June 15, 2011

“The further science progresses, the more man is bound to ponder the purpose of his own existence.”  Amin Maalouf  20th-21st century

Since the beginning of written records, we have evidence of men and women asking “the big question” regarding the meaning of their individual lives.  The point of human existence is still debated and explored today in college classrooms, living rooms and even from bar stools around the world.  The “great thinkers”  throughout history, along with everyday thinkers such as myself, have asked the same question for thousands of years. 

In the modern world, advances in the technology arena appear to be occurring at a more rapid rate than those in the scientific world, but the case may be made that it’s simply a matter of public opinion and publicity, since the common citizens among us generally pay more attention to the newest gadget available, than we do to scientific studies and their results.  Yet, I believe that as we add the latest models of smart phones, tablets, and readers to our lists of technological tools, we concurrently seek out ways to use those advances to explain and express our individual “state of being”.  My Facebook comments, Ipod playlist, and Pinterest Boards allow others to see what I think, what I like, and basically what I believe my purpose to be. 

Sacred, ancient writings from a variety of religious faiths propose being fruitful and multiplying as one of the basic reasons for human existence.  Adam, Eve, you, and I haven’t been satisfied with stopping there though.  The “then what ? and why ?” question has been asked universally, through the ages.  But, are we asking it more now than our ancestors did?  Yes, I believe we are. With each scientific discovery and breakthrough, we are faced anew with the truly marvelous, complicated, and mysterious nature of life.  From the genomes of simple organisms to the human genome project, scientists have mapped out blueprints that will help bring about a multitude of advances in an array of fields for years to come.  With each discovery ,we as thinkers uncover new connections and develop new questions about how to use those  findings.  Our inquisitive nature, our human ability to reason, that which separates us from all other species, is what leads us to ask the questions.  If we ever cease asking questions about life in the past, present, or future we as individuals will cease to evolve.  And then what?  I’ll borrow a quote from Miss Scarlett in “Gone With the Wind and say, “I can’t think about that now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Peace, Love, and Pondering

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