I seem to be an eternal thing fastened to the body of a dying creature. I don’t know why I feel that way. Are my neurons firing in such a way to create the illusion of a deeper meaning, as some sort of survival mechanism? Or are we all truly spiritual beings bound to sacks of flesh?
It could be both. Maybe the jumble of hormones in my brain, those that somehow make me feel like life has meaning, behave that way for a reason. Not everything can be explained strictly evolutionarily. I don’t see much survival value in philosophizing, or playing, or inventing of birth control.
We also invented gods, perhaps to cope with our mortality, but… we invented the same gods, no matter the culture and even without contact between cultures. I don’t think it’s just that our DNA was set-up to invent these myths. Something greater seems to be a work here. The collective unconscious, Unus Mundus, monopsychism, pantheism, who the hell knows? They’re just words. Language is a tool but we’re throwing it around in endless debate like it makes a difference which term is ‘right’.
So many tools, systems, symbols, to make sense of our finite lives. We found ways to defy death with these intangible things; to be immortal through art, architecture, the stories we tell. Or we try to behave so that others will tell stories about us. All these intricate strategies the human animal has developed to live on as something more than the fertilizer we all inevitably become.
I realize all this sounds terribly pessimistic but it doesn’t take away the fact that life is a blast. Even the promise of death can’t deter us. The deep-rooted knowledge that everything we do will at some point be buried is blissfully ignored, and we bust our asses trying to make a good life for ourselves and we mostly enjoy the process.
And why not? Maybe we’re better at being in the present than we give ourselves credit for. The idea of living ‘in the now‘ has become a self-help cliché, but we all seem pretty damn accepting of the fact that this 80-year run is all we got and try to make it as significant as possible regardless of the fact that the future will most likely erase all trace of our presence on earth.
And honestly, I’d say the more often you think about this, the freer you become.