Since the dawn of recognized consciousness, humans have wondered why we’re even here. Is there more to the life we live? What impact do we, tiny specs of dust have against the grand cosmic scale?
Some would argue none. No impact on the greater universe & especially no life beyond death. All our consciousness is, is a survival mechanism; evolved over a vast timescale to better comprehend the consequences of our actions and for better memories to remember a much wider range of potential dangers. Others would say that we choose to make life meaningful, whether that be through family, religion or other ways. While I think that many people would have an inclination towards a greater meaning, I believe it isn’t so straight forward as something found in any book; be that religious or otherwise. I have friends on both sides of this scale & they’re adamant that their interpretation is correct. I’ve often wondered why (from quite a young age) there is such a disparity of opinion when it comes to a purpose. I’m not alone in struggling to sleep or waking up with these thoughts in my head.
“What is my purpose?”
“Why am I here?”
What is the point of all this ‘life’ or ‘consciousness’ anyway? I can’t deny that it’s an awfully good survival mechanism. Being able to communicate that something is dangerous & to not do it or not go near it is a wonderful way to keep oneself & those we care for alive just that little bit longer. But there’s still that question, what’s the point? Especially when, no matter what we do, or how hard we try, we can’t avoid death. All of the effort we went through in life comes to a grinding halt when your personalized biological timer runs out. One could argue that you do what you do to better the generations after but for me this isn’t satisfying. Not that I’m ungrateful. There are many people who have done amazing, self-sacrificing & terrible things; all of which has affected humanity & by extension the world in unfathomable ways. I might not exist if this world hadn’t turned out exactly the way it has. What would this world be like without me? What would it be like without you? Daunting questions on their own to try & imagine a timeline where oneself doesn’t exist but would it really affect the ‘overall goal’?
It becomes a little tedious to ask the same question in different ways. Who are we to ask it in the first place? What makes us so special to think that we deserve a purpose? Humanity is this big, mass of hatred & misunderstanding when looking at it from the outside. Sure there are moments where differences are put to one side & unity is found but ultimately things settle back to the way they were. Old rivalries flare & tension sets in. A disappointment to say the least. How can we ask why are we here when we can’t even respect one another? I have a strong belief that pulling the trigger is easy, but it’s so much less effort to not have the gun in the first place. Speaking to your enemies might be stressful & extremely hard but we should remind ourselves that misunderstanding is the thing that keeps you from knowing why in the first place. An excellent example of two very different people sitting down & talking about their differences can be seen when doing a bit of research on a man named Daryl Davis. I highly recommend watching the following video:
In the video he explains how he sat down with Roger Kelly, a former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard & despite knowing how dangerous this could be, they spoke. With enough time, they grew to respect each other & their differences. I can appreciate how difficult this would have been, not just for Daryl but for Roger as well. While I wouldn’t consider them personal enemies, this is something I wish people could do more often. To actually learn respect, even for people who are strangers. The idea that people must earn your respect is simple arrogance. Everyone & for that matter, everything deserves respect. This doesn’t mean you have to like them, it means that you can accept they have a difference in opinion & you shouldn’t make their life difficult for that difference.
People form opinions from a number of places. It all starts in their early childhood & develops as they’re exposed to more & more information. Sometimes this information is someone else’s opinion, sometimes it’s valid or factual information & sometimes it’s false information. Regardless, it is exposure to all this information that makes a part of who that person is. In many cases they can’t help those opinions that they’re exposed to. Someone born into a god-fearing family are going to be brought up to devote themselves to whichever deity they’re told to. The person in question won’t know anything more until they’re exposed to other people, situations & opinions. Why should that person be discriminated against for an opinion when they know of no other? It should be the job, not of other people but of yourself to properly form opinions. It should be the job of others to respect these opinions. In saying this however it’s difficult to not argue when someone has an opinion that is simply wrong.
I digress though. All this talk of opinions is important to the grand question we’re trying to answer. Mostly because it’s our own perception of things that clouds our judgement & ability to see things outside or beyond what is in front of us. There is a quote circulating many social media websites that I noticed some months ago that puts things into perspective:
“You have two eyes each composed of 130 million photoreceptor cells. In each one of those cells, there are 100 trillion atoms (more than all the stars in the milky way galaxy). However, each atom in each cell, in each eye are formed in the core of a star; billions of years ago. Yet, here they are today, being utilized to capture the energy released from that same stellar process. You are made of the universe, experiencing the universe. You are the universe, experiencing itself.” – Unknown.
For me, this means a lot when trying to answer THE question. What if all this consciousness isn’t just for our own survival but for the survival of the entire universe? The same universe that we are mere specs within. I have come to my own conclusion that this is the case. Regardless of intelligent design or some other mundane phenomena, I believe that humanity (or just consciousness in general) is here to prolong the life of or negate the death of this universe to which we belong. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that we are the only ones or that we, as humans are destined to ‘save the universe’ but I would hope that one day we can mature enough to think about saving our universal mother.