The meaning of life, the universe, and everything.
According to Douglas Adams, author of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 wraps this question up neatly. I subscribe to a slightly more complex answer to this ephemeral question. Lets jump right in at the beginning. Trigger warning: this article may contain terms ( such as God ) that might offend some, try to stay open minded or go no further.
In the Beginning there were two infinities: the infinite absence which is the Void, and the infinite fullness which is the Source (which some call God). When there was only one it seems apparent to me there was only one thing worth knowing . To illuminate the boundary betwixt the two and cast a reflection of itself for itself the Source brought forth the Universe. One cannot touch something without being touched itself, and to be touched is to be changed. Towards the end of not disturbing its intrinsic perfection the source brought forth the celestial beings ( which some call angels and others aliens) to bear its will towards the goal of making the universe manifest. These beings in all of their majesty were limited in their scope- they were mere servants to the process of creation as bearers of the will of the source and not a direct aspect of the Universal mirror.
In my hubris I like to think the culmination of this grande mirror is the Earth, or more specifically Mankind on the Earth. Made in the likeness of the Source Mankind is tracing rays (in the mathematical sense) across the universal graph to flesh out said mirror. Now too what eternal and cosmic end I cannot speak, for I am not limitless in my scope or powers of observation. Infinity is a topic we can talk ( and write about ) but at this juncture in our collective spiritual and intellectual development we are incapable of truly fully understanding it. That being said I will have a go at it. If History has taught me anything it is that progress has an exponential cumulative effect. For example:
As we can see here the growth of computing power has, and is growing at an exponential rate, this is reflective of technology as a whole (in varying degrees ) and , in my opinion, society in part ( see Accelerationism ).
In a like manner History itself can be expressed in a Logarithmic timeline. A logarithmic timeline is a timeline laid out according to a logarithmic scale. This necessarily implies a zero point and an infinity point, neither of which can be displayed. The most natural zero point is the Big Bang, looking forward, but the most common is the ever-changing present, looking backward. (Also possible is a zero point in the present, looking forward to the infinite future.)
The idea of presenting history logarithmically goes back at least to 1932, when John B. Sparks copyrighted his chart “Histomap of Evolution”. Around the same time it was also explored by the cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster, who used it to propose that memories naturally fade in an exponential manner. Logarithmic timelines have also been used in future studies to justify the idea of a technological singularity. The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity)is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial super-intelligence (ASI) will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.
According to this hypothesis, an up-gradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful super intelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.
Ultimately I see this as the evidence of an infinite source using its infinite resources to understand its infinite self. As constructs in the middle of this grand experiment we will forever be outside of the conclusion, or even a glimpse of the birds eye view ( like a strand of yarn in a woven tapestry ). This for me invokes no consternation, rather, I feel liberated to live my life, “do me”, and let others do the same. Believing that acting on my truest desires is truly divine.
Beyond the start of life and the intention behind it seems very apparent to me the meaning of life is to experience it. All of it. I can’t believe the cosmic birds eye view could really qualify a distinction between good or bad choices. I’m not at all suggesting that good and evil do not exist, merely that at the ultimate perspective- killing to save a life is a zero sum game. I very much encourage everyone to establish a moral compass and stick to as much as possible but recognizing ‘God’ probably doesn’t care might be the liberation we all need.
Onion, R. (2013, September 5). Logarithmic timeline. Retrieved from https://www.wikipedia.org/
Main PageTechnological singularity. (2019, January 31). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Kurzweil, R. (2005, July 5). File:PPTSuperComputersPRINT.jpg. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Commons
2019 Steven William Robinson