Under a different light & magnitude (#150)

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.

Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.

The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.

Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.

We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people.

In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

Richard Dawkins

It’s incredible how our existence feels so gratifying when we see it the way Dawkins puts it.

The genuine, unhypocritical way most see their lives everyday though, is nothing like this. That view is too zoomed in. In a sense, too much “in the moment” to not be able to grasp what the world actually is.

“What the world actually is?”, what does that mean?

Is there a “right” way to view our existence? Because it almost certainly can be viewed in a lot of ways, most of which are actually well reasoned out. We can think of our small time here on this pale blue dot the way put by (what seems like) the beautiful quote at the top—being grateful for our existence and not complaining about our inevitable fate, rather embracing it when it shall come. But we can also reasonably well inculcate other philosophies in our existential worldview.

One may see death as this mechanical problem in the human body that needs a solution so that we all can go on living indefinitely. And so that one can spend his entire life trying to come up with a solution to this “death problem” which he thinks is a bad thing we all face and should be eradicated.

Another person’s philosophy might not even include death as a prominent subject. One may have an aim of amassing a lot of wealth—building, investing and reinvesting to make a bunch of money for her family’s well-being.

Another may want to simply have a safe job and a good family at home, travel and see new places on the globe once or twice a year, and go out to party on Friday nights, and that would give that person the most meaning they could get out of life.

Is any (as we call it) philosophy, right and another wrong? Is any view the correct one while another false? How should we look at our existence?

I don’t think, at least from the views mentioned till now, any one is “wrong”. As stated above, the other philosophies are genuinely well-reasoned out and cannot simply be tested as a false view.

It’s true that although our existence may seem ordinary to us, so many don’t even get to be born.* So we ought to be grateful for our existence and not whine at our inevitable fate. It’s also true that death is a mechanical fault, something we can solve to live indefinite lives. There’s nothing inherently wrong with making loads of money or with living a traditionally defined “normal life” too.

This post isn’t about what is the right philosophy to choose to view our existence. It’s about how things change when you see them under a new light or under a different magnitude. Specifically, how the same things change when viewed under different magnitudes of sizes and of zoom and under a new (metaphorical and literal) light [1].

The same things change when you zoom in or zoom out. The same things change when you look at it under infrared spectroscopy (a “new light”, in a sense for us parochial humans).

I just thought that’s important to realize. So I wrote my 150th blog post on it.

This is the 150th blog post.

That’s amazing.

I’ve evolved so much writing all this stuff. Learned about inconceivable things just 265 days ago (that’s how many days that have passed since I launched this blog).

I’m proud of myself for continuing writing here even when no one read my stuff. Now, I get engaging compliments and criticisms from interesting people who actually read my stuff! I love to receive criticisms that question my work because now I understand the value of correcting errors and always being fallible. I’m just here to understand the world, you see. I don’t care about how wrong I was. If someone corrects me, I’m grateful.

But emotionally and due to my unintentional and helpless human condition, of course I feel really awesome when I receive compliments! (so keep them coming, with your highly valued criticisms please!)

I’ll continue writing unpopularly rational ideas over here. I hope you like them and agree on the truth. If you don’t, I hope you tell me why and correct me when I’m wrong.

Thank you for reading my 150th blog post.


* You could argue that technically they can’t reason or feel anything near what we can be like, of course and so it really doesn’t matter to them. And it wouldn’t even had mattered to us had we not been born because we’d not be able to reason or feel. Yes, but the potential people that could have been born rather than you is tremendous. And you had a very small probability to pop out over here.

[1] Yes, I am implicitly talking about the various different “new” lights in the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves, infrared light, etc.)

One response to “Under a different light & magnitude (#150)”

  1. […] is). Other Whoa moments have occurred while reading words that speak of the truth so profoundly, under a light so awe-inspiring, that my conscious self couldn’t help but rise up to that […]


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