The Meaning of Life Without God by Aristopus
If humanity is going to continue to evolve, the traditional orthodox religions must be dismissed as indefensible mythology. Religion has kept us in the Dark Ages long enough. The time has finally come because nature has been strained to her limits. She is at carrying capacity right now. Religions continue to encourage runaway population growth at exponential rates such that millions die of starvation and preventable diseases every year. War is no longer a feasible answer to population control.
Even worse, religion indoctrinates subjects to believe that the world is coming to an end, so it doesn’t matter what we do to Gaia, she’s a lost cause anyway. The endmeme (see my video on the “endmeme” on Youtube) is the most dangerous and treacherous idea to ever escape from Pandora’s Box. How can we hope to survive when the vast majority of the Earth’s citizens believe God’s wrath hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles?
All human beings are on the same boat, a cruise ship sailing through space. We’re passengers on “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” as Carl Sagan describes it.We all face the same dismal fate bar none: nothingness.
But our sad existential fate doesn’t have to ruin our lives. We can ward off pessimism by a positive attitude. Instead of focusing on the vastness of the cosmos and our evident insignificance, we can concentrate on the sunbeam. We can appreciate the sheer luck of living at the intersection of the unimaginable fifteen-billion-year-old timeline of the cosmos and our own meager lifespan. An average lifespan seems like a long time but geologically it’s a millionth of a second. We’re ephemerons like mayflies. Every second of our life is precious.
That being so, it looks to me like the hippies of Woodstock Nation had it right. The purpose of life is to have fun—SEX, DRUGS, and ROCK ‘N’ ROLL. For me, it’s Sex, Pot and Art (Verdi and Puccini, Wagner and Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich; Rembrandt and Vermeer, Monet and Renoir, Picasso and Rouault), not that I have anything against rock ‘n’ roll. Classical music and the paintings of the great masters bring me to a sublime consciousness, so beautiful it makes all the suffering of life worthwhile.
There’s no doubt in my mind that pot increases the keenness of the senses, but more importantly, our feelings toward one another and nature.
The first time I went to the opera was at the old Met on Broadway—the majestic building, the souls of greatness along the statuary of the Grand Promenade, the chandeliers slowly ascending to the heavens like ethereal muses watching over and protecting the starry-eyed audience.
That grass increases sensitivity and feeling is inarguable. The first opera I saw was the following. The chance that two of the greatest stars ever should meet is incalculable. I was a hippie at the time and could identify with Rodolfo the poet, and when Tebaldi described the joy of watching the sun rising over the rooftops of Paris, I was imprinted with ecstasy like a baby duck. Listen for it in the second part of her famous aria. Musically you can see and feel the sun rising in a marvelous crescendo. Her presence transforms from the demeanor of a humble, modest seamstress into a confident and queenly goddess. No modern-day cinema superstarlet could possibly emanate the joy, innocence and compassion of Tebaldi. Opera is happening when you watch it and you’re in the same auditorium. There’s a palpable human vibration that flows between stage and audience. Movies take this interaction away.
Cerebral acupuncture, that’s what it was, and marijuana was the anesthetic that relaxed the cells of the parietal lobe for the high-pitched sonic needle.
The physical pleasure of listening to opera and classical music became my favorite pastime, and I continued going to the opera for the next 50 years to this very day. I was there when Maria Callas and Giuseppe DiStefano flew into town to sing at Carnegie Hall. It seemed crazy to me that the stereotype of grass at the time was reefer madness. I didn’t become a dope fiend, I wasn’t aggressive and bellicose, I didn’t become a sociopath: With some good ganja, I loved to go to the opera.
I believe that if everyone in the world shared this worldview—that art is humanity at its most sublime, and life is fleeting and meaningless— there wouldn’t be so much violence. Picture an army recruiter telling his hippie customer, “Your life has just begun but we need to kill our enemies, don’t we? You’ll be respected and honored by friends and family. But everything’s a trade-off. There’s a chance you won’t come back but if that happens we’ll wrap your coffin in colorful flag, shoot rifles in the air, make sad sounds with a bugle and say prayers to a non-existent God. Wha-dya say?”
Anybody who gave this proposition some thought would recognize a no-brainer. “Sorry, Doc. Your offer would be cool if I had nine lives like a cat. Or if there’s an afterlife where I could enjoy eternal bliss. But I don’t think so.”
If the rulers of the world shared this view of life I don’t believe humanity would be suffering in war and pestilence. With all their money and power, they’d be too busy living life to the fullest: getting high, experiencing the ecstasy of playful sex and loving companionship, enjoying the geniuses of music, painting and literature. It would only a matter of time before the alphas figured out a way for everybody to live in harmony with each other and nature. The love of life would be so great that presidents couldn’t even bear the thought of aggression against other countries or of committing atrocities.
If humanity is to survive, the average joe has to tell the local politician, the parish priest, the corporate bully, “Look, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Just have fun and enjoy your life, don’t hurt anybody, and don’t pollute our beautiful planet. Paradise could be right here and now, if the human intellect emerges from the soul of mankind and dominates the world.”
As in the fairytale, when Beauty kissed the Beast—the beast being our evolutionary baggage, our phylogeny—the beast was transmogrified into a handsome prince.
[More on this subject at Mirrorreversal.com. or mirrorreversal.blogspot.com]