I had this thought yesterday.
Who really understands what is going on as far as life goes? I mean truly deeply knows and understands the profound truths about existence. Why do we have coded information in our genes? What is the principle that makes life want to continue propagating? What is the pact between plants and animals to nourish each other? How does symbiosis initiate? How can an organism evolve an eye? What are moods made out of? Why does the placebo effect work? And if our beliefs are so powerful why are some things bad for you even when you don’t know they are?
Of course many people simply don’t have time to think about these things. And the ones who do have time are likely disinclined to lend their thoughts to deeper musing.
As Henry David Thoreau said,
The millions are awake enough for physical labour; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life.
I can not say that it is necessarily good or bad to reflect on life and search for meaning. A case can be made for both perspectives.
On the one hand such reflections have undoubtedly led down what would seem to some a perfectly logical path ending in nihilism, a concept which some may find difficult to divorce from misery.
On the other hand enough contemplation may lead another person to drop all worry of past as well as future and drop into a serene state appreciating the value of each present moment.
Seeing birds, animals, flowers, trees, mushrooms, insects, sunshine, clouds and people on my daily walk often presents me with a stark contrast between us humans and everything else. We humans have this immense capacity to understand so much about life. Yet we either don’t reach that place, or we choose to deliberately distract ourselves from facing life. Maybe life’s antithesis is what worries us.
I sometimes imagine what it would be like if an outside intelligence encountered planet earth. How confusing it would be for them to discover that a being with this much capacity has created hundreds of thousands of reasons to imprison each other. Absurd, yes. Easy to solve, no.
This evening I sat down to read a book which I have had the intention of cracking open for several years now. It is called SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT TRILOGY (1979 by Robert Anton Wilson). I read another book by the same author, THE ILLUMINATUS TRILOGY about 13 years ago and recalled that Robert Anton Wilson wrote with a wicked sense of humour and a ridiculously honest albeit unflattering view of human nature. In SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT he writes as though he was an outside intelligence looking at humans and their peculiar ways.
I was only a few pages into the book when I felt I wanted to share the book with the world. This concept is exactly what I would have hoped to express had I written about an outside intelligence observing the ways of our world. I am delighted that someone else had already expressed the idea I had had earlier.
This is the wake up call from R. A. Wilson.