Friday, November 06, 2015
I would like to talk about the meaning of life and how we choose to live it. We didn't volunteer for life, no one has ever chosen to begin existence. But we each choose to continue it, affirming this decision with each inhale, each step, sip, and sup. We live. Genetic combinations that do not continually choose to live will not breed as well, they will not compete as well. Any genetic ambivalence in this direction is selected out. So we live and live and live. We go on.
OK so we were conscripted out of the infinite possibilities of the universe into existence; we were instantiated by another. Those who instantiated our early selves were not trained or qualified, they probably were relatively unaware of the genetic tidal wave pushing them along with their cultural accelerators into bringing us about. Innocents all. But after growing up, and living for a few decades we are no longer innocents. We begin needing a bit more to drive us. Especially if the sops of the wealth and fame lotteries fail to overwhelm our good sense, especially then. Once a little human monkey peers past the bobbles and glass beads offered up for our time here. Once we look past the hedges, and we see... what do we see. Nothing much really, empty fields. Space to grow a little more expansive than our cultural molding would have allowed to most.
Maybe we are gape mouthed and a little disappointed by the edge of civilization, the open fields of human maturity within which we see a few lonely soles wandering about, lost in the freedom of their own salvation from cultural constraints. Who do they speak to, and about what? They cannot go back without discarding their best self in exchange for something now uncomfortably small.
Our lives are still too short. I doubt there will be more than a few accidental sages wandering about in freedom and an unpracticed sort of contentment until our race elongates its life a bit more. Until then, those people who look out at the American Culture and see nothing much they want are our best hope. Those that have outgrown the commercial. Outgrown the golf course and the pigeon feathers of fame, wealth and power. Some of us outgrow "cool", and some of us outgrow "success", and some of us might outgrow "virtue" or "contentment", but we would need a more mature human society for that. We will have to be a different people, a different human people with a different view of life and what its worth and what it means. We aren't them yet. And I and like all men am a man of my time and place. I will not see the promise land that I hope will exist within the lives of men some day. But in a thousand years or maybe just a few hundred I dream of a different human experience. Let this be a dream for us, so that it can be a hope for those after us and an aspiration for those after them, and finally a reality to those humans lucky enough to be instantiated for good reasons and into a world ready to really take care of them.
Yes, we must remember how to craft dreams. I'm off to drink an espresso and try an unpracticed hand at imagining a world I would choose to live in, not just once, but many times: what world can I dream of where I would choose to live lives over and over again, eternal recurrence. I'm trying to dream of a world like that.