When tasked with this exalted philosophic inquiry, the existential being attempts to unearth the truth, and yet the truth is forever dithered down by subliminal ambiguity. As with all queries pertaining to philosophy, forthright answers are scarcely brought to light. In fact, we can never know, for sure, the answers to most questions. And so, there remains only one way to go about this. I must present to you that which I have thought of, so that we can, together, seek to explore the intricacies of the human mind. The contents of this exploration will come entirely from my own perspective and intuition on the matter and will transfer mindful thought onto paper. That is not to say many erudite thinkers have never set out on the very same quest for knowledge. Make no mistake; there are many minds out there, all of which are ravenous for answers. Surely, more questions will arise as you carry on in this reading. Keep this in mind: your stance may differ, and that is more than okay. As humans, we all see things how we deem fitting. It is what makes us so unique. If you happen to find truth to what I say, in any or all of what I dwell upon, well that is quite the marvel, really. More than anything, this is a read I hope, above all, to stimulate a philosopher’s mindset. There is wisdom to be found in this world, most of which is forever hidden to us. I task you not with a job, but a responsibility as a human being to unravel the secrets and mysteries of this world as I do, day after day. Now to conclude this preliminary preface before I start to explore the abundant essence of it: no two minds are alike. Imagine yourself seated in a room of a handful, a dozen, or hundreds of people. Look around. What do you see? You see countless beings seated to your left and right. What you do not perceive is each of their minds. You do not know what life has brought them in the past or what it will bring in the future. You do not know how they may or may not have been conditioned by societies of the twentieth or twenty-first century. You do not know the way the world is depicted in their mind. You see their shirt as either red or blue, in your own light, and you know what you, yourself, look like, but that is not how they see themselves or you. What you do know, or should know, are these two truths: an individual philosophizes all things metaphysics in his or her own way, and each one of us is an accumulation of all our burdens, struggles, and conflicts bundled together to this exact point in time. Whether the individual delves into topics such as these or not, he or she is bound to think differently on the matters, once their gravitas is fully recognized. Do not mistake existential thought for commonality amidst people. While many may share a belief, only one—only you—can understand how it is perceived, in your mind.
Let us begin, naturally, with questions. Why are we here? Is it to live amongst one another until our last breath? Are we tasked with leaving a legacy that will carry on for generations to come? Are we, as humans, intended for a never-ending quest for knowledge? Are we merely pawns for the “invisible hand” of society to control? Are we to work 40 years after education and start a family of our own? Are we to subject ourselves to the biddings of a boss other than ourselves? Are we to seize all available opportunity and make good on our own word?
As was earlier made known, questions have already arisen. Let us examine the facts together, shall we? What is the purpose of our eyes? To see. What is the purpose of our legs? To walk. What is the purpose of our ears? To hear. And what happens when one of those fail?
Let us say, for instance, that the eyes go blind. What then? If you think you can no longer see, you would be wrong. You would then use your ears to see. Let me explain. Without eyes to see your surroundings, your ability to hear with your ears would allow you, in a way, to see. If a boulder falls from a skyscraper standing two hundred feet above ground, and it lands on the ground five feet in front of you, you would hear it and know that something crashed down hard against the earth. In this way, you would see.
Let us say that your ears fail to hear. If you think you can no longer hear, you would again be wrong. You would then use your eyes to hear. Let me explain. Without ears to hear of your surroundings, your ability to see with your eyes would allow you, in a way, to hear. Take the falling boulder example once more. If you saw a boulder falling from two hundred feet, and your ears had gone deaf, you would see it and know that it made an extremely loud blow to the earth. In this way, you would hear.
Let us say that your legs fail to walk. If you think you can no longer travel along roads, up and down stairwells, and swim across the seas, you would again be wrong. You would then use your hands and arms to traverse wherever you needed or wanted to go. Let me explain. Without legs to move your body, your ability to traverse with your arms and hands would allow you, in a way, to move. Take the falling boulder example for a third and final time. If you either saw or heard or saw and heard a boulder falling from two hundred feet, and you had no legs, you would use your arms and hands to move out of the way and get yourself to safety.
