Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Life": Just Another Concept

Not all humans have internalized all this, so it deserves some space:

The concept of "Life", as it is generally understood today, is just another one of those unrealistic divisive concepts. So is "death" too.

If you look close enough you'll see that everything, dead or alive, consists of the same matter.

There is no such thing as a dead/alive atom. Life begets life but death also does that, and sometimes life begets death. So there is no real distinction between "alive" and "dead" in essence. The more complex the molecular structure gets, the more fascinating it becomes for us:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Arthur C. Clarke


I'm not exactly saying that "alive" and "dead" are the same. Obviously I can tell the perceptual difference. But we shouldn't get carried away with the concepts of our own creation and forget the underlying reality. A sane mind has to keep in mind (even if in the depths of it) that all matter is equal, in a sense.

By the way, although I think the view I expressed was more materialistic, a similar view is also existent in Buddhism as far as I know, and probably in many other similar belief systems... It can be found in "Siddartha" by Hermann Hesse for example.

The last chapter is relevant, but read the whole thing if you have time. It's a powerful little book and fairly easy to read. Basically it comes down to the answer here:

"...There may be a carbon atom in your left arm that was once part of Abraham Lincoln's head."

Maybe Buddhism can be considered the most scientific religion...

Perceiving the act of "living" as something superior to not being "alive" is also the source of abstract, baseless beliefs, like in the existence of a "purpose" or an "higher intelligence".

The "energy of life" can be found almost everywhere, at all times. The forms might change through transformations, yet it's still the same energy, no different than the one inside "dead" materials. There is no special kind of energy for alive beings: Conservation of Energy

There is no such things as "the meaning of life" that can be objectively determined. It all means just whatever your brain happens to make out of it. (Thanks to ungtss.)

P.S. As a sidethought; it's not our purpose to reproduce, it's just that we survived because we tend to do it. The desire for sexual intercourse is a part of our nature, but there is no reason to keep sticking to that instinct so heartfully even today as if it is something extremely essential. Having sex without aiming to have babies is not so much more meaningful than eating chocolate for pleasure. The priority of the act of sex is overrated in modern culture, even if eating chocolate can be considered pretty meaningful, just because of the pleasure...

(Didn't read but potentially related: Why We Do What We Do )
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