Note from the Blog-owner: I give my best friend a spot in my blogsite for him to take a shot at his world-view philosophy about life – what’s it about?
By: F. Perrido
During the long hiatus of my uncharted webpage, I decided to tackle one of the most common questions in life:
What is the meaning of life?
Before anything, I want to be clear on what I’m trying to answer here.
How do I define “life”? Life, as I define it, is activity. A person is alive when he feels excited to go out to the world and hit it square on the face. The living person is passionate to use his life for a cause or direction.
My discussion may seem to lead nowhere near the meaning of life. But that is because I’m guiding you in a step-by-step basis. You might be confused at first because of the blend of neurology, phenomenology and metaphysics. But depending on your open-mindedness, my final answer may unlock chambers in your consciousness.
Who are we kidding? We are a weird product of evolution. Admit it.
…”Weird”, because evolution was always so desperate to keep things breathing that they would sort of “cheat” death by passing on to the offsprings some of the useful features(camouflage, fangs, poison sting, etc…) learned by their ancestors. Take note, though, that this “natural selection”, as it is often called, has taken place for millions of years.
- You are not making a mistake if you see an extension plug precariously supported by two slippers over the pool. Are they stupid? I can do that with one slipper alone.
Just imagine. All those years, animals were changing their bodies as regularly as fashion trends. You can guess that evolution has made all kinds of creatures with survival skills, each more deadly and more disgusting than the next. Don’t worry, evolution was definitely NOT so desperate that it created an animal that consumes your tongue and surgically attaches itself to the stump. Just kidding, such an animal exists.
- Scientific name: cymothoa exigua. The picture is self-explanatory.
Sure. These guys are weird, but humans are even weirder. While animals spend heads and tails just to survive, some humans will actually transgress authorities just to kill themselves, and I am not kidding. Ever heard of the Golden Gate Bridge?
- Yeah. Just look at that charming beaut. But put that point-of-view in fast forward and you see the bridge committing mass genocide, killing an average of 1 person every 2 weeks. Afraid? Now imagine that thing in your bedroom. Nightmare…
So for that previous pair of paragraphs, we made one thing clear: Evolution, whose job is to make pokemons and animals evolve into better creatures, has made people able to kill themselves. Holy Crap. That only made things LESS clear!
Hold on, we’ll explain that statement in a while. Truly, something has made us so fickle-minded about life. I mean, all the other animals are saving themselves, even with only their small enough brains. And here we are, graced with an expanded mind, and yet we kill ourselves. Are we dumb? Are we a mistake in evolution?
- No. That is not a Batista-Pikachu cross-bred fanart. That—is an official concept art of Pikachu for a proposed Americanized version of Pokemon. Read it up.
Perhaps you are plagued with questions right now. What is the power contained in us that makes us think differently? How do we even think about suicide? Which environmental interactions cause us to think strangely? Why do some people kill themselves? But do remember that desired answers in some cases, such as ours, are never acquired because the wrong questions are asked. So, allow me to give you the right question: Why does our mind conjure choices outside the basic survival requirements?
- His light saber is rainbow-colored.
To begin the discussion, I have to start by giving you a halfwit answer: Because we are smarter. Yes. Before aiming that chair at me, I implore you to stick to that simple fragment throughout the discussion, and I will augment to its clarity.
Now, resuming on to its explanation, let us consider, for example, a seagull. A seagull is undoubtedly stupid. You cannot ask it to do addition or spelling. A seagull will fail every exam you give and still mockingly chirp at you for even trying to give an exam to a seagull in the first place. But it certainly is satisfied with life, right? They just eat some fishes and drop doo on people’s hats, and that is what they have been doing for years. All their activities are accomplished with the size of their small brain.
- A famous seagull from Scotland, “Sam” would often steal Doritos from the supermart. It actually reached the news. Authorities must eliminate that smart-ass bird before it gets smarter.
Rule-of-thumb: Brain size is proportional to the body size. So, the bigger the body, the bigger the brain needed to process the information of the whole body.
For the seagull’s case, its brain was made small because it has a relatively small body and a rather limited variety of organizer entries(eat fish, drop doo, eat fish, drop doo, eat fish, drop doo…).
- Combine shark and seagulls, and you get a formidable predator. This sucker will eat military tanks!
Now, since humans are dwelling on the same mother soil as animals, it is by evolution’s design that our brain size should be decided by our own repertoire too. But No! In fact, our brains are not proportional to our body. It is far too large by anatomy standards.
