Existence II: 2014-07-17
The mere fact we exist can hurt my head sometimes. How could the universe have always existed, how can something just always be? If there was nothing there would always be nothing, how can something come from nothing? If there was nothing and then there was something, how does that make sense? What is even more troubling than the idea of existence even existing though, is the idea of not existing.
When I die there are two options, both out of my control. Either I will continue on in some kind of after life, or I will cease to be. I think therefore I am, so when I stop thinking I will not. All my thoughts, concerns, questions, every bit that makes me me will simply disappear. I have so many unanswered questions, there are so many things I want to know, that I can never possibly know. Either the answer will come long after my death, like what happens to my children, how will humanity progress, what are other planets like, are we doomed on this Earth or will we eventually escape? Or the answers are stuck in the past, what was my Dad like, what did he like to do, what were his thoughts, what did he feel when he left us? If there is no after life I will never know these answers, without some "magical" ability, something that is currently beyond my current understanding, I will never know so many things.
What is the point of my life, but to gather knowledge? To learn, to live, to dream and think. To wonder and discover. If I die and I disappear then there really is no point though, everything I have learned dies with me, sure some is passed on to the next generation, but most of me will be lost with me, all my memories, my thoughts that I kept to myself, those will all be gone. If there is an afterlife with eternal knowledge why keep living? Why not simply die now and learn all my answers? If I die and there is no afterlife I wouldn't know it to be wrong, I wouldn't know anything. I wouldn't be able to anguish over a bad decision, I wouldn't know it was a bad choice. Of course what's the rush then, if there is an afterlife like that then maybe there is some point of being here as well. And if there isn't this is all we have so might as well make the most of it. No matter what we don't really have a choice, there is no way to escape our fate, whatever will be will be, for millions of years the same fate has beset our ancestors, and the same fate will affect our descendants all the way down the line as well.
Why worry about it really, no matter what we do we will die, if not now then the heat death of the universe, eventually even the universe will die and we can not escape that. We might find ways to prolong our lives millions of years, but eventually it will happen, we will cease to think and be. Whatever our fate may be it is the same for all of us.
I exist now, and I really like existing. There is so much I know, so much I want to know. What is the point of learning if I lose it all when I die. People always tell me "well death will be like what life was like before you were born". But that's the thing, I didn't exist then, I had no thoughts. I was not. Before I was anything didn't matter, I wasn't anything, but now there is just so much to learn and do and be. Now that I exist I don't want to return to that. I was nothing, and now I'm something, and I really don't want to go back to being nothing. Of course when I return to that it won't bother me, but until then it will continue to torment me. There are a million questions I want to know, that are already impossible to know because of the nature of time, I wish so much there was an afterlife that explained everything, but every bit in me knows it's a lie. If I die I lose all my knowledge, I lose my lust for knowledge. If there is an afterlife though I will finally know everything I can't possibly know while alive, so with that logic in mind, why stay alive? That terrifies me, because I know what it was like before I was born, and I don't want to go back to that, to that not being.
I think this is why there is no other intelligence life out there. After you reach a certain point you just get too smart, and realize there are no gods, no afterlife, this is it. They learn about the heat death of the universe and how nothing lasts, and in the end no matter what they do they won't last, nothing is important. And it scares them, and they end up wiping themselves out because of it, because of this revelation. Or they come to the conclusion they will eventually die no matter what, so why continue the cycle? Why keep bringing new life in that will have to suffer our same fate. When you realize there is no after life why bring a child knowing he won't last forever. Perhaps they breed themselves out of existence. Or maybe I'm horribly wrong and there is another reason. Maybe there isn't enough energy or materials in a solar system to actually make the escape. Maybe they can leave their planet, and make it to other planets, maybe even send out probes or a few vessels, but there just aren't the resources available for them to really expand out of the solar system, perhaps we are close to reaching peak technology, few hundred years, maybe a thousand, and that's it. When I die I will lose my memories, my best times with Diana and Ryder will be forgotten. Everything will be forgotten, and I won't even exist to care.
Eventually humanity will be gone, and we will be but a memory for the universe, our artifacts left behind, and then we won't even be a memory, and then the universe won't even be. We shouldn't exist but we do, so we need to make the most of it because it really is all we have, and we can't change that. Perhaps other civilizations have realized this too, that reality can't be changed, perhaps they've decided to simplify themselves, because the more they learn the more they are tormented. Sometimes I wish I was born a thousand years ago when we had so much less knowledge about the universe, when an afterlife was a certainty, instead of a horrible gnawing doubt.
I feel no matter how I try to write it or say it, I can never express how much this devours me from the inside, the emptiness of knowing that eventually I will be gone, I won't see everything there is to see, people will never truly know me, when they die they won't gain a huge understanding of why I did the things I did, they will just be gone. That's the thing, no matter how hard I try I can never truly explain how I feel, no matter how much I write about this or talk about this there will always be a gap between who I am, my thoughts and ideas and feelings, and what they understand of me. Unless they have otherworldly powers, are able to have true understanding of everything, through supreme understanding gained through an afterlife, I will always be alone. I can never be truly understood, as much as I can never truly understand anyone else, and their actions. I will never know why my Dad lived the life he did, or why my Gigi lived the life he lived. I wish I could have supreme knowledge when I die, just to learn every question I've ever had, then let me pass. I want to know about my Dad, what he was like, what he was thinking when he did the things he did. I want to know my Gigi's life, who was he before I was born, how he became the way he became, and I can't know that without knowing his thoughts along the way. As time passes I will know less and less about them. I think therefore I am, so when I die and stop thinking I won't be. This scares me horribly.
I have a child, and sometimes I doubt having him, what if he anguishes the same way I do, always searching for answers he can never have. That's why I will stay alive, I will be there by his side as long as I can. Life is good, I lead a good happy life, but if I didn't and I felt the way I do now about existence and the afterlife I can see why you wouldn't want to continue on. Perhaps as resources grow low other civilizations stop leading good lives, and they all sterilize themselves, stop having children. Children are for hope, and I still do have some kind of hope of an afterlife, although the more I think of it the more I know it isn't so. Without hope why keep the cycle going?
This makes me seem suicidal or anti-children or pro-children, or who knows what people will read into this. That's not my message, that's just me horribly trying to explain my message. I just feel so much turmoil at the not knowing, every day I seem to dread death more and more, I am scared, and I can't change that. I don't want to die, but I will. I will cease to be. You think therefore you are, and when I am not, I won't even be able to think about not being, I will have no fear, no hate, no love, no wonder. I won't be able to reflect on my life, no regrets, no aspirations, no pride in decisions well made, no sadness at loss. And to me the saddest thing is I won't even know it, this huge loss of knowledge, of self, I won't know anything. I won't be.