It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning. – P.D. Ouspensky
Something about life offers us a glimpse into primordial questions, where the answers are meant to escape and elude us, no matter where we seek to find them.
The other day, watching a young man run the riding lawnmower around the complex where I live, I paused for a moment to dive into the rabbit hole.
This man, doing his job, covered by a hood because of the chilled wind was probably slightly warmed by the machine’s motor, and making a less than modest wage for his days’ labor. He was moving in a pattern so to cut the young grass evenly. And in watching him I wondered just how have we as humans come to this point, where things like this matter.
Though cutting grass is no new thing, I’ll offer the speculation that primitive peoples didn’t have these burdens to worry over. A kept yard was the entire world, and their job was staying alive long enough to raise a child.
But this question only broke the surface, and into the hole I fell even further.
In this time, people seem to have become much more convoluted than ever before. Distracted with lives and struggles that aren’t even our own.
Millions of people, worrying over social media profiles, clicking and scrolling our lives away faster than seconds ticking by on a clock and traveling the world without ever leaving the comfort of home is what we’ve become.
We talk and argue, debate and retract yet never seem to solve anything of basic common sense. Laws pile up, restricting even the tiniest movement of a finger. Worthless paper money trades places with cotton and trees. And we sit silently, voicing our opinions on digital platforms, marching in front of mindless halls of government and shouting to the progression of vanishing shadows from empty pulpits for change, change and even more change.
Our voices seem to echo into a void; a world void of reason, sanctity or sanity.
SO just where do our beliefs and what we hold sacred fit into all of this?
Could we be any more blind to the world that exists just beyond our tablets, phones, televisions and the nesting pile of wires atop mountains of metal connecting it all together?
One has to beg the question of why.
Why does any of this matter?
We realize nothing, yet we claim to know everything. We have meters of knowledge but not even a micron of wisdom.
I’ll say, in our own personal beliefs we may find the answers. In our beliefs of life and of death we can postulate the outcome and purpose of our lives here. Doing so will at least give us peace of mind if anything at all.
But this may also bring us closer to a truth that we lost millennia ago.
Perhaps, if this current paradigm is the archetype of the way our world is set to progress, this life is nothing more than one random chemical reaction that took place in the perfect habitable zone, in the perfect part of the universe, for no reason whatsoever.
Perhaps each thought we have dissipates in ether, dying where its own energy began. Perhaps each experience we have here is truly commonplace and quantifies our being just a tiny point of awareness with no other purpose than to procreate and die.
If this is true, then I beg the question:
Why even bother cutting the grass?
Maybe our lives are truly unique, each and every one. Perhaps each one of us experiences life like no other can, each experience giving us new thoughts, new emotions and a new way to view the stars and sky. Maybe for one person to continue struggling he needs to believe that life has purpose, meaning, and that no matter who he is, he is important enough to stay alive, to become something, to touch the world, to touch the lives, hearts and minds of others in such a way that the whole Earth shifts.
Maybe what we want is a nice yard with nice stuff for our nice life that we pay little attention to.
Maybe what we need is a lot less stuff, and a little more faith.
And maybe, one day we’ll realize just how distracted from life we’ve become.
In truth, perhaps the man cutting the grass is perfectly happy, proud of his life and of his job. Taking care to do his job well. Going home satisfied with his days’ work and sharing love and time with his family.
Maybe he’s just an automaton avoiding thoughts of tomorrow, avoiding the struggle of his own life.
Or perhaps maybe he’s just mindlessly running a machine.
Just like the rest of us seem to be.
On this first day of Spring, I’ll hope that we all may welcome in new life. Especially our own.