Thursday, September 13, 2007

the meaning of life

been pondering this for quite a while. and i think i'm onto something pretty convincing, at least for myself. of course, probably the majority of this is bits and pieces of things i've read or heard about. but i've come up with some interesting theories to tie a lot of these things together. coming to these conclusions definitely has helped me understand what i'm really supposed to be doing here, and where i want to take my life.

what is the meaning of life?
it is simple from a macro perspective. and the most common answer is the correct one. we are here to find happiness, spread our positive influence, and ensure our genes are spread. we are genetically predisposed and driven to do so. i don't think anyone will question that. its an inner desire we are born with. everything we do after puberty can be linked to our desire to make sure our genes are spread before we die. why do we go to school, buy a car, buy a house, buy nice clothes, work out, get a job, get plastic surgery, wear makeup, beat up people, etc? to attract a mate, so we can procreate, and raise our gene hosts (aka children) to put it in the most dry way possible.

the long drawn out answer is when it gets interesting. you have to view our planet earth as one giant organism. and we are just the cells. the one difference in this analogy is that we have the choice to be benign cells, cancer cells, or a cell that helps the organism by helping other cells survive, replicate, spread good, and fight off the cancer cells. we have the choice to be one at any time.

the survival of the fittest genes
for an organism to live healthy, it needs to have a system in place so that the better genes have a higher chance of replicating, and the inferior genes have a hard time doing so. this explains why we do things like the list mentioned above, and why we spend every moment of our adult lives trying to advertise that the genes that we are carrying are good for replication by advertising our good health, physical beauty, intelligence, skill, charisma, ability to provide for others, or our high place in the social/cultural ladder. that is why all of these things are so innately attractive to the opposite sex. it is the ultimate test of life. you need to prove to yourself and others that your genes and upbringing is good enough to continue to go on for the good of more than just mankind, but everything that exists on our planet.

on the opposite side of things, if you choose to not follow this system, you won't be attracting the opposite sex any time soon. of course, some of these things listed are things we're born with, and its almost impossible to be a dud in every item listed. you will be able to initially attract someone, but you'll be in trouble if you fail to prove that you'll be able to do your part in the big picture, guarentee as much as possible that you'll be able to raise your children by any means, whether it be the ability to throw a spear into the heart of a wild boar wearing only a sash, or be financially abundant to where if something unspeakable to happen to you after the children are born, that they will continue to grow up healthy.

happiness is everybody's endgame
another thing just as important is to find happiness. This is why even if you have good genes, and you can show that you can raise a healthy family, if you cannot demonstrate that you can at least keep your partner happy for a very very long time, its another deal breaker.

here's my view (and I'm sure many people's view) of what happiness is. Like how it is said in Greek that there are many words for the word love, there should be many different words for happiness. it is true that driving a new ferrari off the lot may make you incredibly happy, but this type of happiness and the happiness that we are hoping to find in the big picture of life is not the same thing. the different levels of happiness may be adjacently mapped to our brains but there is only one type of happiness that we are all innately looking for. and if we had that, we wouldn't need anything else to heighten our emotion, because we would already be at the peak of happiness.

my picture of "true happiness"
-only reachable after having successfully raised healthy children (knowing my genes will continue to survive)
-a collective euphoric emotion shared by the family that you hope will never end.
-purely emotion based where physical world has no meaning, especially the ownership of material objects.

why do people adopt?
i would say whenever an adoption is made, there is some sort of compromise. whether you can't reporduce or maybe you are sacrificing the desire to pass off your genes so you can save a child. it would be an addition to the great "nurture vs nature" debate. and it would be one for the nurture argument stating that nurture is at the very least, as important as nature. just like spreading genes, you can spread your philosophy of life. and if you can do that successfully and in a potent way, is there really a difference than spreading your influence that will carry on for generations and generations for the good of mankind compared to spreading genetic predisposition? in a overall macro view, there is no difference. you are helping the big organism earth in the same way.

could married people with no kids be truly happy?
i truly believe in what i wrote, and i would say, you can find substitions and make compromises for a lot of things to achieve happiness to a certain level (pets, helping the needy, influencing people), but I think they would be missing out in a some way. Maybe they'll always feel like something is missing, or maybe they'll not know what they are missing and live completely happy lives. Can't say for sure. If these people don't do anything like spread their influence (even though they believe that they have good influence to share), these would be a good example of benign cells. They exist at one point in time, then the cells and genes are gone forever. their philosophy of life doesn't continue. It makes sense for the greater good that people who are willing to live lives with a selfish philosophy shouldn't be spreading genes or influence anyway.

money and the material world
it is true that money and material posessions doesn't have anything to do with the finding of happiness that i've been talking about, but money has a lot of purpose. just because you realize it doesn't have anything to do with the ultimate happiness, it doesn't mean you shouldn't make as much money as you possibly can.

what does money actually buy you?
1. health. you need money to feed yourself. even health comes before anything i've talked about.
2. a home (a roof over your head for your family).
3. added security (guarentee food will be at the table, that the mortgage will be paid, and that you're doing your best to protect your family from the "cancer cells" on this planet)
4. a climb up (or the catchup to) the social ladder. the higher you are up, the more appealing you'll be to the opposite sex. futher you are down, the less appealing you'll be. maybe this mainly applies to males.
5. free time (hopefully to improve yourself physically and mentally).
6. the biggest and most important, the ability to instantly help others become healthy. there is not enough money you can have to help feed and give medical attention to the less fortunate. as we speak, thousands of people die daily from famine. it is part of our calling to help mankind. unlike us who ponder what we should do with ourselves, people who can't feed themselves or go to the hospital because they are poor can't do anything without health first. unfortunately and forthunately money is probably the number one contributing factor. If we can feed a child for 11 cents a day, imagine what you can do with a million dollars. with money, you can impact lives directly, and instantly.

the soul
what is the soul, and how does it play a part in all of this? the soul is an internal system that analyzes our worth on earth, and is the governor to our happiness. it tests us to see if we should spread our genes, drives us to improve if we haven't proved our value yet. to achieve this, its the moderator and source of all types of emotions. it punishes us when we don't do well, it rewards us for being good, and drives us to improve.

cancer cells (bad people)
cancer cells are people who negatively affect the health of earth. whether they are hunting animals to extinction, killing people, or setting off nukes, unlike the people who try to improve the planet we live on, these cancer cells are out there to damage it. another example of cancer cells are like if someone now posesses a gun, and intends to use it maliciously, he skips through the systems that earth has set in place, and without proving himself to anyone, now posesses great power over others, and defiintely can spread his genes by force. he can also convince others to follow in his footsteps.

in conclusion, life is simple
why are these bad people on earth? why do some of us have cancer cells in our bodies? i haven't started pondering that question yet. i'm not trying to figure out how the planet was created, or how we got here on earth. i'm just trying to demystify that life is much simpler than what we probably expected. no one really knows how we come into existence. and it doesn't really matter that we don't know. trying to find out might not be a part of our business (and out of our level of understanding) because we are just a small part of the big organism and our roles when we've gotten here are simple. if you have mutated into a being with good genes, and/or have been nurtured with postive influences, spread it as much as you can. and don't just spread it, make sure its effectively spread. then we will be rewarded for it.

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