What is life?
The world can often feel like purgatory, with fleeting moments of happiness and lightness punctuated by the constant weight of living with the knowledge that all of our actions, good or bad, will eventually be erased by the passage of time. However, this might not be the most important aspect of our existence.
There are reasons to believe that we are part of a grand design, which creates situations and measures human behavior. Our so-called free will exists within a context influenced by powerful factors, such as the need to eat, the survival instinct, the drive to reproduce, awareness of death, and the ego. For instance, the need to eat forces individuals to seek sustenance daily, lest they perish, contradicting their survival instinct. If not for the survival instinct, many people might willingly starve themselves to escape this world as quickly as possible.
The survival instinct shapes human resilience, making us avoid risks, fear potential dangers, and cling to life even under the most trying circumstances. Wars serve as an excellent example of the survival instinct in action, with acts of bravery and escape intertwined with the deliberate construction of fear. Witnessing the horrors and consequences of war takes a mental toll on anyone, but the survival instinct enables us to endure even the most severe post-traumatic stress.
Reproduction allows our species to continue and expand, even in challenging environments. Interestingly, birth rates tend to be higher in impoverished regions, while wealthier areas with greater awareness of life's difficulties see fewer new births. As the human population continues to grow, our impact on the Earth's systems becomes increasingly evident and will likely lead to significant changes in the dynamics of this grand design in the coming decades.
Death, an inevitable part of life, adds another layer of fear and uncertainty. Although awareness of our mortality should encourage us to live our lives to the fullest, the design's dynamics often lead us to experience daily suffering and the pressure to live as if our existence were a burden or problem.
The human ego, a construct that develops after our initial years of innocence, is perhaps the greatest perceptual distortion we face. It convinces us that we are the center of the universe and blinds us to more universal perspectives. The ego houses all of our instincts and limitations, fueling the design's dynamics through the interactions of billions of individual egos. Only the most enlightened individuals can minimize the ego's influence, requiring extraordinary strength and awareness possibly gained through multiple engagements with the design.
Considering the concept of God and our creation in His image and likeness allows for additional speculation. We could be projections of souls that participate in Earth's design for as long as it serves our interests. We interpret our lives using our intelligence and free will, albeit within a context of significant constraints.
The evolution of design has recently led humans to become increasingly interconnected through the internet and exploring artificial intelligence. With AI, we have created a sub-experiment to test if our creations—computers—will eventually outperform our reasoning and decision-making abilities. Some fear that this experiment will result in the planet's destruction, as machines surpass us in every capacity within a few decades.
A more plausible hypothesis is that humans will merge their biological bodies with machines' artificial intelligence to become more rational and efficient. However, even this development might not hold much significance, as our reality may ultimately be illusory and limited.