“Human beings don’t care about spectacle, what they care about is ecstatic understanding”
The over-debated question about the purpose of life has been discussed since the beginning centuries of time. And after many discussions, and far-too-few books read, I’ve recently been sucked into the whirlpool of questions that revolve around our understanding of what this all means. Far too often the questions used to leave me with no answers, only consumed by more thought.
These steps to the basement of my conscious led me to think about how many questions exist that no human can present evidence to answer. Considering the fact that humans haven’t been around for 99.999% of the cosmic history, it’s safe to say we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the expansive questions that could, and do exist.
“I know one thing, that I know nothing.”
Facing these facts are unsettling, right? Here we have, in Socrates, one of the smartest intellectuals in all of human history not only admitting his inability to answer these questions, but also stating the enormity of knowledge that exists and is, yet, unattainable. Humbling isn’t it?
Lifestyles have changed, cities have been built, technologies have erupted. Yet we stand here over two thousand years later asking ourselves the same unanswerable questions; ones that can only truly be ‘answered’ with our opinions. Some of these questions have been answered through religion, some through philosophy, and some by personal morals and values. But if I’m like any of my fellow Y generation citizens, slapping a cookie cutter answer to any of these haunting questions just isn’t enough. Ideas (and answers), in my opinion, must come naturally and feel organic. We must formulate, based on our knowledge base, answers that are unique to ourselves for our mind to be content with it’s answer. It’s why adolescents question their family’s religion, why individuals distrust certain philosophies, and why the movie Inception is so mind-blowing with it’s concept of genuine inspiration. We may run into, or be born into, ideas that parallel with our inner beliefs. However, more often than not, we must seek and construct ideas to form our own genuine inspiration.
“We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves — from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.”
– Science writer, Stephen Jay Gould
I’m not here to bash any standing beliefs. I’m stating my personal belief that life is about expanding our conscious by asking questions and seeking answers. Yes, the unanswered questions plague us. But it is the unanswered questions that make life interesting. And the unanswered questions will lay unanswered unless you seek their answers.
“The unhappy person is one who has his ideal, the content of his life, the fullness of his consciousness, the essence of his being, in some manner outside of himself.”
So how do we go about seeking answers to life’s unattainable questions? Am I asking too much from my readers? I mean, the odds any of you will factually answer “what is the purpose of life”, is impossibly slim. Consider this statement by James Clerk Maxwell, a renown physicist…
“Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.”
I’d like to argue this point even further. Every real advance in life has come through an ignorance of the facts. Scientists who accepted that things fell naturally, could never ‘discover’ gravity. Explorers who accepted that the world was flat, never truly explored. Entrepreneurs who accepted the facts of their industry or customers, are the ones currently out of business. Poets who accepted rhyme and reason, never truly heard the awe-inspiring power of slam poetry. And individuals who accepted that some questions cannot be answered, never truly live.
So join me, as I begin a new project on The Audible Threshold, where I question the facts in Unanswered Questions. I feel an insatiable urge to discover, to learn, and to feel, as Jason Silva calls it “cognitive ecstasy”. If Socrates knows nothing, then neither do I. But we can learn the cosmos together by reading and creating each other’s thoughts. There will never be one universal answer to these questions, but millions of personal unique definitions on how we choose to live our lives can guide us to form our own life’s constructs. Through opening our minds we might just live curiously, and awaken the wonder junkie within us all.
Please! Comment below with your thoughts. And if you want to join my exploration, make sure to hit the “follow” button on the top right of the blog for exclusive updates.
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” ….”So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long.”