I hope you saw the point of those examples. If not, do not shame yourself. I will, of course, explain. Humans survive. Humans adapt. Humans conquer. Humans master. So, if your eyes, ears, and legs stop working, you would still find a way to continue.
One interpretation I present to you is that the all-encompassing telos, or goal, of life itself, is primarily to survive. If we ensure the survival of our people, then this abode we call “Earth” can then be mastered. If we acclimate to our earthly domains, then we can look to new ones in this infinite cosmos. But then again, what does that amount to? We are who we are today because of what we did yesterday, and we will be who we are tomorrow because of what we did today. Earth is what it is today because of an ever-evolving timeline. First, there was supposedly “nothing,” then there was land, then came the waters, and then there was life. Our histories only date back so far. For all we know, extraterrestrials have already invaded and dominated our world before we humans came along. What will come in ten, a hundred, or a thousand years from now can never be foretold. More importantly, who will come will never be foretold until the day of our own reckoning.
Perhaps we are also tasked with first being able to live alongside all animals, nature, and all seven billion and counting humans in peace. If that is so, then our purpose has failed, for since the beginning of humanity, we have fought each other for power, control, and land. Perhaps our purpose is to create a utopian society, here on Earth, before expanding to new planets in the cosmos. When someone says “utopia” to you, right away you think it is something that cannot exist. Why? Because you have been conditioned by society to think so. I implore you to think differently! Scholars may believe it is something that we can learn from. Acolytes of philosophy may believe a utopia is possible. Whatever the case, I side with those that believe it is possible. While I cannot make you change your beliefs, I encourage you to mend your belief to this: a utopia is most definitely possible, but it is extremely problematic and challenging for it to exist. Religious folk cannot say a utopia is impossible, because the kingdom of heaven is, indeed, a utopia. And the kingdom of heaven is at hand, according to the Bible. Never forget that a utopia is a perfect place. Heaven is a perfect place. Paradise. Nirvana. Idyll. Bliss. They all align. Perhaps our purpose was for us to evolve so indefinitely until the point that we can become immortal, thus making us an indestructible force to then perfect the cosmos and create such utopias worthy of our immortal selves. Perhaps utopia is meant only for those who are immortal. If, indeed, our souls become immortal upon death and our resurrections to heaven, then we would fulfill this probe about the necessity of immortality to live in a utopia. The question then becomes this: would you want to live in a utopia? That is something for you to think about, first, before you have a conversation with others about it. If you are ever to see me out and about, perhaps we will have a cup of tea and talk it out.
Let us assume now look to another standpoint, in that all creation on Earth can coexist harmoniously. It is then, and only then, that we would be tasked with expanding to new planets. Yes, we may have need to get off this planet or we risk our permanent extinction in the coming years. But from a philosophical standpoint, is that really wise? We would fall to the same chaos, jeopardy, and plight that is seen on this Earth. War has dominated humanity for centuries on end, never once failing to let up. Why? It is human nature to want more land. It is human nature to hate before we love. It is in our nature to be devious and cunning to get what we want. Most humans are lazy, most humans believe in luck, and most humans lust after temporary desires, leaving them subject to their own destruction. It is, undoubtedly, by our own hand that we bring about our downfall or our salvation. The pillars of life, such as honesty, love, and forgiveness, are, evidently, far too demanding for humans to practice. It is so easy to turn to hate and destruction in times of distress, rather than being open to these such praxes. And so, war would again dominate Mars, the Moon, or anywhere else we decide to translocate ourselves. Perhaps the alien life that exists in the far reaches of the universe, or in the multiverse, has already progressed to a utopian society and are on their way to our Earth. When they find our people to be the way we are, they will have little choice other than to conquer us. Again, war, anarchy, strife. They would seek to supplant us from our world, and we would either carry on our destructive ways as humans or allow them to trample us. The latter is far from likely. Ants are to us as we are to them—them being the alien life that, without doubt, does exist in another dimension or universe.
