Why are we here?

Why are humans in the universe?

The question of god or no god is impossible to sidestep. However if there be a god then why does god put us through all the pain of living and dying? Why doesn’t god simply take us all directly to heaven and dispense with the complexities of life? And if there be no god, what is the point of anything? We live, we die, and whatever we do in-between has an infinitely negligible effect on the universe, so it hardly seems worrying about our lives.

So, where does it leave us? What is the purpose of the human race? The simple answer is self-perpetuation. Since we do not live forever this is surely the single most important purpose.

Imagine if the collective human race had no further children, and humans were wiped out in a century or so. It would seem like the lives of everyone in history would have had no meaning, all their efforts would have been for nothing, they would be in no-one’s memory.

And on the other hand let’s try to imagine immortality. What would be the point of anything? Whatever we did we would continue to live, we’d have seen and felt all that life had to offer many times over. We’d all become lazy recluses (I wonder if heaven would be any different!).

So the furtherance of the human race must be the top priority.

Well, if that is the case we’re going a strange way about it. Millions have less than enough food and water, not to mention the numbers of humans that are killed and injured by other humans. Moreover we are doing our best to alter the Earth’s climate, plunder natural resources, and pollute every place we go. In short we are making the Earth less inhabitable. There are good things too, medicine being the most obvious, but it must be true to say that an individual’s primary concern is fundamentally not the survival of the species, but the survival of that individual.


Love is a many splendoured thing

Love is a many spendoured thing, or love is a many splintered thing?

The greatest thing about love is its unpredictability, its non-compartmentability, its incomprehensiveness. Despite the multi-billion people who have experienced love no-one has been able to get into its psyche, to tame it.

From the three previous articles my personal observations lead me to believe:

  • there are many different kinds of love.
  • we are capable of falling in love with thousands of different people.
  • we can love more than one person at any given time.
  • some people have life partners and some do not.
  • love is on a gradient; we can love one person more than another.
  • it depends on the individual as to how much in love one needs to be in order to be satisfied one has found their life partner.

So can anything useful be garnered from these observations? The main conclusion that I keep on returning to is that it appears to be quite natural to have more than one partner.

I’m certainly not advocating having simultaneous partners, this is easy to refute; just imagine how you would feel if your partner had an alternate. But it is pretty clear that over the course of a lifetime the possibility arises for an individual to be in love several times.

This is rather at odds with a conventional Western view of marriage and family, where one life partner, and a stable home for any children is widely considered the ideal. Perhaps it isn’t.

Perhaps if more fluidity were considered the norm, then the fears and stigmas of broken homes might be avoided, and might be viewed with much less embarrassment and contempt.

For ‘broken homes’ maybe we should substitute ‘multi-homes’. After all some so-called stable homes are not exactly dens of pleasure, and plenty of children from so-called broken homes grow up to be decent, rounded people.

Maybe we should worry less about love, and more about its effects.

How much do you love me?

Clearly it cannot be true that there is only the one person with whom we can fall in love, as indicated in the previous article.

If that were so then what are the chances of finding that one person? We often find our life partner at the same college, or working for the same company, or living around the corner. There must be plenty more potential lovers from the other billions around the planet.

So there has to be quite a number of people with whom we are capable of loving, and who are capable of loving us.

One point that needs raising here is the question of whether love is an ultimate condition, whole and unconditional, or is it on a kind of loving gradient. Can we love someone, but not quite as strongly as we love someone else? It would seem logical to assume this is so. It could be argued that when one is in love with someone that love prevents us from loving someone else for the duration of the love. But there are just too many examples of people with overlapping love that I feel we can discount this argument. A more pertinent question might be whether love is a permanent state or just temporary, but that is for a later article.

If we are able to fall in love with multiple partners it just doesn’t seem possible that we can fall wholly and equally in love with them all, one of them will be favored.

So the answer to the question “Do you love me?” is not as simple as “Yes” or “No”. It should be more like “I think I do, quite a lot”. In fact the question is not right. Better is “How much do you love me?” which makes it slightly easier to answer, with perhaps “A lot, but not enough to want to be your life partner at present” or “Enough to continue dating”.

How far along the gradient of love do you need to go to be satisfied, to be able to commit to a life partner? I don’t find it easy to put this gradient into words, but here goes: in love, very much in love, deeply in love, truly in love, madly in love. I suppose everyone has their own idea of how much they need to love to someone before wishing to share their life with this person, possibly depending on such things as age and desperation, and probably on other factors such as money.

In fact it’s not difficult to imagine a couple agreeing to become life partners who are not in love.