The most important activity in acquiring knowledge is to ask questions. Only when we are asking questions can we get answers. So my friend, don't be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. There are no stupid questions.
“We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.” Niels Bohr
What is the question?
These questions will not leave me alone.
Why are we here? What is intelligence? What is life?
Are we humans really that smart? In comparison to whom? How do we know? We haven't seen any other intelligent species.
Why haven't we seen any “aliens”? Are we alone in the universe? How can we know?
When I am far away from the city I look in awe at the night sky, bright and mysterious.
And I wonder if at the same time there any others on far away planets looking at the sky, wondering.
Are they asking the same questions? How do they look?
Or maybe we are missing each other on crossroads of time and some civilizations are already gone while others are just starting to look up at the sky.
Civilizations, species rise and fall. Just memories and ruins remain.
Are all civilizations destined to perish eventually, dissolved by an indifferent time?
I think there is a threshold. A star travel barrier. The energy needed to power star ships can destroy life on the planet if the species are too aggressive and lacking qualities to resolve their problems in a peaceful manner. Natural selection in a more general sense applies to civilizations too.
So hopefully some intelligent species survive and cross the star travel barrier. But not many.
So hopefully there are sparks of intelligence that will not be extinguished. Will our civilization survive the threshold? It seems less and less likely.
What is life?
I look up to the sky seeing myriads of stars and I feel lonely, lost in this vastness.
Our lives, our existence is just a fleeting moment, a spark in the universe. Is there a purpose for humanity, for our lives?
Is our universe really a final frontier?
There is just emptiness and energy interaction and flickering sparks of consciousness. Intelligence is like fireflies at night, fleeting and fragile.
What is life, consciousness, the mind? Are there other forms of life? Are they totally different?
Why do we think that only animals, carbon-based organisms can receive the gift of intelligence and self awareness?
I hope, I believe that there is a mind far greater than ours...a mind where the galaxies are neurons and all the beautiful and terrifying events and cataclysms we see are the results of the consciousness of a great mind.
Hardwired to wonder.
Why is it we humans cannot resist the quest for more knowledge? We love mystery, the unknown. We are hardwired this way. I think there is a purpose in this. It is not an accident. The consciousness, the intelligence are not an accident. http://www.yalescientific.org/2014/07/origins-of-life-a-means-to-a-thermodynamically-favorable-end/
I cannot help wondering. Will we ever meet an alien civilization? I am not sure. We humans have a high opinion of ourselves but we are still too primitive in the grand scheme of cosmic play to be of interest to an advanced civilization that may be millions of years ahead of us. And considering that a million years is just a blink of an eye, a fleeting moment in the universe's time, alien contact is doubtful. But if I am right and only peaceful civilizations survive the star travel barrier, we should not be afraid to meet them...I hope.
I want it to be true, I believe that there is a reason for us being here, a purpose. We may be a part, a miniscule part of a great mind who's intelligence we will never be able to comprehend. But we humans will keep trying, we cannot help it. We are hardwired this way.
New questions are coming up in my mind. If this great consciousness, this universal intelligence exists, how did it come in to being? Might it be just a part of an even greater conscious mind? Seems like a dead end in this reasoning.
Big and small
Or maybe not. The size and scale of our reality is also a mystery. It is relative. Our planet seems big to us but it is just a speck of dust on the galactic scale and our galaxy is infinitely small in our Universe's scale. So the size is actually loosing the meaning. A beam of light crosses our universe in an instant by time measured by the light beam.
So is our universe big or small? Well it is a matter of opinion.
Each one of us contains a universe within us. A universe full of life, movement and cataclysms. We don't know how our mind works but inside there is light and explosions and violent storms just like in our universe, full of stars, galaxies and voids.
What are the questions? Will we ever know the extent of our ignorance? Will we ever know the truth of our existence?
The perpetual force of our curiosity is driving us and probably many other intelligent species.
We humans love mysteries.