science and technology originally arose ( and the subsequent hegenomic discourse in the form of language, politics and bureaucracy, and the surveillance—and the symbols with them ) They became the myths of origin because they were able to offer a temporary coherency to people’s lives. However, such myths of origin cannot function normally without the presence of doing. It is through the process of doing people found that transient solace and distractions. Sadly enough, when people started to feel they were getting closer to the essence, they were actually wandering further and further away from the true being of themselves. In the play of “Waiting for Godot”, the actions that used to keep us unaware of the cruel reality were absent. Consequently, Vladimir and Estrogon had to make a choice: either finding something to do, or face the relentless truth that the essence was gone. It is quite obvious that the latter came with excruciating pain; thus, Vladimir and Estrogon chose to wait for Godot who functioned as their myth of origin in the play . During this process, Vladimir and Estrogon had given up trying to tolerate incertitude and put all their faith in Godot, so that they could escape from the burden of freedom that manifested itself as a form of wondering and waiting. Accompanying with this decision, they had also given up their rights since the sole purpose of their lives was to wait for Godot. This is why at the end of the play, when Estrogon inquired about the rights, Vladimir gave the answer “we got rid of them”. Unfortunately, even such a myth could not persist very long. Godot “couldn’t promise anything”, nor could the couple remember what they asked from Godot. After all, Godot was just constructed from Vladimir and Estrogon’s fear for the absence of doing and he was nothing more than an illusion. In fact, their real being was lost long ago and would remain buried under the sand
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