Here I sit taking inventory once again of my life’s journey. I am sure that I have done this before, perhaps not so clearly. In many ways what I have written reflects my travels. Yet to sit down and reflect on things that have led me to my present state feels like an old and new endeavor simultaneously.
Truth-seekers, I have been admonished, should not be chastised in their quest. These people who seek greater understanding or illumination, I am told, should be respected. Such people have sought this information as they would seek some holy grail since humanity developed the means to have such thoughts. This life, they protest, must have some meaning, some importance beyond our existence, some purpose yet hidden. They travel from one point to another seeking enlightenment, asking questions of wise old sages, digging into ruins, and reading ancient texts. Sometimes they indulge in mixtures that elicit hallucinations hoping to find some scrap of wisdom, some small sign or evidence in drug-induced higher planes. Some find enlightenment, or what they think is such, and then report to all their new revelations. Their endeavors, I find, are inhibited by their limitations. They ask whoever will listen to accept their new insights on word alone. No evidence presents itself beyond their bantering, nothing other-worldly flavors their reports. Everything, it seems, is just as they imagined it would be.
Make no assumptions, I applaud their efforts, it adds to the knowledge we have of ancient origins. No, not the drug-laced fantasies they report, but the seeking of information, the digging into ruins, the reading of ancient texts. It gives us insight as to our origins, our mistakes, our triumphs. What bothers me is their search for meaning, meaning in our existence. Is there some reason we are here?
If there is a reason behind our being I don’t think it can be found among the ruins of those self-same creatures that are seeking such enlightenment. We are confined to ourselves, limited by the very existence for which we seek a reason. Not only that, but our understanding in my estimation has not reached adequate level for this endeavor. Not only do we not possess, I think, the faculties for the search but also the levels to recognize the answers. Would we even recognize the reason for our existence, should it exist, even if we saw it.
If their be an arrogance of our species it is to think that in our brief existence, our gathered knowledge, our endeavors, are sufficient to solve the mystery of our being when its origins began billions of years in the past. Although we have some ideas on our own origins we cannot fathom the origin of the greater whole. We think of a Big Bang, an immense explosion, surging outward from some infinitesimal point, but the moments, the existence that was before that point we cannot know. Some claim there is an expanding and collapsing of matter, into infinite time, but this is no better than the old religious story of turtles which hold up the earth, a towering mass, turtles that go all the way down, into infinity. How is this any better than the ancient speculations, indeed, we have some evidence that rather than slowing for a future collapse, the expansion is accelerating. This leaves us, even as before, with no clue to the absolute beginning. Even if we were to accept the expanding and collapsing, how did it ultimately begin.
How can we hope to derive the beginning when the knowledge of our species is unable to understand even how what is, is? Why are things the way the are when they could be so many different ways? We question the reality of our own existence. The fact that we are, and the Universe allows us to be, is insufficient.
Returning to the truth-seekers, having realized the insurmountable task upon which they proceed in their endeavors, ill-equipped not only to carry the task out, but not possessing the faculties to recognize the answer should they come upon it, we are left in wondering why the seeking continues. Would we not in our natural development someday come upon the answer, should there be one. Why waste the efforts and resources now in a vain attempt to ascertain that which is out of our reach, perhaps out of our understanding or ability to recognize? Are not these truth-seekers working in a confined box, seeking answers from those seeking answers?
My own opinion is that humankind will progress but will not find the ultimate answer to the origins of all there is until the twilight of existence. I look upon these truth-seekers as well-meaning individuals seeking something which will remain ever elusive. The answers sought by the truth-seekers could be standing right in front of them and they would most probably not know it.
I accept that the explanation of the Universe’s origin is presently only guessed. I accept that Earth formed and coalesced as a molten mass around and along with our star, then cooled. I accept biogenesis as the method of life’s origins. I accept that evolution proceeded after that to produce the plentiful forms of life now seen. I do not have the means or desire to spend my finite life searching for the rest of the answers. I want to enjoy it. I will let others, those now and into the future, delve into such matters. The rest of the answers will come, I am confident; they will come in time.