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My search for the meaning of life — Part 1

Our sun is just one of the One thousand billion billion stars in this universe. That is a one followed by twenty-one zeroes. It is an astonishing number, way beyond our mental grasping power. And that’s just the star count. Every star is surrounded by god knows how many planets. Even if you combine all the grain of the sand on all the beaches of this earth, even that number fails to compare to the number of planets that are there in this universe.

At this scale, our lives, our entire planet has no meaning in the grand scheme of this universe. This is one bitter truth that most of us ignore throughout our life. From the highest peaks of the Everest to the deepest reaches of the Pacific. The entire expanse of this planet — whatever there is and whatever we have done — from the time we uttered our first word to the latest scientific revolution — each and everything that we have ever known on this planet, minuscules in comparison to this universe. We are just a tiny speck floating in a vast vast desert.

We are so tiny.

This is one realization that you get if you start exploring beyond what is out there within the confines of our planet. You don’t have to explore much. Just see the Carl Sagan’s illustration of our planet — the pale blue dot — and you’ll realize how tiny is the existence of this entire planet we call our home — earth.

It’s a huge field out there. Mysteries so astonishing that even the brightest of the minds are scratching their heads. Our bewildered expressions betraying a child-like ignorance towards the cosmic phenomenon that makes no sense to us at all. The mysteries like the existence of higher dimensions, space-time curvature that reduces time to a coordinate, light-sucking black hole where time stops existing and space and time continually convert into one another!

This is just mind-numbing, all of this.

So then what is the meaning of this life?

What are we doing on this planet? With our trifles that worry us? That keeps us distracted in the day and awake in the night. What does it all mean? This struggle that we wage daily against this cosmos. What should we do (or don’t do) to make this life worthwhile?

Well, it is a mystery that has escaped the grasp of the brightest of the minds. Maybe in future (A few thousand years at least) we might extend our reach and start touching the surface of this mystery, but for now, we are so far from it that we don’t even understand the alphabet that makes the language of this mystery.

The meaning of life starts making sense when we stop seeing ourselves as an individual unit on this earth. As an individual, we have our personal goals, ambitions — but that is a narrow view of looking at this complex question. What is needed if we start seeing us one component of this entire existence, not just in present, but a part of the entire whole — from the first cellular organism to the current data and our future existence henceforth.

We have to look from a distance and that’s why Carl Sagan’s description of our earth as a pale blue dot makes a lot of sense. We have to get a grasp on this concept that our actions make sense when we consider them a part of the purpose of the entire existence that exists — and the only purpose of existence if to find meaning of life.

But how do we do that? To live our narrow lives and also align our actions to the entire existence — to find meaning of life?

Originally published at Tidbits.