What drives a person to create, or, moreover, to not create? Do we not all possess a certain motivation, a certain inkling inside ourselves to somehow prove that we were here? Do we not all desire to leave a little something behind, some creative endeavor that demonstrates who we were? How is it possible that out of the billions of people that have walked this planet, we are familiar with only a limited number of those who made their mark? Certainly, the goal in life is not to make oneself so renowned as to be remembered by posterity, but the goal of life is to simply live. But, “to live” is such a broad concept. How to live? It is a philosopher’s question. Many a man has holed himself in a cave and grew a long beard while pondering the meaning of life. Yet, the question does not reside in the domain of philosophers alone, for it is an everyday question and one that every individual must answer for oneself.
There is no single answer to the question, “what is the meaning of life?” I have my own answer, and it’s probably not the same answer that millions of other people would give. To me, to live is simply not to be dead to life. Ah, ha! But what is life? Perhaps my philosophy doesn’t define anything, but rather defines too much. The mind has a lot to wrap itself around to grab the concept of “being alive to the world.” Of course, we are all alive to the world, for we live in it every day. But, are we actually living it in the sense of really understanding what it is that we are doing here? Is that even important? In the grand scheme of things, it probably serves of no importance to ask why. If we wondered why we were here, we’d waste too much time searching for that meaning, all the while missing out on the real reason why we exist.
Many lives are lived skimming the surface. For many, life is no more than what is presented before them, and there exists no reason to seek out more than what they can see or feel. With that sort of mindset, life can seem rather ordinary and preordained and gives one a sense that a certain course needs to be run. A person can choose to never seek out more than what exists in their little-known world, but by doing that, they can be dead to life itself.
It is important to be sensitive to life, for life is full of overlooked details. There exists a whole vast world out there, one that extends far beyond one’s own personal space. One must challenge oneself to discover what makes one human, for no one is going to tell someone who one is.
Yet, there exists one binding concept that collectively holds the majority of people back from going out there and discovering themselves. This same concept is what restricts a person from being too creative, too curious, and too independent. It is what keeps a person from believing in the same religion as their parents, keeps them skeptical of science, and keeps them landlocked in their own little world. The concept of fear has been the noose around humanity’s neck for millions of years. Rare is the ability to flaunt fear and go against something that is considered taboo. Fear exists in every crevice of the mind, and almost every detail of life has some element of fear attached to it. It has been this way since forever. It is as though humans have been hard-wired to be afraid.
Indeed, superstition is the world’s original religion. It provides the foundation for all religions today. Humans believe in religion because they are too afraid not to. Humans are afraid of being alone, so they believe in an afterlife that is populated by many. For, what does it mean to be alone? What does it mean to be lonely? What does it mean to be human? People believe in God because they fear themselves. They find no comfort in their stark humanity. There must always be something else that exists beyond them. Is that right? To believe in the invisible when you are left to yourself? People believe because they don’t want to be alone in death. Take away the singleness of death and replace it with God and the afterlife. Take away God, and you are left as you are — solo. What if there is no God? What then are you?
Of course, the answer is we are human. We have a tendency to place little emphasis on that fact. We would rather fight over who is right in their belief in the invisible rather than take care of one another around the world. None of us can prove which religion (if any) is right. So, knowing that, why does everyone expend so much energy trying to? If there is a God, then I don’t think that the deity would care which religion or no religion, a person belonged to. I think what matters is to be alive to the gift of life that every one of us has been given. I mean, really, is not dying as a suicide bomber a disgrace to the cause that they serve? Is it not throwing away a life that was given and disrespectful toward the God that they are dying for?