I have always been a precocious child, or so I’ve been told. Hence it should come as no surprise that at the tender age of eight, a nagging doubt was sown in my mind. What doubt you ask? Well to put it simply, I had begun to acknowledge the futility of human existence.
As you might have inferred, I never really had the time for the frivolous. Now picture this, a rather lanky Indian girl with a fringe as straight as Arnold Schwarzenegger, trying her best to blend in a crowd of pale Scotsmen. I’ve never really been one for the spotlight. If there’s one thing I have learned however, from my short seventeen (going on eighteen) years on this planet, it is that I prefer to lurk around in the shadows. Observing and passing witty comments that only I shall ever laugh at. In spite of my endless hours of solitude and contemplation, I haven’t quite managed to arrive at the answer of the universe yet. My hypothesis however, is that there simply isn’t one. (Answer to the universe I mean.) Some great man must have once said, the seemingly most difficult questions always have the simplest answers. As unconvincing as this conjecture may seem to most, it is rather terrifying in all of its simplicity.
Billions of years of evolution and creation have led to the formation of human consciousness, invention of writing, development of technology and finally you reading these words. What if that is all there is to it? What if we are but mere goldfish, swimming in circles all day and rejoicing in our distorted view of the universe?
If I plotted a graph for advancement versus time, we would see that as time tended towards infinity, the slope of the advancement curve would tend towards zero. For those who loathe mathematics, this basically means that as time continues to hurl on at its unforgiving pace, advancement won’t be able to keep up. Thus there will come a time when advancement will throw in the towel and decide to go rest at that nice little roadside pub it passed.
As much as we may be advancing at this very moment, there has to be a limit to discovery. At some point in the very distant future every tune will have been synthesised, every combination of words penned down, every assortment of colours painted. When that time comes, there will be only one question on the mind of every creature with the ability to think, “What next?”
When that time comes, what will have been the point of us ever existing? What purpose will our endless stream of tears, laughter, heartbreak and joy have served? Will my writing down these words ever bear tangible fruit? Will your reading these words ever lead to a startling paradigm shifting revelation? Well then what’s the point? What could possibly be the purpose of a speck of dust floating in the galaxy?
If you were expecting an even semi-decent answer, you are about to be severely disappointed. If I did have the answer to life, I probably wouldn’t be sitting in the dark at three in the night, typing away like a mad person. Or perhaps I would have. Regardless, it should suffice to say I haven’t got the foggiest idea of what I’m doing here right now. At this very moment, I can only be considered a living breathing organism, cursed with the blessing of thought, trying to simultaneously grapple with reality and survive.
I too, will live the remainder of my days wallowing in the mundane. I along with the seven billion other people on this planet will continue to produce carbon dioxide at an alarming rate. Until that is, some top secret and incredibly advanced computer manages to churn out the answer to the galaxy. That answer may be an intricate never ending equation, it may be a higher being sitting on a throne made of stars and laughing at us all. It may even be as simple as the number 42. Whatever it is, I sincerely hope it gets lost in the massive stream of terabytes stored in its internal hardware. Now before you indignantly leave this page calling me a bumbling idiot, let me explain. Once we know the answer to life, we will truly lose all purpose of being. Not to mention people like me will starve due to a lack of intellectual fodder. Let’s not even go to the wars that will break out among atheists and believers. So, for the time being, let us all revel in our ignorance. Let us all continue to be awed by the most insignificant things, be it a sunset, the cry of a new born or even a kind word. Let us live, laugh, love and of course keep calm, safe in the knowledge that we really don’t need to know it all.
Welcome to my world.