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Searching for the Meaning of Life...But Not Wanting To Find It

"Because if he found it, then it would have no meaning." Chip Wilson, Founder of Lululemon on his hippy father who searched for years and came to the conclusion that it was just to be present.



Sounds obnoxiously simple...too simple. There HAS to be more. Or do we just accept life is what it is.


I think most of us know the humorous answer to life, it was given to us in the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it's 42.


As a side note, why is it 42? Forty-two is the ASCII code for the symbol * also known as the asterisk. This symbol is often thought to translate to anything or everything. In this instance, 42 = everything, the meaning of life. When I was a software engineer writing in code this was true for all languages we wrote in.


But back to the matter at hand!


Would we ruin life if we found the meaning of it? What if you could ask the creator(s) one question, just one question and it was "What is the meaning of it all?" What would they say? What could they say that would allow us to comprehend the meaning behind everything and every action in the known world, including the unknown world. I think our feeble human minds would explode. What if that's the one question you asked when you saw the gates of whatever afterlife there is? And the answer wasn’t to your satisfaction…would you feel like you had a wasted existence? Would you want to come back and tell people the “truth”?


My mother is religious, my dad was too, my brother, to a degree. I think he has found god and religion more often I have. But I remember thinking about heaven growing up, thinking what it might be like, how I'd never have pain, have all the things I want..and I then one day I remember thinking how selfish that is, how unappealing that must be after a while. Realizing, I want the human experience, I want pain, I want suffering, I want to be like a tree when I die, and even though my body won't exist, my photos might, my songs might, my words might, and maybe they'll change someone's life like certain photos, songs and words have changed mine.


But the point in life isn’t to want to be remembered after you die, surely Marcus Aurelius would be appalled that anyone is reading his personal journal. So do I “want” as much as a really think I do, or am I conflating the human experience to be something it’s not. I am not anyone special in the long run. I am just another human who has the same human functions as everyone else. Living next a cemetery proves this point every time we walk there. 99.9% of the cemetery is filled with people we know nothing about. What dreams and goals and desires did they have?


WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE ON THE MOON?

Buzz Aldrin struggled to answer "What was it like to be on the moon?". Beyond the "magnificent desolation" he had no good way to put into words what the experience actually was. Subsequently he battled depression, and alcohol addiction after the moon landing. If that experience alone was enough to change his life from what it could've been, imagine meeting something even larger than your planet the single largest entity you can imagine especially if you’ve traveled. Can you? Read more about his struggles here, I found them super interesting. A super human, with very human struggles.


Earth from space it's said makes astronauts realize how "earthly" our problems are. They have a cognitive shift, experiencing "The Overview Effect" where they see only see connectedness. From abeautiful.world - The Overview Effect has been documented by numerous astronauts and cosmonauts, who describe seeing the Earth from in space first-hand like seeing “a tiny, fragile ball of life hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.”


Imagine seeing firsthand, how truly insignificant we are as humans. And how we argue over trivial shit and land masses, killing each other over human problems while we float on a rock that's floating through space that we can only understand on a human created astrophysics level.


Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man on the moon said the following, “There was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught… I not only saw the connectedness, I felt it.… I was overwhelmed with the sensation of physically and mentally extending out into the cosmos. I realized that this was a biological response of my brain attempting to reorganize and give meaning to information about the wonderful and awesome processes that I was privileged to view.”


If aliens have visited us, I wonder if they look at us on Earth as primitive beings yet. Read more about the Overview Effect and astronaut stories here. It is quite intriguing, and it shows you don’t need to be an astronaut to want to do something bigger than yourself.


BUDDHISM AND MORE….

As evolution happens in front of our eyes. It's hard to fathom time on a universal scale.


We are just a blip in the history of the world, and universe.


I don't know what the meaning of life is, nor do I think it's worth putting too much thought into.


Marcus Aurelius writes in Meditations, “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”


I go in between Marcus Aurelius and Buddhist beliefs.


When a Buddhist finds the truth about life at death they stop being reborn they stop suffering. How is this different from heaven at the end of the day?


Maybe the point in life is just as it's plainly stated in Meditations, "Receive without arrogance; and be ready to let it go."


Peace, love, Photography my fellow Chickens

-Chris



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