The last two years my brown hair is turning grey rapidly and the first real wrinkles in my face are appearing. Not strange considering I’m over forty, but accepting these physical first signs of old age are hard. Especially when people around me start suggesting ‘natural’ hair dying. Luckily nobody mentioned botox yet, although in the area where I live botox and lip injections are more common than ageing naturally. Next to that I’m raising two teenage girls now, who are growing more independent each year. The process of liberation of me as their parent has kicked in and my ego isn’t getting the reward anymore as it was used to. My ego is suffering as well in the field of work accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong, I still like doing my work, but it is defining me less as a person. However my mind (ego) loves playing games with me on this topic of growing older as it wants to hold on to something familiar or instantly clings to something new. I’m definitely on a turning point in life; midlife.
Occasionally I get philosophical about life. What’s the purpose of it all and more often I’m wondering if there actually is a purpose at all? What if life just is…..
Life is the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. Life and death are the same; there is no life without death as there is no black without white and no light without darkness. Or as Johan Cruijff would have said: ‘Every disadvantage has its advantage’. And although we like to consider the human kind different than other animals, life is the same to all of us.
Every life form is a microcosm (a world in miniature) and is part of an ecological system. That ecological system however is a small world in itself and again part of a bigger ecological system. So there you go from a human cell, to an organ, to the human body. In these ecological systems everything is connected and related to each other. There is no winner without a looser, no sound without silence, no solid without space. However most of the time we tend not to perceive our world or life for that matter as such.
What if we are like bacteria in the gut. They break down and digest foods for their host on daily basis AND they are part of a bigger system; the human body. The question is if they are able to perceive that idea of bigger human body and their place in it. Of course not, we would react, because bacteria don’t have brains. But what if we are like bacteria; if our earth is just ‘the gut’ of a bigger system. Although we have a brain we are not able to conceive ourselves as such. Maybe we can’t because our ego will not allow us to be as ‘insignificant’ as bacteria. But what if we are, what if our human contribution in this bigger system is: turn oxygen into carbon dioxide.
When we are born our first act is taking a breath, oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. And when we pass away our last act is a final breath. We all know as long as we are breathing we are alive. So what if that’s all to it. We exist because our part in this ecological system is only to transform oxygen into carbon dioxide.
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”