T Nation

Question~

Conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist.- Weak Anthropic Principle

He was in a jungle when he noticed the blood streaming down his arm. There wasn’t pain, just confusion, heat and the pulsing drive to reach down and grab his friend who had fallen to the ground. The world was moving too fast…then it slowed down like syrup left in the refrigerator. Years later his kid would ask what that shiny mark on his arm was where it looked like the skin had melted into living dark glass. But right then, a cosmogonal decision was made. He was going to live while his friend was going to die. The Universe had come to that conclusion while once again leaving us completely out of the loop. Maybe, in some other reality, I was never born. The bullet that in this world had turned human skin into liquid had traveled closer to this soldier’s heart than just his arm and I no longer exist.

Life’s a bitch, and then you die providing no comfort for those who question why.

The first time I was confronted with what death truly meant I was eating a tuna fish sandwich. Mind you, it was one ecstasy inducing tuna fish sandwich made on toasted wheat bread that felt like Ritz crackers in your mouth. This was summer break, back when summer break meant watching G.I. Joe and the Super friends in the morning and then riding your bike as far as rules would allow until the sun left us all alone in the pre-haze of darkness. This was when innocence held me through day time imagination…a dream that was broken when my mom hung up the phone and sat down on the chair in front of me. Her eyes looked almost afraid, which for anyone who knew my mom is a look seen once in a life time. “I need to talk to you…could you sit down next to me?” I was seven years old but knew enough to be afraid too. That was when I was told a story about how my best friend had been crossing the street with his younger brother…a street we had run across many times before…when a car came out of nowhere and hit him, then sped away. He was taken by Life Flight to the hospital but died on the way. They never found that car…I guess I never stopped looking.

“When people go, why do they go? Why don’t you choose me?” - John Legend “Show Me”

Aristotle wrote, “Nature adapts the organ to the function, and not the function to the organ”. One could say his stance was one of Teleology, believing in a purpose for human creations. If this is the case, then why am I here? Why are you here? What is your purpose, or do you believe that things simply happen chaotically and there is no rhyme or reason to any of it at all.

However, you do have a purpose, don’t you? You feel it as the motivator waking you up in the morning, causing you to go to school, to search for friends, to have sex and to eat. You feel hints of it upon logging into a forum with the hopes of finding like minded individuals being present who also felt they had a purpose stronger than simply the act of being. It pushes you to do something…more than simply following in line. Or is that drive an illusion…a state of insanity held by those who have the audacity to think they are more than average or that their lives even matter?

In the balance of right and wrong, up and down, left and right, the art is in the fact that the opposite even exists.

I don’t know if my life has a purpose. I’m a realist. My motto is “It is what it is, nothing more, nothing less.”

But I suffer from survivor guilt. My mother died in a horseback riding accident when I was eight years old. My brother died in a helicopter crash in Viet Nam when I was sixteen. My father got drunk and drove his car off a cliff when I was nineteen. (That was no accident.) I was totally alone. No grandparents, no aunts, uncles or cousins.

Convinced I would soon meet a similar fate, I spent the next eight years of my life doing things that should have killed a normal person. But I didn’t die. Someone saved my life when I was 27.

Was it fate? What was the purpose? Was God involved? I can’t answer any of these questions, because I believe it was just a random chance, and I am no better or worse or more special than anyone else on this planet. It does make me wonder though.

In psychology class we were talking about evolution yesterday, when my professor brought up that in another 100,000 years, we’ll just be another species on that evolution chart. That is if any of us survive through possible nuclear warfare, global warming, AND high GI carbs.

I thought about it for a minute. That will be an interesting place if we haven’t killed all our food crops and wiped out all life on earth.

But some of us do have a greater purpose. It’s what you make it. It’s the people who are renegades and cause change that have great purpose.

Why am I here? Why are you here? Ha… I have no clue.

Wow, I was expecting something lighthearted and humorous. Instead, faced with issues of mortality and purpose, I’m forced to think…

While there are base instincts and species survival issues, some prefer to invest more of themselves than that.

While all accomplishments and any attempts at control may indeed be an illusion, some will still try to achieve.

While we all start and end at the same place, some of us will have purpose in our journey.

In simple terms, without addressing spirituality directly, I think how we live our lives with respect to the impact we have on others and the legacy we attempt to leave for the future defines our nature.

Some people treat others, living or inanimate, here or yet to come, with care and respect, and others do not. Some people mature, growing and developing, while others simply stop.

Some have the ability to influence their course, while others are led blindly through incoherent paths subtly influenced through their own actions but below their level of awareness.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
I don’t know if my life has a purpose. I’m a realist. My motto is “It is what it is, nothing more, nothing less.”

[/quote]

Although I don’t have a motto, mine would be similar.

As a young boy I wondered why cousins, grand parents and friends died…

As a teenager that lost a brother, I “searched” for answers…

As a parent who almost lost a child, I no longer care why, I’m only focused on my family avoiding it.

I think we’re here 1. to enjoy life as much as possible and 2. to leave the world a little bit better in some way than we found it. What else could it be?

Interesting, I’ve always wondered was I “the atheist in a world full of believers or the lone believer in a world full of atheists”?
You said “In the balance of right and wrong, up and down, left and right, the art is in the fact that the opposite even exists”. This must mean that if we ask the question then there must be an answer. I think the answer is as unique as the individual.

