Waxing Philosophical on the Meaning of Life

It has been nearly eight years since I allowed myself to ask why we are here. I hated the question. I scoffed at the phrase “the meaning of life” As though there should be one. As though we deserve an answer. As though we even knew what we would do if we had one. Why should there be a purpose? Is not the gift of life enough? Is not the experience of being alive, in and of itself, reason enough?

But that experience is evolving. We are shaping our future. Every year we move closer to some unspoken ideal. With each upgrade, life becomes more how we want it to be. There is a human hunger for connectedness. A yearning to fuse minds. We already have access to the bit of the collective mind that stores data and every day our collective consciousness moves up the cognitive ladder. Algorithms help us make decisions. We seek advice in forums.

But where are we headed? If technology progresses on the rails of human desire, what is the end goal? What do we want if anything is possible? When we can live forever in the cloud, when we can can see and feel what the world experiences in an instant, are we done? Is it our fate to become but cells within a global body, desperately seeking connection with other beings as profound as we? Or do we have other plans in mind?

It is our imperative as individuals and as a collective to ask ourselves why we are here. I want to shirk the responsibility. Some days I want to live as an animal, from whim to whim, experiencing only the present. But 100 years is a long time. And we are ever progressing. If we do not define our goals, then we are subject to those of others – and I am no longer confident that they have our best interests in mind.