We Do or We Don’t

If we all exist and are not a product of our imaginations, than we either all do matter or we all don’t.  There’s either a purpose for each of us or none of us. Maybe some of us are audience members for some others of us or maybe some of us are catalysts for others of us, so yes, there might be more humble or grander roles, but, good or bad, we all matter.

Or we don’t matter, not any of us, and we’re just another life form, like weeds, that sprout up, live, and die.

Or maybe there is only one species that really matters, that’s really doing the important work, and maybe it’s not the humans.  Maybe we’re the thorn in the side of this superior species. Maybe only ants matter. Or bees.  And all our struggles to procure, kill, win, rule, save, worship, what have you, are comedic to them.  Something to watch on a day when the pollen doesn’t need to be gathered or a bread crumb doesn’t need to be transported.

What do you think?

  13 comments for “We Do or We Don’t

  1. Doug in Oakland
    June 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Perhaps it’s like the Hitchhikrer’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the whole place is run by the white mice. And then there’s the Jethro Tull lyric from Skating Away:

    Or that everybody’s on the stage, and it seems like
    you’re the only person sitting in the audience?

    I think we’re just another species, myself, and that the rest of it is what you make it. Some things are deeply meaningful to me, but probably not to anyone else. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but it seems to be working OK for me…

    If you’re right, I’d rather it be the dragonflies than the ants, as I’ve killed far too many ants to be spared when they rise up and become our overlords.


    • June 16, 2016 at 2:17 am

      Hi Doug-I think it’s an interesting question, too. It kind of involves religion because there’s no way to exclude that when you talk about why we’re here or how we got here, but that’s not really the question I want to ask. I want to ask why do you think we’re here without touching on religion, but the two are intrinsic so I think it’s not possible. And I hear that’s not polite, to bring up:-). Sometimes I think it’s the trees that do all the work. And mostly I think it’s about electricity. Positive/negative. But I’ve had experiences where I think there’s more than that, so I’m flexible. I like to discuss it.


      • Doug in Oakland
        June 16, 2016 at 5:05 am

        I kind of don’t have much faith in organized religion, but have a view of our overall place that isn’t strictly opposed to there being something larger than us. Every direction we look there is a continuity of form: smaller more basic parts combine to make more complex structures, which themselves turn out to be the basic components of even larger, more complex structures. Quarks make protons and neutrons, which make atoms which make molecules, which make crystals, which make rocks, which make planets, which orbit stars like electrons orbit protons and neutrons, which group together to make galaxies orbiting around supermassive black holes like the planets orbit the stars,etc. Then life starts at the single cell creatures, which group together to form colonies, then simple multi cellular creatures, then organs inside of more complex creatures with central nervous systems which the cells can no more conceive of than we can a higher being, then the more complex creatures (us) group together into social structures, which group together into societal structures which do what, exactly? Form the only evident exception to the continuity found? While I don’t have any evidence to the contrary, let’s say it seems a little far fetched that everything stops here and there is no larger entity whose constituent parts are made of us, or the consciousnesses of other “complex” creatures. I actually had to simplify the biology somewhat in order to make this short enough to be readable, but I hope you have gotten the idea, and if so, I just rendered my cosmology in a blog comment…


      • June 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Wow. Doug. Thanks. That was awesome. That’s what I would have written if I knew how. I simplify it even further-we all come from and all return to a mass of energy. That’s what I believe. I have questions beyond that but I don’t know the answers. I also read a quote by Mohammad Ali yesterday that touched on the subject of religion that I thought was relevant. I think it started with “Religions all have different names but they all contain the same truths” or something like that.


      • jenny_o
        June 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm

        I don’t think I can reply to Doug’s cosmology comment directly so I’ll do it here – I’ve never thought of things quite like you’ve summed up here – it’s definitely something new for me to think about, so thank you.


      • Doug in Oakland
        June 16, 2016 at 7:16 pm

        One of my favorite authors is Daniel Quinn, and he points out that the salvationist religions are all fairly recent events in the history of human kind. In the preceding 200,000 or so years (before the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago) the bulk of humanity all practiced one religion, Animism, which was many religions but all with the same point: the awareness of the sacred in the world around us. Since humans seem to be the only species that practices religion, and all humans seem to do it to one extent or another, he posits that there is something in our DNA that predisposes us toward it, and that evolutionarily speaking, we were never really fully human without it. I find his books fascinating and have read them again and again.


      • June 16, 2016 at 11:33 pm

        I have not read him. I’ve read Pillars of the Earth, though:-). I sense they are not similar. But it does have some interesting ideas based in history and, with other snippets I’ve read here and there, I feel like organised religion was an effort to control people, particularly women. Organised religion addresses our fear of dying. It conveniently places women in an inferior positon to man. It addresses an eternity or suffering for those who step out of line. It addresses sexuality. Do you think what makes us human is the fact that we don’t live in the present-we plan ahead-and think backwards-and that presents a host of issues that need to be addressed in a way that may be possible with religion, hate and love? Really, I don’t think animals hate. Maybe they do. They love, so I guess they could hate, I just never think of the that way. Although my daughter’s dog hates people on bikes and my old dog, Sam, didn’t care for men, so maybe they do. Ants might hate you, Doug. Not to reduce the whole conversation down to that. just sayin’:-)


      • Doug in Oakland
        June 17, 2016 at 12:26 am

        Ants and spiders, never forget the spiders…


      • June 17, 2016 at 1:02 am

        F’ing spiders. I talk a good game about love and acceptance and all God’s creatures, but I hate those little bastards. Bless their hearts.


  2. jenny_o
    June 16, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I used to think that we are just another life form that lives and dies. But over the years the question keeps haunting me – where did it all begin? How and why did it all begin? So I don’t have any answers anymore. Besides, since my father died, I find comfort in thinking that it’s possible there is a bigger thing out there than just our universe. The cool thing is that NOBODY KNOWS. And I doubt we ever will.


    • June 16, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Hi Jenny-I have definitely felt connected with loved ones who have died at certain times, particularly my father, and feel like it can’t all be a coincidence and I’ve also been comforted by it. And I do like to discuss it-all the ideas, all the possibilities-but I can wait to find out the answers. As Doug touched on, it’s the organisation of religion by man-the idea of one true religion-worth killing over-that I disagree with. But then again, I had a powerful moment in prayer with a friend of mine who is a true believer and someone I trust, but I don’t think it would have mattered what religion she was-her relationship is with a higher power that she calls God and she happens to conduct that relationship within a certain set of beliefs, but I think her relationship transcends the organisation she’s a part of.Some people are like that.


      • jenny_o
        June 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

        Yes, organized religion is not something I can believe in; even though a lot of good can be found in it, a whole lot of bad has also come from it.


    • jenny_o
      June 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      I thought I should clarify what I meant by that last sentence. I used “we” to mean living people who form and will form the mass of mankind throughout future ages. Perhaps we as individuals WILL know after we are no longer in these bodily forms.


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