Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life, its mysteries and its pains

How life started there is no definitive answer. But one thing is certain, all form of life is a big mystery and being alive accompanies pain and hurt whether it is the life of a human, a huge animal like an elephant, or a small bug like an ant. So next time when you step on an ant, you should know that you cause pain to it before it dies.

We are all familiar with human suffering. A child comes in this world crying and kicking and no one leaves this world laughing and smiling.

How did life start? Who created it? We do not have a definitive answer. If we buy evolution theory in its totality, then life sounds empty and meaningless. It all happened by accident and there is no real purpose of life other than to survive at every cost, even if it includes ending other lives. The only overwhelming moral value is to let the fittest survive.

Another aspect of evolution is baffling too. If we humans are indeed descendant of chimps and genetically so close to them, then why through all these recorded centuries has no chimp given birth to a human who has the brains and ability to talk? And why has no human given birth to a chimp – okay let me correct myself, as there are humans who behave worse than chimps as they have not progressed beyond the animal stages of a predator (you see this especially with all the creulty there is in the World).

Here I do part company with evolution and strongly feel that there is some purpose of life and a life with purpose must have a creator. If there is a creator then why did he create all this life which carries with it so much pain and suffering? I do not know the answer. Maybe prophets and saints know something that escapes the rest of humanity.

I have thought about the mystery of life every day of my conscious life but so far no answer or enlightenment.

Then there is something called the mind which is beyond the physical being and cannot be explained with physical parameters. This mind tries to avoid pain and seek pleasure, the whole life revolves around this struggle. The mind uses the body as a tool to draw pleasure. Mind over matter does matter. This pleasure seeking is more often than not the cause of all problems and pain and suffering as quite often pleasure is drawn at the expense of other humans and living creatures. Sometimes it goes wild and we know the consequences the troubled mind causes. And then some pleasures it cannot obtain within societal norms and during waking hours it sometimes fulfils through dreams.

Dreams are another mystery which cannot be measured through physical parameters. The way the mind escapes the body during sleep and goes into the dream world, is it possible that this mind also escapes after death and only the physical being dies? We do not know.

Life indeed is bewildering. The mystery of life continues. The more I learn about life, the less I understand about the mystery of life.

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  1. Seriously?

    Okay, some problems here:

    (1) You confuse the theory of abiogenesis (how life began from unliving things) with evolution (which is concerned with the development and change of living things). Evolution says nothing about how life got here.

    (2) You commit the genetic fallacy in assuming that because we do not come from something purposeful we therefore cannot live purposeful lives. It's like arguing that because you were born from a woman you must be a woman. Purpose is entirely possible within a purposeless world; there's only a contradiction if you assume that purpose must be imposed from outside.

    (3) You don't seem to understand how speciation works (or genetics). There is no reason to expect a chimp to give birth to a full-fledged human. You also don't seem to understand the cultural forces involved in allowing us to think and speak. Even humans aren't born with the ability to speak -- it develops in the right environment, and can be inhibited severely.

    (4) You brush up against the problem of evil and yet completely dismiss its implications. The problem of evil is a serious objection to standard Judeo-Christian ideas of god, and appeals to ineffability aren't particularly impressive.

    (5) You don't seem to know much about current psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience, all of which are doing good work to demonstrate how the mind can be physical. You also don't seem to be familiar with any philosophical thinking about the mind since the 17th century, which was about the last gasp of the idea that the mind can't be a physical thing.

  2. ADHR, you make some interesting points but unfortunately they do not shed any further light on the mystery of life. How it came about. That is the basic question I am raising.

    Mind is not physical. Dr. Wilder Penfield who I believe died in 1974 at the age of 83-84 was an internationally well-known brain surgeon. He wrote a book entitled “The Mysteries of Mind”. In his book he states that he does understand the physical aspect of the brain but does not understand the mind. Please consider reading this book and other works of Dr. Wilder.

  3. Just to add about chimps. The point I was making was that how different living species are so neatly separated and no mixture of humans and other living beings happens.

    As for far socialization of child is concerned I have done my share of research and there was underlying assumption that chimps quite often grow up in human presence and if they had ability to talk it might have happened but nature has nicely separated different living species.