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What is Life For?

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by Sue Stevenson (subscribe)
I write essays, short stories and political commentary and believe the colour orange is unfairly discriminated against. Portfolio & Medium
Published June 15th 2013
Life. When you don't question her too much, she's simple. On those days when you're just coasting along, swimming the day like a wave, in the zone, driving home from work, picking your nose and planning dinner, in those times you know that life is here to be lived, that too much thinking can sometimes be bad for your soul.

Other times, you just gotta go big, and the question of what on earth you are doing here tosses you and turns you in your bed like a stir fry. What is the point of this existence? It's buffered minds and souls like ours since the day of dot. We live on a round ball that sits in the middle of damn well nothing, in a galaxy where other balls are doing the same thing, and where there are other galaxies beyond that. The meaning of life has always been mysterious, and surreal, and sometimes eerie.

meaning of life, 42
Picture by Patrick Hoesly under a creative commons licence


Maybe there is some kind of being who created us. Or maybe there's not. Maybe we are what created us. Or maybe there is no external meaning to our existence at all. Maybe the meaning of life comes from us, the storytellers, from our insides, telling stories about ourselves. Myths are not dirty words just because they're not real - because myths aren't necessarily false, either. Not in the subjective world of the dreamland. To that end, here are a few stories people tell about what this all means:

Parallel Universes, Parallel People
Some say that we live in our universe, and that there are other universes out there too. Some even say that within those other universes there are other versions of us walking around. Would we recognise the us-es if our universes somehow collided? Perhaps *I* am a combination of hundreds of different versions of me, all getting about living slightly or wildly different lives in our different universes.

A 3d Holographic Projection from a 2d Source
This is a sort of a creepy thought, really. Some surmise that our reality is but a projection that comes from a 2d source, the contents of which we cannot know because it is too far beyond our comprehension. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a bit squirmy. What if we're ultimately just an elaborate The Sims game for some goopy unknown being?

Or maybe, as some suggest, the 3d source is ... well, the Source, playfully expanding itself outwards from 2d. The Source giving birth to itself, which is us. And so we're all from the one thing, going back to the one thing. I quite like that thought, actually. Contains some inspiring Oneness thoughts to help prompt us to stop killing each other while we're here.

The Two Brains Theory
Some surmise that humans were originally created as a pretty awesome being by aliens who were the sort of beings you'd want as your creator. And then other aliens came along who were more of the parasitic and blood-sucking variety who co-opted our DNA. And now we have an ongoing fight within ourselves, between fear and love, between our limbic brain and our pineal gland. I quite like this story, too, as long as you avoid splitting yourself off into two beings within yourself and hating one of them, which any good psychotherapist will tell you is probably the source of so many of our problems as it is.

The Higher Self and Higher Worlds Theory
This is a multi-dimensional reality where our world exists, with one above this one, and one below this one, and we exist on all planes at once. Sort of like the parallel multiverse theory, only ... well, sort of vertical. So when you sense your Higher Self appealing to you, listen to them. Because they're you, only ... well, not so much better as more far-seeing.

We Live On the Back of a Giant Turtle (or serpent, or elephant, depending on your whereabouts)
Many different cultures have creation myths about how the world began. Some indigenous American cultures believed that the world was a giant turtle, and we lived on its back. Indigenous Australian stories of creation are peppered with beings, animals and spirits creating the rivers and the land that we call home. Even in our oversaturated-with-information/undersaturated-with-meaning world, some believe that the earth itself is alive, an incarnation of the goddess Sophia.

Whatever way we look at it, the story of what the earth is needs to expanded beyond the notions held by multinational corporations which in the name of profit rip up the earth with little thought for the future.

Whatever stories we tell ourselves, the one about us being here to be mini consumers isn't a big enough one to fit even our big toes into with comfort. We are creative souls who dream, and love beauty. We are creatures who make music that can make you weep. We are creatures who for most of our history have stories that gave meaning to the earth and enabled us to live in harmony with her. We are as big and beautiful and important as the earth.

Here's to new stories.

moonwhiskers, parallel universe autumn
Parallel Universe Autumn by Moonwhiskers under a creative commons atrribution/share alike licence
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Maybe existence isn't a problem to be solved. But it's good to keep asking unanswerable questions until we run out of them and the mind takes a rest. And that's always something to be desired:)
by hcr7k (score: 0|9) 1954 days ago
Someone or other once said words to the effect that Man is the only organism for whom existence is a problem to be solved. No other part of this thing the Universe as us calls Universe has a problem, but just gets on with it. But it's fun to wonder.
by hcr7k (score: 0|9) 1954 days ago

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