An Imperial Affliction, or, The Fault in Our Stars

I have often wondered about the purpose of our existence. Countless days and nights of intense thoughts and readings and discussions have led me to believe that nobody knows. No one knows the reason why the third rock from the sun has developed a different sort of chemical bonding amongst the cosmic particles that enabled a sort of self-awareness. That awareness, that rage of hormones – what is it for in the end? We might be the only self-aware species in this entire universe of void, and that thought doesn’t frighten me even a single bit, but this purposeless awareness does. Maybe mars had a civilization like us, with its underlying canals and water and ice at the polar caps. What lies there now is ruin. But then again, the universe is ruin to begin in the first place. Stars get born and die. A lumpy mass of rock is all that remains, and all the zigzags and patterns chemicals made with all their self-aware bondings are destroyed or swept over or transformed into what we call dust.

So, why are we here? Sometimes I think the fact that our entire existence is a result of randomness is too big a reason for us to not feel important. But then self-importance comes from self-awareness. The moment a child can think that he or she’s a human being, and different from air water earth sky fire, an entity, an assembled system of chemical compounds, he goes on the path of self-importance. He thinks the world, the cosmos revolves around him. He thinks he exists, so the universe exists.

What a fool’s paradise we create around us.

The universe, like time, is endless. Infinity is not a number to me, it’s a loop. In the end we’re infinite, coming back to the beginning through our end, replicating the same cosmic process that has been going on and on for millenia. Time, thus, is also infinite. Every day, don’t you see the clock’s hands coming back to the same hours and minutes and seconds? The process is a loop, but our self-awareness and self-importance puts fancy terms around it, breaks it down to minuscule subprocesses and tries to show everyone that it is an amalgamation of complexity. It is not. Look at the black hole. Look at all those nebulae. Look at the dead rocks, the methane oceans, the red storms, the love-hate of comets, the burning, guttural existence of stars.

Do you need a reason to exist? Time will continue to tick-tock, stars will still live and die and live and die again, black holes will still be there, dead rocks with all those mountains and dried river basins will still bear the cosmic love after centuries. Only self-awareness will cease to exist, for the time being, and wait under a lair to emerge again through some green skinned, antenna-in-head, six eyed entities.

How does it matter if we exist to the cosmos? It does not. We’re simply too random. Pessimistic thought? Maybe. Reality? Yes.

The fault is in our stars that we believe we’re most important, and the imperial affliction is that we really don’t matter. But look at the beautiful night sky, look at the glowing fireflies and the faint glimmer of squids on a seashore, or even fix your gazes on the endless line of beach that runs through a gray sea – and then assimilate the thoughts that we are one with the cosmos. We don’t matter as individuals, but as alive manifestations of dead particles, we do make sense. It’s the wonderfulness of randomness.

I want to finish this post with a beautiful quote. I can’t imagine this is my 200th post for this blog. I’m writing, and I will keep writing as long as I can. That’s a promise.

“As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the ocean:

‘Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it,

Rising up and rising down, taking everything with it.’

‘What’s that?’ Anna asked.

‘Water,’ the Dutchman said. ‘Well, and time.’

— Peter Van Houten, An Imperial Affliction  

Picture Courtesy: Infinity Mirrored Room, Yayoi Kusama

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