Why Are We Here?
Somebody’s got the answer and it ain’t me. And before you hit that comment button, assuming you’re human, you ain’t got it either. Even if you’re not human, it’s going to take a lot of convincing because I’m out of ideas, pissed off and confused.
Why are we here? Did some alien litter here on a picnic stop long ago and leave the building blocks, like the microbial stuff that grows in the unscrubbed toilet? Are we here to scrub the toilet? Are we actually slave bots designed for converting food into turds? Is there some enormous turd harvester due back here in another millennium or so? I’m growing tired of wondering all the time. Are we here to wonder why we’re here? What purpose does that serve? What’s the mission, over?
Is the point of all this to keep the car polished and touch up the rusty spots? Are we here to find ourselves? I sat on a cushion for 40 minutes, twice a day, for over four years looking for answers within. Somebody told me it was all in there. After three years of counting my breath and watching my thoughts go by, I started asking myself, “Who am I?” There was always an instant reply, in the form of a question: “Who is asking the question?” Okay. Got that one figured out. I’m pretty comfortable with my definition of myself, the Dondo-sized space in the universe and how I fit into it. So, now what? Why are we here? There must be more to it than figuring out who we are. Or was that it?
Some will tell me we’re here to do God’s will until such time as we’re called home to whatever form of paradise anyone’s particular scripture proscribes. Fill in the blank with nirvana, heaven, the void, 72 virgins (or raisins, depending on your translator) and what have you got? I have a lot of envy for these people who have it all sewn up, minus the occasional moment of doubt. I’m the guy with a solid basis in doubt, minus the occasional moment of desperation that helps me believe these tales of great things beyond the mortal coil. Then the phone rings and some recorded message is telling me a live, warm human…just past the touch of the one key…is waiting on the other side to deliver me from excessive credit card lending rates. One call like that and, suddenly, I’m skeptical about the great beyond all over again.
Were we like some Biblical Moses set loose among the reeds, but with the intent of being fetched later? Did cosmic Mummy and cosmic Daddy die in whatever conflict caused them to stash us? Will cosmic uncle Joey come to fetch us eventually? Will he be kind, or the creepy kind of uncle interested in our bathing suit areas? Maybe he’s found us already. I have no idea.
I’m not trying to be funny. I’m trying to point out the absurdity of so many of us working so hard to get wherever it is we think we’re going and nobody can answer, without a shadow of a doubt, why we are here. My old housemate Russ was convinced that getting laid was the ultimate motivation for everything we do…from the way we dress to the cars we drive to the jobs we work to the homes we live in. I was down with that for a while, but I’m approaching the age where I’m honestly working much harder to find a chair that doesn’t make my feet go to sleep before the movie’s over. Or is that it right there? We’re here to seek comfort…ultimate comfort. No. How about satisfaction? We’re here to sate our appetites for food, sex, power, meaning, entertainment, thirst, intoxication and scratching our stinky bits. I’m not sure. Or we’re here to ignore the weakness of our appetites and find something deeper and more meaningful. If that’s the case, I’m pissed at the gamekeeper for toying with me.
I’m tired of wrestling with this for one night. Maybe that’s why I’m here.