Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I think, therefore I have a headache!

Many people who know me have told me that I think too much. Especially worry about the future. What will happen, to whom, how... these are questions which are forever haunting me.
But the one question which troubles me the most is... What is the point of my existence?

Now I know all this sounds mighty philosophical, but this a serious question which I think of every now and then, and after much thinking, come to the same conclusion: that I have no idea.

Let me explain in detail my thoughts. (Now that is another thing people say that I do too much... explain in details...far too many details... so bear with me please! :))

The one thing I fear the most is death. I just cannot accept that we all have to die one day. Why do we have to? Why cant we keep living forever? Why cant we have the option to choose? I know people say that after a certain age, when you are too old and sick, you dont feel like living.
Or when everyone you know or care about is gone, there is no point in living. Something tells me that I would want to live forveer, no matter how old or lonely I am. I may be wrong, but that is how I feel right now, and what gives me nightmares is the thought that in a few decades (if I am lucky) I will cease to live. Forced to stop existing. Thanks to our bodies which start malfunctioning and finally give up. All my thoughts and abilities... the power of my mind, gone down the drain because of shut down of my bodily functions. It is not fair. Why can we not continue to exist even if our bodies wither away?

Now I know religious peoeple would like to tap on my shoulder right now and say " but we do exist after death, our soul exists. It is written in the Gita and many more religious books."
The trouble is, I am not a religious person at all. I do not believe in heaven and hell, and life after death. People who believe in this, lead happy lives, for they know they have something to look forward to after life. But this non-believer in me, has no such options to fall back upon, and thus leads a depressed life.

Anyway, to hell with death, I do not think I can help it, so I will have to deal with it when it happens. Now to the more important question. What are we doing here, on this earth? I mean I know about the Big Bang theory and all. But WHY exactly that happened, and what was there before it, and who created the universe etc. are questions which haunt me all the time. And I feel afarid that I dont know anything. The whole questions of my existence, how and why I am here, has no reason. How the earth was created is fine, but why was it created, why is there life, and why is there death? What is the whole point of all this? I wish I knew. That would help to quell me fears and unease a lot. Again, I do not believe in God, so I cant say " Everything was created by God. We take birth, live and die because God wants it." I swear, belief in God is helpful, it explains so many things. If something good happens, God did it. If something bad happens, God did it. Believers always have God to fall back upon, and to complain, and explain everything that goes on. But again, what about a non-believer like me? How am I to explain why everthing is like it is? Living with this mystery is getting more and more difficult everyday.

I hope I am not offending believers in God. Its not that I am an Atheist. My parents are very much believers. But I have always been a non-believer. Not that I am stubborn that I do not want to believe, but that I dont believe in what anyone says till I can see it or experience it for myself. And frankly I have not been able to ascertain that God exists, so the ambiguity remains. Until some turning point in life comes, and something happens which proves to me that God exists, I woudl be more that happy to believe. And it would be a bonus if that belief would also explain all the questions I have. But until then, I am clueless.

Anyway, even if I let the question of why we are here take rest, I have another thing that bothers me. For whatever reasons the Earth was created, and life happened as we know it. And death happens because of biologically ageing bodies finally shutting down. All scientific explanation. Ok I am fine with it. So people are born, and people die, and there is nothing anyone can do about it, not even question it or figure out why, but just accept it. Done, I accept it. But my problem is, if we HAVEto be born, and we HAVE to die, then there SHOULD be a point to it all. I mean, if we are mere blips in time, miniscule creatures compared to the vast universe and the unknown, why live and die like insects? Why not live a life worth living? Even if they are dead now, people still remember Einstein, Shakespeare... or even Aristotle, Socrates or Plato. These poeple's bodies have been dead for years, centuries, but they continue to exist in this world because of the life they lived, and the difference they created.

Agar jeena marna hi hai, to keede makode ki tarah kyun jiyo? Jiyo to aisi zindagi jiyo, aise kaam karo, ki duniya hamesha yaad rakhe. Sirf aisi zindagi hi zindagi hai, warna nahi hai.

That is what I was thinking the other day. Live a life worth living. Dont just exist, and fade away. When I die, my loved ones will grieve and think of me when I am gone. But after they are gone, no one will know I ever existed. I dont want to fade away like that. I want to live forever. If not physically, then I want to live in the minds of the human race, for as long as it exists. If I can do that, then this whole thing, of being born and living and then dying, makes any sense.