- Give this guy a brain, and we’re as good as dead.
Wait, What? Our brains are too big for us? Yes, actually, and I’ll explain why. Let’s take a blast to the past and pay respects to our ancestry, around the dynasty of the numb-skulled Neanderthals.
- He’ll trad e his happy meal for your healthy dog.
Unfortunately, evolution does not give a damn whether we were satisfied with our brains or not. Eventually, evolution mercilessly kept on growing our brains! From what should have been enough for our survival, our head swelled to such ridiculous proportions that dinosaurs would have died laughing at seeing us.
May it be evolution’s science project or not, the augmentation of the brain grant us with MUCH more processing power than we need. Ok…so what?
- Holy Krang. This guy got so smart that his brain started moving on its own.
In case you did not catch the terror implied in my last statement, I’ll give you an analogy to consider. Imagine that the engine is the human brain, and the car itself is the body.
Simple. The body breaks apart.
The computer stops working all together.
The pipes will burst!
See where I’m getting at? Humans are actually a living model of having an engine too strong for the body to harness. And, having such over-sized brains for engines, we ought to explode! Or, in a lighter effect, we should become as crazy or as badass as Zohan. But we’re not. Strange, isn’t it? So, if the brain is only spending few of its total energy to already efficiently run our weak body, where does the extra brain power go?
- This man uses his intelligence to make a ground-breaking innovation. That thing on his head is a hat—made of his own hair. No headgear can be more badass than that, and it’s permanently stuck 24/7.
That’s right. With all these left-over energy, we are forced to think, think, and THINK. So instead of stoning a tree to get fruits, a human will use its excess brain energy to complicate things and make a chainsaw to bring the tree down, fruits and all. We are making survival more trivial and more frustrating on purpose. And to make it more baffling, our activities are not always for the purpose of self-preservation at all. Take Bobby Badfingers, for example. He’s got a unique skill so badass it can only be overshadowed by his nickname.
You think you’re cool? This guy will own you. Try snapping your fingers as quickly as you can. I bet you can barely reach 10 snaps a second, but this Badfingers dude can do it at 30 snaps a second. Amazing. I would want to do that. On the bad side however, if you wish to catch that roaming wild boar to feed your starving family, good luck killing it if your hunting plan involves jumping from behind the bushes and going on a finger-snapping frenzy in front of it.
- “Ah’m gonna snap you good, brudah!”
So, can Finger-snapping drop jaws? Yes. Can it solve hunger pangs? You wish. When you’re all hungry and alone in the wild, finger-snapping does not help at all, besides attracting more predators—to just end it all, you know. But that just so proves my point that humans will learn all sorts of things, regardless of practicality. But of course, some learnings we learned are productive, like science and art. Hopefully, of all the knowledge that humans can learn, I fervently wish mankind won’t eventually succumb to learn…HOLY HELL!
- Zardoz is his name, and…he does that look whenever he “likes” what he sees. You’re screwed.
There is another specialty about this mind of ours, besides increased brain capacity. Because we are so smart, knowledge that we have learned gets integrated much more quickly than in animals. Have you ever heard of Karawynn Long’s cat “Misha”? Karawynn tried to teach her cat to crap in the toilet bowl, and it took ages before the blasted fisheater followed lavatory etiquette. But for a human being, all you have to do is show him the glory throne at his darkest hour, and he’ll come storming into the lavatory himself.
- This is Misha. Go to www.karawynn.net to know more about her.
And how about those escapees from Alcatraz prison? Wait. What’s so special about the Alcatraz prison? For one, they have a long, running tradition: Nobody gets out. It’s not just the tough guards; The prison is surrounded by the sea at all four corners! It’s like an Azkaban prison from Harry Potter. You know what the Anglin brothers did? They borrowed raincoats from their friends and made a freaking lifeboat with it! Simply put, humans integrate knowledge much faster and analyze much more efficiently.
- No. The real escape was less dramatic, without the searchlights and the chasing guards. And at that rate, what he can he do? Walk on water?
Finally. That goes for the review of literature, so let’s review the culminating points/ Firstly, my basis for the discussion was that:
-Humans have a brain that is proportionally over-sized.
And then, from that basis, we deducted two arguments:
1. Having an extra brain forced us to use the extra brain energy on the brain itself.
2. The extra brain allowed us to learn faster and analyze better.
Using these ideas, we shall make the answer more visible with a dash of metaphysics. From here onwards is the real meat of the discussion.
