In an earlier post I made the bold and seemingly outrageous statement that “… it will become apparent to us that our true (human) significance and destiny are entirely tied up with the meaning and purpose of the universe “, and I promised to get back to that point to see if I could actually make some sense of that idea. So here it goes.
The first point I would like to make is that it is unimaginable to me that we see the meaning of the event of ourselves as something over and above the event of the entire cosmos. The start and end of the cosmos are the start and end of the human phenomenon, and in that sense we always have been and always will be. As such, the cosmos is intrinsic to our being, and vice versa – we cannot be separated.
It follows too that – while it may have taken the world some time to bring us on to the scene – we have always been here, initially in principle, from the very start, as a potential event that was eventually realized as an expression in physical matter.
Secondly, the incidence of our physical existence is not a function of when, where or how, but of why we are here at all. I know this notion flies in the face of those who believe that everything that exists beyond the most elementary particle of matter is strictly a function of the random action of such particles, with no rhyme or reason in mind – other than of course the seemingly innate ability of matter to organize themselves into progressively more organized structures which – in its most complex formation – are able to exhibit life, prescience and consciousness as new properties not seen before. This is of course a bit of a problem for the random motion folks who’s fear of metaphysics – the “why?” – must be a product of random thoughts as opposed some kind of structured logical thinking.
I think that the reason why we are here is the same reason as to why the world is here – or, for that matter – why there is anything here at all. Well, at least it means we have only one why to worry about …
It is easy to be intimidated by the sheer scope of the physical universe, it age and its size, but as impressive as that is – it would be wrong to attach a significance to that beyond the fact that it simply is what it is. Its true meaning will be completely independent from and over and above its physical attributes.
This makes our experience of the physical aspects of our existence less relevant, and that to the point of being able to survive them, we can – to a certain degree – take them for granted.
Thus, what we will conclude about ourselves is not going to be a function of our physical interaction with the world, but what we discover about ourselves and each other during our social and intellectual interaction, i.e., what we mean to each other, how we treat each other, or are able to work together towards common goals, and how we arrive at such goals. And – ultimately – what we want from life during the short time that we are here as individuals, as well as what our history will show us about ourselves as a species.