If you believe we are at peace, think again. Look around you. Look on the news. You will find exactly what you do not want to find. So why are we constantly in conflict with each other? Herding seven billion people together under one true God, one purpose, or one united code of virtues is near impossible. Binding a country together is hard enough as it is, never mind an entire planet of seven billion people and counting. Every day, we find ourselves amazed by just how many people we encounter and see in passing. We sit in traffic and think how, in the name of all that is good, there are so many people. It is beyond our scope of understanding. Soon, Earth will be uninhabitable. Earth cannot continue to house this many people. Animals are dying out by the day. Deforestation continues to ensue. The ocean is being polluted to the point that fish are dying in astronomical numbers. Global warming is catching up to our world just as Death presents itself to us every day of every week of every month of every year. People come and go, but the rate of births far exceeds the rate of deaths—over three times as much. Amidst such horrors, chaos will start to unfold as it once did before. War will come to pass and there will be many a horrific plight to terrorize us to an early grave.
As part of our telos, we must connect our inner pneumas with our outer selves. To elucidate, we must unlock our minds of their fullest potential, link them to our souls, and exercise our moral qualities to those around us in this cosmic realm of existence, so that, when the time comes, people can call upon us to be sages to the unlearnt and conductors of righteous acts. As I say time and time again, to be able to perceive and succor others, wholly, we must first master our souls, our own bodies, and our own minds. So perhaps we were meant to serve others. If that is so, we must delay no more, our quest to fully master ourselves. Meditate on your days of old, free your mind of all pain, sorrow, and suffering, and cast aside all doubt. You are the master of your mind, not others. You are the master of your body, not others. You are the master of your spirit, not others. You determine your outcomes and your successes, your will, and your freedoms. Establish the mind-body connection, and you will do amazing things.
Perhaps we were made to become one with the Earth. It may be our purpose to learn to live as one with nature. It is then that we might find much more happiness in life. We would then be tasked with not resisting the cold. We would also be tasked with embracing the hot. Embrace the weather. Embrace nature. Embrace the wonders of the Earth. Embrace what this world has given to you. It is all yours for the taking.
Then again, humanity may not have an inborn purpose. If that is so, then we were made to choose our own purpose. This makes sense to those who do not believe in superstitions like fate, destiny, luck, fortune, the number 13, curses, and the rest of the like. Superstitions, to me, are just a way to give credit to some false ideal when you are the one to actually bring about your successes and failures.
It may be that we were meant to write our name in the history books so that our name lives on through the ages. If that is so, most of us die the day we draw our last breath. If that is so, only a few fulfill that purpose. Humanity is ubiquitous, pervasive, and omnipresent, so, it is understandable that not everyone is able to achieve such a feat. Aristotle, Alexander the Great, George Washington, John F. Kennedy. Enough said.
As religions have suffused over thousands of years, in an explanation of how we were created and how we must live, then the purpose of life would have been God’s purpose. The Bible made us known of the Ten Commandments and the doctrines by which we must live, if we are to be good Christians of God’s Word and name. Other religions have their own texts that make known how believers of that faith should live. It has been written and proclaimed that we must love, serve others, and live as intercessors of the faith we choose, so that the world will unite under one such true God. Perhaps the meaning of life is not ours to decide after all, and it was an omnipotent being’s decision. If that is so, we will never know until we meet him or her in the afterlife. That is under the assumption an afterlife is what awaits all of us after our physical death. Even then, will we ever know? Will there be an “aha!” moment where we finally are told what we are on Earth for? Some religions claim we will be reborn at the last hour into another being’s body—we will, in their eyes, reincarnate into a life better or worse than the one we live right now. If that is to be so, we will continue to roam Earth until it dies out, at which point another big bang will take place and we will live on in a perpetual cycle of wanting again to know what the purpose of life is. Have you ever had déjà vu? Have you ever dreamt you were alive in a different period of time, in the same body as your own and with the same mind? Perhaps these are ways our past selves are trying to connect with us of the lives we once lived. You cannot tell me you know what I say is nonsense. Perhaps the extraterrestrials some of us are so invested in discovering, or to others the beings that simply cannot exist, are us, ourselves, living in alternate dimensions and universes. Perhaps the only beings to come into contact with us our, indeed, our own selves. If that is the case, our doppelgängers will stop at nothing to connect with us. Plato once said that there is “love” and there is “Love.” What is meant by this? The “love” that we know, in this life, is a falsity projected by humanity, but that “Love” is the real “love” and is the exact, perfected image of what “love” really is and should be—that our worldly life is a hand-me-down of the spiritual life in another dimension. It could be that he was right, and our world is nothing more than a test of our ability, as humans, to live to some greater beings’ degree of what these virtues really are.