- So. This is what a seagull’s mind looks like. What if I set everything on fire?
With my basis that “Humans have a brain that is proportionally over-sized“, you can say that the human “room” is much bigger than needed. The “boxes” can at most fill only one corner of the room. If you look at the rest of the “room”, you can only see a dark, void emptiness ahead. All the “boxes” you presently have seem so insignificant as you measure it to the infinite void in the “room”. If you approximate this, an “infinite-to-some-things” is equivalent to “infinite-to-none”.
In other words, when you reflect and become aware of the quantified “boxes” in your infinite “room”, it would seem as if there was nothing in your “room”. At the same time, your “boxes” are marginally cast away with disregard, thus you lose your sense of identity and mission. It will cause feelings of “insignificance-in-the-world” or “feeling-like-a-nobody”. Consequently, this will bring about ideas of destroying the body for your own, ill-conceived insignificance. In laymen terms, this act is most commonly known as “suicide”.
So, how do we prevent ourselves from getting into the “void-awareness” condition? The answer, in fact, has been always applied for many, many years by mankind. It is to add the “boxes” into our “room”. By adding the “boxes” in our “room”, the total amount of “boxes” in your room increases, making them more visible and noticeable in your vision. As a result, your attention is distracted from the dark void, and focusing on the new “boxes” in your “room”. In concrete expression, these new “boxes” can be a new job, a hobby, or achievements.
Perfect, all you have to do is fill your mind with new things, and that revolver will never see daylight ever, right? Actually, that was only half of the answer.
- Ach! Sloths are really creepy despite the smiling and all. You want this box?
You see, as you fill your “room” with new “boxes”, these “boxes” don’t stay new for long. After a while, the excitement wanes down, and these previously-new boxes gradually becomes just another “box” in the corner of your “room”. It happens all the time, because as my second argument mentioned, we learn things quickly. So, the “boxes” in our “room” similarly loses its uniqueness soon and fits in soon enough into the tetris stack of old “boxes”. In Filipino terms, we call it “nasasawa“.
- “This is getting boring. We need to try microwaving something else.”
So, how do we combat this “stagnation” condition?
The answer is easy to know but difficult to accomplish; You must fill your mind with “boxes” that is beyond any “boxes” that you currently have. It must be different, but it must also develop to what you already know. Otherwise, you will not recognize it as a “box”, thus you lose interest in pursuing it further. Which means, you cannot go painting when you have been hammering nails for a lifetime. A more suitable adjustment would be building houses. But then again, it is still a matter of preference of the individual.
- “And I SAY, you’ve got a cavity. Man, what I put up with this job”
Keep in mind though, that discovering new “boxes” is a continuous process. Once you have incorporated a box, you have to look for a “box”, different to what you already have, to fill your “room”. As you constantly pour new “boxes” into your “room”, you soon lose your attention to the “room” itself. soon, your attention grows smaller and smaller until it only covers a small perimeter around you, where the boxes are placed. And, when your vision only covers that small spot of attention in your brain, it sort-of imitates the “room” of a seagull by closing in your perception with the new “boxes”. Call it deception or what, but that is happens during the condition of freedom and mission for human beings. Conclusively, your “room” will only be complete when you do not cease adding the “boxes”, each diffirent to the next.
So, after all this talk, have you gotten the answer? the meaning to life?
What am I supposed to do?
What is it to live?
What is my purpose?
Haven’t you noticed it?
Everything alive, all these living things, they all live — to grow. Evolution has set animals to grow, by passing on skills to their offspring, thus nurturing a slow growth. We are tasked to grow as well, but at a wider pace than animals, because of the pressure inflicted by the void in our “room”. Evolution’s design commands us: “I share you the power of learning. Fill your mind with “boxes” and grow on your own. Thus you have a choice to gain more knowledge of the universe. Disobedience will cause you deep sorrow and confusion. You have no other choice.”
Here is my final word: Where do we find growth? That is a difficult question, because all of us differ in what we want. The only advice I can give, which can apply to all, is to do it the old-fashioned way: You search for it. Go to the mountains. Solve the most difficult equations. Eat the suspicious plant. Growth is somewhere out there, I promise you. And that place is somewhere where you are not right now, so get out of your comfort shell. Your best bet is that the promised land differs to what you were accustomed. It is not a place of the ordinary, but of discovery and surprise. It is a place of Chaos.
Hasta Epifania Proxima.