What happens on this planet, the immensity of all that transpires here, what is it for? Life, and its wondrous circle, a mystery to each one of us even though we live it every day, humans, technology, is it all for nothing?
Imagine the Wankhede, packed with thirty thousand fans, twenty thousand of them screaming the same name. Now imagine that this will just blow away, no more than a puff of sand to the lightest gust in the history of the universe. The iPhone, the internet, space travel, the automobile, colour TV, ice cream, all of it, reduced to nothing, and the event without significance or record. What is it for then, what’s all of it for? To open a momentary window of colour in the all consuming sterility of the universe, only to see it shut in a blink?
The elements exploded, then fused, and cooled down, and something as impossible as life happened, and then happened again, and kept happening. Then life took on a life of its own, and then feelings and thoughts and minds, and consciousness. Amazing, incredible, unbelievable almost. And then we walk around, thinking of things, making things, making a world. For what? And we’re happy, and we’re sad and we’re worried that maybe we left the geyser on this morning, and we’re ecstatic, and we’re depressed, and we haven’t the slightest idea if we really want to watch that movie or if we’re just test tubes inside an incredibly advanced chemical experiment called Life: Batch 2, Sample 3.
Does it make a difference what we do, or if we do anything at all? Does the course of the universe’s history shift by an inch from its original path by the cause of our being, our civilization? Can, in any scenario, even an incredibly improbable one, our efforts amount to anything but naught? Is life really the wonder we make it out to be, or is that only a measure of the limits of this human mind?
They say having a child really changes your perspective on things – its hard to be cynical when you hold your baby and look into its eyes for the first time, and it’s a little bit like looking into a mirror, but not quite. The wonder of that moment is alchemy, that’s the claim. I don’t doubt the truth of this. What happens when the child starts to grow, however? What happens when he asks his own questions? What do you say, what do you think, when he wonders if this is nothing more than a computer program? What do you do when the cynicism circles back to the very mirror it disappeared from?
Do you push and shove and try to break out of the program in the hope of being “truly” alive, or do you say “meh, this is fun enough in itself” and submit to the existence of a glorified data string? Or, do you cling on to the belief that this is real, this has meaning, that we’re doing something here, even if we don’t quite know what it is, and that maybe the only programs are the ones we write. The belief that this accidental planet, and this accidental species, will thrive and spread, and build, and connect, and that it will, over a time as measured only at the scale of the universe, survive, and become as eternal as the firmament itself. And if you do choose the path of this belief, then perhaps you try to answer this - this monumental achievement, this eternal civilisation of civilisations, what would that be for?