As human beings, we're born with two pieces of knowledge that no other animal on the planet possesses, that we are going to die at some point and that our lives are supposed to fill some kind of higher purpose.
Where other species go about their lives following little more than their instincts and their emotions, we, the so-called civilized beings, spend our time in a race against our own mortality while striving to find some higher purpose or greater meaning in our existences. We are not content on merely surviving, we need to thrive, to be more, to do more, to create more and to leave behind more than anything else on the planet.
To validate this, we create things. We create order, we make laws, we invent ideas like money and we try to establish things like culture that somehow express this hidden knowledge, this uneasy understanding, of our own mortality and our place in the universe. After all, isn't everything we do outside of the fundamentals of survival just a means of covering up our own mortality and our pathetic existence. Be it entertainment to help us forget or creation to make it less poisonous, everything we do, in one way or another is designed to put at ease the curse we carry from day one. That foul knowledge we don't like to speak of.
Yes, death is imminent. Yes, life is supposed to mean something. But are we truly better off knowing that? Does it really help us to live from day to day with the knowledge that it could all come to an end in a blink of the eye and that our entire existence might have fallen painfully short of its intended goal? Granted, monkeys don't build wonderful societies, but they don't have psychiatrists either. Dogs may not have perfect lives but at least they aren't forced to wrestle endlessly with the futility of their own existence, they live, they eat, they find happiness in simple things and they die peacefully. It may not be a perfect life, but in many ways it's better than any life we could hope for.
But since we obviously can't go back to living like animals, the genie once let free will never go back in the bottle, we need to realize that everything we've achieved our societies, our cultures, our systems, our ideals and even our way of life is nothing more than an expression of our simple, morbid knowledge. Between fighting off boredom, trying to feel productive and working to become more civilized, almost none of man's achievements are due to anything but our endless need to fight what makes us so special.
That's why I don't fear my mortality; I embrace it. With open eyes I can be productive, fill the time I have on this planet doing the things I want without tricking myself into believing it's something we all know it's not. Because the truth is there, inside all of us, and it will either see the light of day or rot in the pit of our stomachs, eating us like a cancer from the inside out. I will not let that happen to me.
My mortality and my understanding thereof is what makes me special and it's also what makes my time so special. A second spent is a second never to be reclaimed. A deer might not understand that, but I do and I intend to use every second to my time the best way I can, furthering my own happiness and the happiness of those around me.
You see, the one lesson I know we can learn from the animals is that happiness is the highest state of existence and being able to find joy in the smallest of things is the secret to leading the fullest life possible. If everyone did that, then our mortality wouldn't matter and our morbid knowledge wouldn't be so damnably morbid. We'd all be able to open our eyes to the truth and see it as it is, without batting an eyelash or wincing in fear.
That's a truly great world, a world with the best of mankind and the greatest of animal kind. It's a peaceful, happy world that I hope I get to live in someday. But if not, I hope I find it within myself, after all, given the world around me, I think that it's my only hope…
Yeah, I agree with a lot of what you said. I don't have the patience nor the energy to explain how much I agree but I do.
i agree…very much so
Like the other comments I totally agree. What more can be said what has been said already.
i thought i was the only one who saw happiness as the highest "state of existance". i'm glad to know that i'm not the only sap out there who knows what the meaning of life is, even if it is as simple as happiness.
Even though i see the logic in what you have to say about mortality…dont you believe that there is a greater existance? Something that we cannot see? I believe that there is, we just dont know how to bring immortality forward in oursleves…yet. I mean, im not disagreeing with what any of you guys said, but…I have faith that there is something out there, I mean, ive expirienced things that i cant explain…what was it? Even though i embrace the good things in life, i have to embrace the bad as well…its kinda cool actually but…yeah
That's what I love about kids. They don't care as long as their happy. They'll find anything to do to keep from being bored. Then they, we grow up and have to know more, be more. We are no longer content with jumping on your mother's bed! Awesome rant!!
i believe that the majority of people do not know what they have been given when they come into this world and as a biproduct of society they are never taught to appreciate what they have. why spend your entire life working towards what somebody else thinks you should be when it's obvious that only a tiny margin of time is given to you in comparison with history as a whole. life is something that should be celebrated and lived to the utmost fullness because you never know when exactly your not going to have the oppurtunityies you expected to have delivered to your doorstep. I think that this piece you have written, this "rant" should be read and discussed by humanity as a whole because the way things are going now a few years down the road people are going to forget about the simple ideas and actions that make them happy. They will cease to realize that they can make their own choices about the precious little time we have to enjoy life and help others see the truth about life.
You must be very wise to Know all of these fundamental things about the universe. Philosophers since the ancient Greeks have quested the proof of Knowledge. How long have you hoarded the Answer.
Here here! And a mighty swell write that was indeed!
When you think about it, how often do we waste our time making other people happy by doing the norm? There's so much pressure put on kids today from their parents and the media to work hard and get grood grades so you can go to college and get lots of money! FOR WHAT? What if we want to stay young at heart and live simple and HAPPY because we know the truth!
Wet truly know that truth does not lay in anything on this earth, but in the high we feel when our feet are off the ground and our heads are amongst the stars! Happiness is to dream. Happiness is the key.
you are so completely right its sickening. We are known as the most intellegent species on earth…but i think that if we really are so intelligent, why do we kill ourselves off like gnats in a stream? Why do we threaten each other? Why? I wish you had the answer for that too. Still, i agree very very much. I think other animals can be called the smartest species because they go by insticts…we're not.
"We are just a moment in time, a blink of an eye, a dream for the blind, visions of a dying brain, I hope you don't understand."-The Gathering
yes, if we r sooo advanced thn y do we feel the need 2 concur other nations? in my opinion humans r like bugs 2 the world i mean compared 2 other things we dnt live tht vry long at all nd we r not advanced bcuz ther r still ppl out ther wivout even the basic foodstuffs. y r we so greedy? y r we so evil still? we r not happy we r not goin 2 b ahppy untill things r done 2 make ppl realise tht gd grades shudnt matter its wot is in ur heart tht matters. humans r blind.