Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Am I Here?

Why am I here?  This question is quite multi-purpose and depends on the context, really, to come up with an answer.

Usually, I ask this of myself when I go to the internet to look for something, forget what it was, spend my time looking for something else, close Chrome and realize I didn't do what I had set out to do.  Also a useful question when I go down to the root cellar or to the next floor/room.  By the time I get there I cannot remember what I went for.

Why am I here (in Ukraine)?  That can be answered in two ways. The immediate short term answer is simple.  The long term answer is complicated but I can trace all the major decisions and events in my life that eventually ended up taking me to Ukraine; beginning at age 12 when I decided I wanted a university education and career in beef cattle.

There was certainly no long term planning involved through most of it. When I came to a fork in the road I took it. (Yogi Berra gave excellent advice).  There was always a bit of Contrarian in the decision as to which fork I took; whenever possible opting for "the road less traveled by".  (Robert Frost gave good advice, too). Sitting in one spot, surrounded by a picket fence and watching the world go by might be fine for my grave site, but not for me.

And of course, many things are decided by events we have no control over.  Like Ella's death from Cancer. These events provide another "fork in the road".

Why am I here (on this Earth)?  Now THAT question is a route to guaranteed madness if you try to make sense of it.

From an evolutionary standpoint, I am here to pass on my genetics and if possible hang around long enough to ensure that they are passed on yet again. (I may have to live forever at that rate).  Once that is accomplished, as others have pointed out, evolution is done with me and I am on my own.

Religions have evolved over the years around stories made up to explain questions that were/are otherwise impossible to answer: why did the crops fail, where did the stars come from, why are we here,  what happens when we die?   People like to have answers, reasons; it is a coping mechanism.

"Science", which to be honest with you, seems like it has become just another religion, has answers to many of the previously unanswerables but it doesn't really give us a purpose (other than passing on our genetics) nor answer what happens when we die. People have their own theories about both.  The science crowd say we are here because of an evolutionary accident and when we die we just disappear into the entropy of space.  Not very inspiring, considering the stuff we have to put up with in the time we are here.

The religion crowd have built whole empires on earthly purpose and the after-life, mainly for the benefit of the power elite when you examine it closely.  Pie in the sky by and by (Thank you, Joe Hill).  Not very inspiring either.  The truth is we do not know and can never know.  Until after we are dead but no one has come back to tell us.  Maybe they like it there and don't want a crowd?

So how then should we live our lives?  The Hypocritical oath (sorry, Doc) is a good place to start "First off, do NO harm".  Leave the world no worse than we found it and a little better if possible.  Help our fellow humans (and non humans) find a little "pie" here on earth while they live.

7 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to go back to bed now. :)

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    1. You will learn not to read stuff like this in the mornings.

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  2. Funny you should mention this - Hubby and I had this discussion just last night. Ours was shorter, cruder, and a good deal more cynical, so I won't share here. But I also subscribe to the "do no harm" ethic.

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    1. You will post it in your blog? Or incorporate it into your spy novels?

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  3. When the Buddha was asked about the existence of a god he refused to answer, saying that speculation about that question was not conducive to living a full life in the now. Many of those who claim to have the answer bring a lot sorrow into the world.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I quite agree with the Buddha who made a great deal of sense in so many ways. He would not recognize much of the trappings around Buddhism today, I expect, much as Christ would not recognize Christianity (or be recognized by it, either).

      Feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked.

      Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

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