There are times when I envy people their happiness, their joyous lives, pain free, carefree; superficial and shallow, perhaps lacking substance, yet happy. I sit at cafés, alternating between hope, despair, exuberant bliss, pessimism, sudden highs – wind through my hair, night lights, rings of smoke – and then I look at other tables, people laughing, eating, talking about mundane incidents from a mundane life, and it all comes crashing down near my ears, like waves crashing on a shore at high tide. I envy their normalcy, their ability to take life and just live it, without struggling to find answers for questions which have no answers – the reason for our existence, the meaning of love, an escape from the dry monotony dragging us by. Suddenly, I haven’t the slightest idea what I am doing there in that café in the midst of happy faces, so I overdose on caffeine and blow smoke on their faces, silently cursing them for having most of it together. I wish to be free of this eternal struggle with myself, the endless moralizing, philosophizing, rationalizing, and bouts of utterly bleak despair. Everything seems bleak. Get me out of here.
Do you sometimes go into a trance and imagine that if a caveman were to materialize in today’s world, how astonished he would be to look at all this modernization and technology? After the initial shock of seeing buildings stretching towards the sky and cars zooming at the speed of light, he will probably fire off questions on the science of it all, the cars, phones, television, computers, audio video recording, and even basics such as internet and electricity. Would he even understand the science behind man’s creative genius developed over the centuries? Would his brain be evolved enough to grasp this massive information overload within just one lifetime?
I also imagine a reverse scenario, with me as the caveman, all signs of evolution forced back into the past, and nothing to do but be either the hunter or the hunted. Imagine being responsible for further evolution of mankind and for laying down the very foundation of science! I’m not sure I could do it; stone age was simply too difficult.
Predators, fire, stone, tools, clothes, fences, wheel, cultivation… Is it possible that in some form, you and me were also part of these brainwaves that triggered man’s future genius? Somehow I don’t think it likely, seeing as I don’t even get along so well with machines in the present day. It’s a story for another post, but I’ll admit this much with great audacity – I’ve never actually understood half the discoveries of science. Sure, I know what I learned in school, I know how things run on electricity and what fuels the engine in my bike. But would I have been the person to make those discoveries, had I been in their place? Probably not.
I know I’ve never faced a situation where survival itself is a prerequisite to living, but knowing myself well enough when it comes to creative discoveries in the field of science & technology, I will say that if I was the time traveling caveman in the modern day world, I would have been baffled with the explanation for internet & electricity. It is with a heavy heart I must conclude that the ‘stone age me’ must have been eaten by a tiger while wandering too far from the tribe. I hope that at least the tiger enjoyed his meal.
I think the time has come to decide what to believe. I could believe that there was a purpose for this Universe, and that human race is indeed closer to finding the answers, which are, at the moment, mere theories. Or, I could choose to be stubbornly naive and say that the only things that exist are the things we perceive in this sensory world, believe that we will never find those answers, and thus turn my back on the philosophical questions of existence that have haunted me as well as our entire species, for generations.
After years of research and scientific experiments, are we any closer to knowing if there is any God, or if the Universe had any purpose whatsoever? Do scientists or non-atheists honestly believe that one day either a God or a purpose will suddenly reveal themselves to us, after resolutely ignoring the beseeching cry for answers raised by our species for billion generations?
I don’t think so. Perhaps, all that is going to happen is, The Last Human (so to speak), is gonna end up with an enormous amount of researched, well-written hypothesis. And he’s not gonna know what the fuck to do with it.
The Last Human will then take his last breath, and life will flash before his eyes, not just his own but of the billions of generations gone by, of all the people who gave up their lives in the quest for answers, searching for meaning. Even if there is an afterlife and even if we do learn the answers after death, truth is that no Human will ever have penetrated into this mystery.
Some people say that death is a mere inevitability, and that the spirit lives on, taking another life form. But, remembering one’s past life has always been beyond the ability of a mere mortal. If we are to start each new life as a blank slate, without a memory of the soul’s prior existence, what purpose is there to believe that death is only for the bodily realm? It seems like a mere consolation for those fearing death, the thought that we don’t really die and that the soul lives on.
So, I choose to be stubbornly naive. I think we only get one life, and if we don’t live it to the fullest, that’s it, we’re dead. I cannot say I can ever turn my back on the philosophical questions, I but right now, I choose to believe that the answers are not gonna appear miraculously; rather, there’s a possibility they will never be known, and we will be left shooting in the dark.
Last night I had sex with a stranger. I don’t remember who, but it definitely wasn’t you. I don’t remember the details clearly, it was just a dream. Just a dream that ended in a scream. I woke up feeling guilty, that you might think it was cheating. Blurry dream images flash before my eyes in a swirling mix of alcohol and lies. And the dream started fading into the distance, dissolving into the blackness within.
Early morning streaking sunlight; blushing memories of last night. Your lips crushing mine, suddenly demanding; your hands in my hair, roughly commanding; and me surrendering to your urgency, willingly obeying. We tease pleasure and pain’s fine line; but you only find your pleasure in mine. Memories, more real than the rapidly dissolving dream. Memories can be held in the palm of your hand; dreams become lost time, sifting through the hourglass like fine grains of sand.
We can surrender body and mind, a consciousness, a waking life. But dream is destiny, they say; waking or dreaming, life’s in disarray; I wonder what remains at the end of day? Is it memories that come to stay… or haunting dreams that won’t go away?