But how does one do something like that? Not everyone is Einstein. But how do we know who is, and who is not? There are some poeple who have obvious talents, and do well. And there are others who dont know they have it in them, they never try, and it dies with them. Do I, Aditi Varma, have something more important to do, than eat, sleep, go to work, do household chores everyday? Maybe I do, maybe I dont. I will have to find out. And if I am capable of doing really worthwhile stuff, than exist like insects, then I will have to figure that out. If you ask me what is it that I can do which will make me immortal in the eyes of the world, and I dont have an answer. Why? Because I never have it a serious thought until recently. We all might have that 'something' in us, but we are so caught up in the daily rut of life, that we never get a chance, rather take out time, to figure it out. I seriously hope that after thinking so much, and discussing so much, I really do end up figuring out what is MY purpose of being here. And I hope after reading this long rambling post, you start thinking too.


Shweta said...

no offense! ...but I think the skillful way of using God-fearing and non-believer would just not sound okay for people like me who believe and not fear .....believer and non- believer is better no?...and yea I just noticed the big 'G' in there for God :)

PS: I understand the perception of fear here though... but y'know it just didnt sound okay :)

Sugar&Spice said...

hey shweta, i did not use the word God-fearing for any reason... it was just one of teh terms ive seen being used, so i used it. no offense. anyway changes made.
as for capital G in God, well it is just a mark of respect i guess, again a common usage ive seen, so i imbibed the same in my post.

arunabh said...

Literally speaking, this was a 'dead'ly post :)
I also tend to think a lot about apparently worthless issues but had never given a thought to death and life after death. Now you have given me some material to wiki about when i am free :)

Shweta said...

Thank you for your consideration Aditi

yeah you are right its the common usage.. perhaps caps is used by the believers.

Sugar&Spice said...

@ arunabh and shweta... im glad!
keep visiting!

Yashika Totlani said...

i got arunabh to your blog too... thank me :P

on a more serious note... n putting first things first... where is the continuing part of that short story you started working upon??

about this post... 'god'ly hai! this kinda brain-storming is something im not alien to. this, and many more topics like this, have been doing regular rounds in my head over the last few months. a meticulous life, disciplined action and pleasant demeanour. for what?? if it all has to end up in ashes one day, why put in so much effort in doing what we spend our lives doing??

though i beg to differ on your views abt socrates, einstein, etc. these guys had no idea that their names will linger on for so long. they did what they had to do without ever knowing that once they're gone, the world would remember them this way.
"karm kar, phal ki iccha na kar.":P

im a non-believer too. if not an atheist, surely an agnostic. to seek the answer for existence is a simple exercise. we're here because somewhere in the entire universe, the climate proved condusive to sustain lifeforms. till things are the way they are (i.e. till some meteor comes n rams into us to end it all), sit back n enjoy the ride. if you dont wanna get lost in the spiral of the unknown, chase what u know u were meant to do... and who knows, maybe a 'aditi varma' would pop up in the history books of our grand-kids one day.

nice idea to pen this down. for the people who realize the importance of not living life just ordinarily... this should be a boost. articulated the thought-process of many (me included) very smoothly. keep writing!

Sugar&Spice said...

@yashika... phew! a relief that all this was not as alien to u as i thought it wd be :)
i agree, those great guys did not do teh stuff they did for everlasting memories, they just did it. either ways, if only we all knew what is it that we are to do..even if i dont feature in history books, if only im convinced at teh end of my life that i lived it fully and well and with purpose, i can say ill be happy to die.
thanks for visiting and commenting!

dharmabum said...

a lot of what you have questioned here strikes a deep chord. i think a lot of us are faced with these questions - some get tormented by them, others cimply choose to bury them and move on. there are a few, who go out and seek answers.

imho - religion and spirituality are two very different things. and the gita, is a spiritual text.

again, from my own learning - i have vedanta a powerul medium to find answers to many of the questions you have posed - indeed, we are NOT forced to be born and die, just like that. i am reminded of what marconi said, much toward the end of his life - "i know how it works, i do not know why it works". looks like you have arrived at the same conclusion.

do read up on spiritual quotes by scientists, you will find startling statements, because many of them have also functioned with stricly 'logical' mindsets, that start with disbelief / doubt / agnosticism, that is common to many of us who are 'scientifically' oriented in our thinking...:)

enjoyed reading this post, simply because i could identify so much with it...i hope find answers. thanks, and sorry for the long comment!

Sugar&Spice said...

thanks a lot dharmabum, for visiting and commenting. i will definitely try and search for answers, and share them on teh blog iof i find somethin intersting. I am glad im not the only crazy person who thinks like thsi :)

Scribblers Inc said...

I have wondered something similar for long and I bet a lot of others too...The best theory that I have come across till date is that we are probably, a "test planet" and we are under observation by some very intelligent race...we are nothing but an "experiment"...

And the more I think about this, the more intrigued I am...

scribblers Inc.

Sugar&Spice said...

@scribblers... hey that's an interesting theory :D
thanks and keep visiting!