Long ago, life emerged here on our dear Earth. As it’s presented through traditional biology, all life on Earth emerged from one single-celled organism — a common ancestor that everyone holds. From the birds signing under the morning sun to the crocodile swimming below the murky waters, all the way to us mortals, at some point, we all come from one.

Over time, life has evolved. Us humans have pioneered great distances not only geographically or technologically but biologically as well. We started relatively unintelligent, unable to read or communicate effectively — just bundles of flesh with an innate urge for survival. You see, man in its most primitive form is actually something quite beautiful. The un-evolved man is the freest a human could be. The Neanderthals of the past were not worried about next month’s budget or studying out of some arbitrary textbook. Man was just himself. At some point in history, we slowly became less and less of ourselves, evolving into some other complex, unrecognizable creature. Along the way, we lost sight of what truly matters, and that is, that nothing matters.

If one can put aside thoughts of the ‘divine,’ it’s difficult to recognize any evidence of meaning within this life. For some, this absence of meaning brings great sadness and a feeling of deprivation. On the surface level, a belief that we are not guided step by step through this complex universe can feel somewhat lonely and terrifying. Yet, despite these uncomfortable feelings, we must dig deeper. In the early days of human existence, we attempted to answer the questions of existence almost exclusively through teleological means. This concerted effort amongst many early philosophers led to the development of most religions that we now know of today. Then, after religion, came science. Even science, in all of its greatness, has yet to conclusively define a material meaning of life. So, in that case why must we persist on the road to identifying a meaning? Indeed this quest for meaning almost seems to be some sort of therapeutic vehicle to sooth the human mind. Despite all of this, as we look down the well — far down below the surface of a meaningless life, we may actually be able to find something of beauty. Perhaps a meaningless life is not some glib, unforgiving hell, but rather a meaningless life is a natural life. A life that flows organically and isn’t corrupted by therapeutic elucidations. Suppose that maybe when we die, we just die, and upon birth, we have accomplished everything that there is to be accomplished in this vast universe. This would mean that the greatest victors on this Earth are not the powerful dictators, not the wealthy bankers, nor even the super bowl champions. Instead, the champions of life are the unknowing, amiable adolescent, the free-living Neanderthal, the unproblematic chimps.

The fate of man is failing to recognize that life’s games are trivial. We mustn’t spend time worrying about the arbitrary outcome of our lives; rather, we should spend time recognizing the beauty and scarcity of it. Beyond birth, we are all playing with house money, and upon realizing this, maybe we can all live just as freely as the Neanderthal once did.

-AV

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