This has always been something incredibly fascinating to ponder. How insignificant, miniscule, and lost within the vastness of time and space we are.
But as I grow older, the wonder of that gives way to a profound sadness and depression.
The thought that our existence may, for all we know, be utterly without meaning or consequence in the grand scheme of things. That any beliefs we
harbor to the contrary may simply be our way of desperately trying to cope with existential terror and anxiety, whether we admit this possibility to
ourselves or not. That in the end, all that will be left is a great, dark, cold expanse of silence. That we really may simply be inconsequential side
effects of two membranes colliding (membrane theory) and producing a universe which will in time exhaust the energy of that collision and flatten back
out into relative nothingness as we might term it. (It might be comforting to imagine that it will recollapse and start all over again, but the most
current understanding, unless I'm mistaken, is that expansion of space will eventually exceed the speed of light and that the universe will continue
to expand forever, for all intents and purposes. )
That we might very well live out our existence as a species without ever coming into contact with other intelligent beings, because the distances and
limitations of the laws of physics are just so insurmountable that that's the nature of our universe. That one day we will be gone, forgotten,
possibly never encountered or recorded by any other intelligent species, and even if we were, that they too will cease to exist and die out, forgotten
and unnoticed by what may simply be an indifferent, unconscious universe with no inherent meaning or nature other beyond the fact that it simply
Unfathomable and unknowable to us because it defies our need to have meaning and perpetuation into the future. A future which will end whether we like
it or not, and no matter how much it pains us. The universe may simply not care, and may not be anything capable of caring. It may simply exist. We
may say, "but how can that be? Why does it exist in the first place?" What if the answer is simply, "It just does?" What if that's it? We may not like
that, but the universe may not give a damn what we like and don't like or need or are hurt by. I mean, clearly it doesn't, as tragedies and
destruction befall us for natural reasons all the time. I remember when the tsunami hit Japan, seeing it happen live, and thinking to myself, "Just
moments ago those people were going about their lives and looking forward to everything they'd do today. Now... they're gone." What if that's just it?
What if this is all there is? We all believe different things but the ultimate fact of the matter is that we have no objective way of knowing with
certainty whatsoever if there's anything beyond this existence or that our lives even matter one iota beyond our need for them to.
People can say, "Oh, but I DO know. I've had X experience or Y experience to prove it." But any experience we can possibly have is processed by the
mind and our perceptions. So no, with all respect to everyone's right to believe what they wish, you don't
know. You choose to believe. Which
is your prerogative, but if I had a "near death experience," no matter how profound, part of me would always doubt it because I would continually hear
a nagging voice in the back of my head saying, "Your brain can produce some amazing realities under the right circumstances."
So... yeah. Great topic. But now I'm filled with existential terror and profound all consuming depression.
This is why I don't attack people for their religious and spiritual beliefs. Because at least they have some modicum of peace and fulfillment. Whether
they're right or not, I don't know. But I'd rather have faith in something than face that reality. If only I could. But I can't un-consider the
possibilities I've already considered, and can't force myself to have faith in something I profoundly doubt. I wish I could. I wish I could go back to
when I was younger and believed in so many different things, and was at peace with myself and the world. But I can't.
Man. Sorry to be a downer. This topic just led inexorably to a very unpleasant thought process and state of mind.
edit on 2/9/2013 by AceWombat04 because: Typo