• iniyanjose

Purpose?

Last night, I woke up with a burning question:

What is the purpose of an earthworm’s life?


The earthworm- he is simply an idea, a dreaming of the universe- until some force we cannot yet explain latches on to a bunch of cells. Then, suddenly, there is a creature which seeks order in the middle of chaos. It consumes of the earth to survive. It instinctively strives to protect itself. It experiences life, and brings forth more life, and then one day, the force that made it alive departs. Where that force came from, what it is, where is goes to- this we do not know and perhaps never will.


But did this earthworm, uniquely and marvelously insignificant that he was, live a purpose?

The geneticist tells me that his goal is to perpetrate his genes.

The biologist argues that he occupies a niche in the food cycle.

The theologist states that he lives out a plan of God.

But what is life to this earthworm. The fevered mind that analyzes his being is not him. One day he wasnt, the next day he was, and then one day he wasnt again.


I, the human, am simply an earthworm with a lot more stories.

I too come of the oblivion and head to the oblivion. But, I fill the space between with stories, something that earthworms may not do - because I can, and because the void is scary. Purpose is a story I tell myself about myself. Purpose makes me believe that I am more than an aimless blip of the life force.


Sitting here, watching the moonlight stream through the windows, I remember how privileged I am to be able to afford these thoughts, when many like me have to spend their time fighting for survival. Perhaps it is folly to define my journeys by narrow descriptions of profession or desire. Perhaps, being the traveller on this unknown terrain, my goal should be as collector of experiences. What happens to the experiences and memories of them, I do not know. I am not going to solve all the mysteries of the universe sitting here on my bed. Perhaps there are no mysteries- only peaks of consciousness amidst chaos, that evolve and devolve randomly.


These questions are too heavy for me to consider tonight. The bed is warm and inviting, and sleep is an experience I cannot deny myself.



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