Thanks for making me think.

What a well-written orginal passage.

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of us are way too cynical and faithless to state our viewpoints in regard to such questions, so I’ll refrain.

Great thoughts by everyone, though. Wow, Yo Momma, you’ve had a lot of life-altering experiences.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Wow, I was expecting something lighthearted and humorous. Instead, faced with issues of mortality and purpose, I’m forced to think…

While there are base instincts and species survival issues, some prefer to invest more of themselves than that.

While all accomplishments and any attempts at control may indeed be an illusion, some will still try to achieve.

While we all start and end at the same place, some of us will have purpose in our journey.

In simple terms, without addressing spirituality directly, I think how we live our lives with respect to the impact we have on others and the legacy we attempt to leave for the future defines our nature.

Some people treat others, living or inanimate, here or yet to come, with care and respect, and others do not. Some people mature, growing and developing, while others simply stop.

Some have the ability to influence their course, while others are led blindly through incoherent paths subtly influenced through their own actions but below their level of awareness.[/quote]

I thoroughly enjoyed and agree with your post, vroom.

Nicely put!!!

I guess for me, the word or the feeling of insanity can take hold if there aren’t “people of like minds together”. I feel that so many of my drummer collegues disagree or argue with my choice to lift in order to improve speed that I often begin tosecond guess my methods. However, I remind myself that even if it doesn’t improve my speed (untrue by the way so far he he) psychologically, it is FUN as hell to have other goals to look forward to.
Socrates didn’t think like the people of his time so people thought he was insane. Imagine if there was a G-nation to help support him (G=Greek perhaps).

Insanity is a relative term I guess depending who you are with. If I am playing extreme metal in Carnegie Hall, then I guess those people would think I am insane…but play that same music in a different setting, CBGB’s perhaps (RIP) and then it might be a different story.

Getting up early to lift, maybe insane for some of my friends, but for us at the nation, it is as sane as money is green. Thanks for a good read Prof X.

[quote]chinadoll wrote:
What a well-written orginal passage.

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of us are way too cynical and faithless to state our viewpoints in regard to such questions, so I’ll refrain.

Great thoughts by everyone, though. Wow, Yo Momma, you’ve had a lot of life-altering experiences.[/quote]

It’s given me a sense of humor. If I’m gonna die, I might as well die laughing.

Good read.

I don’t think life in general or the life of any given individual has an inherent purpose. I just don’t see a necessity for it. I can’t think of a relevant question regarding existence which would call for such an inherent purpose in order to be answerable.

On that note, I’d attribute the search for meaning and an inherent purpose to the constant urge of the mind to ask questions and find answers - questions that don’t even exist outside of the framework of human perception and self-reflective thinking.

Thanks a bunch Professor X. I am thinking so hard about what you wrote, I forgot to eat stuff, and lift big.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
I think we’re here 1. to enjoy life as much as possible and 2. to leave the world a little bit better in some way than we found it. What else could it be?[/quote]

Years ago, I quit a job. On my last day, my peers, who I thought I had no effect on, gave me a card.

It quoted Emerson:
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

They talked about how I’d had a positive impact. I remember it like yesterday. And like you, this is enough of a purpose for me.

[quote]michael2507 wrote:
Good read.

I don’t think life in general or the life of any given individual has an inherent purpose. I just don’t see a necessity for it. I can’t think of a relevant question regarding existence which would call for such an inherent purpose in order to be answerable.[/quote]

Why do you think life simply happens or that it progresses towards a more complex entity instead of a more basic one?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
Good read.

I don’t think life in general or the life of any given individual has an inherent purpose. I just don’t see a necessity for it. I can’t think of a relevant question regarding existence which would call for such an inherent purpose in order to be answerable.

Why do you think life simply happens or that it progresses towards a more complex entity instead of a more basic one?[/quote]

I believe that life simply happens because I see no necessity for it being otherwise.

The way I see it, “life” as we know it evolves towards a higher degree of complexity in accordance with the laws of physics which happen to govern the universe since the Big Bang. Questions trying to grasp anything “beyond” the Big Bang are unanswerable in the framework of concepts like time and space and therefore of no relevance to what we call “life” in our limited perception.

Very profound and insightful articulation Professor X.

Check out this site

http://www.thesecret.tv/

It might help describe and answer what you are thinkin.

Peace Out

Oh by the way if you can’t get the trailer to run on the “secret” web site, you can check it out on Youtube.

if any of you are bored or have too much free time you may enjoy this:
http://images.ucomics.com/images/pdfs/sadams/godsdebris.pdf
It’s a freely available e-book written by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. It addresses philosophy, religion, and the meaning of life in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s meant to be slightly humorous and sometimes the logic is purposefully iffy, but it’s really a great read.

Suspended simply by grace, I am content for anything to happen.

Not my words, but an interesting and worthwhile outlook nonetheless.

Contentedness not in the sense of passivity, not in the sense of submissive or weak-minded compliance, but simply content and quite grateful for all that has happened, all that has not and for all the potential and possibility that lies ahead.

Very well written, Professor X.

Peace