And perhaps there is no meaning of life, whatsoever. Some would certainly agree to that. We live, we fight, and we die. Simple as that. It is a plausible explanation. Everything that we amount to in life is only going to last for so long. When we came into consciousness around the age of 5 or 6, we were of an age that we knew extremely little of the world. Now, whatever age you are, you are likely able to comprehend life around you and understand what is expected of you in this life. You now can tell that life is to end at some point. Basically, you are at a point where you are aware of your surroundings, and yet you know little of why they work in such a way and why they work at all. If this is true, we are, to this day, still blind of why we are here. If there was a purpose to life, why has it not presented itself already? When we die, we will forever be unconscious. People say that Death brings us peace, but is that really a peace we wish to have? Is that a peace that will remain forever?
You must keep an open mind. Do not be alarmed by what is about to be written. This is philosophy after all. Anyways, imagine a virus. Just an ordinary virus. It takes hold of itself in a host body. It spreads. It duplicates. It spreads and duplicates. It follows this pattern until both the host and the virus die together, or a cure is put in place and the virus is gone or replaced by another. Take the universe into question. Take Earth into question. Earth, now being the host, has sprung to life an infinitude amount of people (the virus). People reproduce (the virus duplicates). People spread out and expand to new lands (the virus spreads to new lands). People kill each other, the world burns, and the virus never ceases to inflict its symptoms. When does it stop? When humanity is wiped out. Humanity is the virus. Earth is its host. If we establish life on another planet, we play hopscotch from one Earth to the next. The virus spreads until we are extinct, at which point the Earth cleanses and cures itself of its virus. This could mean that until humanity is extinct, we will forever be a never-ending virus that spreads from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy, universe to universe. Unless, of course, there is a cure. I see two possibilities. One: consummate society so as to have a utopia. Two: let humanity run its course until our own extinction. If the latter, then at that point, the waters will be cleansed. Nature will be healed. And the Earth will revert to its stillness, where the world remained silent. I do wonder, though, who might replace us. What will the next wave be like? Will we come again, wiser than before? Again, this is just another part of my collected works of philosophy, not a firm conviction to sway your beliefs.
If you noticed, the word ‘perhaps’ was used quite a bit throughout this article. This is what makes philosophy so great. We all have our own viewpoints and way of thinking. Society, our peers, and time itself shape how we think and what we feel. I encourage all of you to examine your consciousness and fully exercise your mind. For you, too, will discover new ideas just as I have, from day to day, conversation to conversation, and paragraph to paragraph. There may never be definite answers to all that was investigated in this reading, for we are merely human and not an all-knowing species. We may forever be in the dark of our telos. Are you okay with that? If yes, I am sorry for you. If no, then, like me, you will continue to seek answers, despite knowing they will likely never be found. If nothing else, know this: the greatest human good to come from existential thought is lifelong scrutiny of the way the world operates and of the many worldly beings to walk the earth. To first be conscious of these queries, then question them, and finally work towards their verities, is what, perhaps, what makes us all so extraordinary.
And so, I ask you whether you were aggravated by this reading? Were you mystified, knocked for six, or wanting to know more? If not, I failed as a philosopher. If yes, then my message transfers to you. The tasks that will forever be appointed to you—yes you—are these: ask questions, enlighten your mind with thought-provoking queries, and attempt to find answers. That is all we can ever do, in this life.