Thinking About How To Live Here In Space Isn’t Easy
We live in a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, immersed in an enigma, and pressed in a puzzle. No one knows how we got here. No one knows where the hell here even is. And most pressingly, no one knows what we should be doing until it’s time to go.
Obviously, we can do as the unreasoning, unthinking process of natural selection would have us do and procreate. That’s a no brainer.
But having a family doesn’t provide a framework to guide our decisions. Figuring out “how to live” requires a broader doctrine, based on what’s important and what’s not, by which we can organize our ambitions and measure our progress. The trouble is that everyone has different ideas about this, and it’s hard to know who to listen to.
The harsh reality is that nobody knows. There is no user manual. We’ve all found ourselves in the same predicament, floating around in space with no explanation. All anyone can do is guess.
This means it’s up to each of us to sort through all the guesses and decide which one we like best. We can look to others for inspiration, but it’s ultimately our call.
There are lots of well-established stories about who’s right and who’s not, and how to mercilessly judge them. But they’re all just stories made up by people.
The awesome responsibility for our own lives has been callously left to each of us. As has the criteria we use to decide how things are working out.
The pressure of this responsibility, and the fear of screwing it up, are so great that many of us simply subscribe to the wildly popular tale about breaking butt to gain some prestige and notoriety. At the least, the reasoning goes, we’ll be able to pay the rent. But it’s just one idea. And it’s one that a lot of people are beginning to question.
Without a clearly defined path to confront the immense challenge of finding satisfaction in a largely unsatisfying world, there is great temptation to wander into addiction and distraction and become preoccupied with matters of minor consequence.
Or to simply put off the whole troubling decision process altogether, and just live in the “now.”
The fact is, there is no way to dodge the task. Like it or not, one way or another, with or without knowing it, we all make our own choices about what’s important, and how to spend our time here in space.
We might as well give it some thought.