Human existence is a strange and confusing thing.
When we started to have an idea of consciousness, we filled it with an array of colourful ideas and beings – clear liquid stuff fell from the sky and we could drink it – strange creatures roamed about us, some we could eat, others that would eat us. There was a bright golden ball suspended in the sky, and once it left, we would see sparkling lights. The world seemed to make sense. It was not lonely or terrifying, but purposeful and full of wonder.
However, the more we learnt about ourselves and our place on this world, we came to understand how truly small we are. We live on a tiny mud ball, circling a medium sized star, on the outstretches of an average galaxy, that is part of a cluster of many other galaxies, and even this cluster of thousands of galaxies is part of other clusters of galaxies, known as a supercluster, which is just a miniscule percentage of what makes up our ever-expanding universe.
Now, your brain will not have the capacity nor understanding to be able to comprehend such vastness of space or time. You might just be reading this pondering your existence, realising that every second you spend reading this is another second gone from your incredibly insignificant amount of time left on this earth. Your life is slowly drifting away into the precipice of your eventual doom, and the only thing that you will be remembered by is by the people who knew you, and they will die too. Everything you ever know will be lost to the never-ending time you’ll spend dead.
However, while life is intrinsically worthless, there’s something incredibly optimistic about all of this nothing. While life can be terrifying , life is more than what it may be.
If this life is all we are to ever know, then we should be doing everything in our power to appreciate the true rarity of our existence. Out of the millions of billions combinations that could have been, you are the product. Your DNA especially selected out of a random chance, and you grew to be the exact being you are.
Everything on the planet, in the universe, facilitated your existence, your mind and your future. Everything that you do and ever will do affects the lives of those who are just as unique as you. Just as different. In a way, that makes us all very similar. While our lives can diverse into countless ways, we are all still created and sustained from the same stuff.
Anything you can think of is created by your mind, so therefore, everything is created by your mind. With this understanding, one could assume that, in the instance of understanding that this tiny mud ball orbiting an average sized star is all that you will ever know, you can begin to release yourself from these limitations. You can be anything, and do anything, change anything, perceive anything, all with the power of your mind.
The reason your limited life is so optimistic is that it provides you with the pressure to make sure you live this life like it is your last, because, well, it is. All you have right now is all that you will ever have. Optimism is an action that comes from the individual. It comes from you.
So in order to view the inexplicably small amount of time you have on this earth as something positive, is ultimately up to you. If our life is the only thing we get to experience, then it is the only thing that matters. As said by the wise Alan Watts:
“The meaning of life is to just be alive”
Written by Maddox Drew, published on 10/08/2018. Header image by European Southern Observatory / G. Beccari