Undoubtedly, “life” is one of the greatest mysteries, as its cause and nature is certainly one of the greatest questions. We can define life in many ways but there are some basic aspects that we all agree are consistent with life as we know it. Like life requires some basic biological functions and the ability to reproduce itself in some way. This is a huge simplification of all of this but definitely the basics of life are something we all know.
The natural world allows for almost anything to exist, but life is in many ways the greatest of absurdities. How in the universe could some random chemical begin to migrate into the system, countless eons ago, that would go on to evolve to the level of complexity of the human brain and possibly beyond? There are many beliefs that the miracle of life was created by a supernatural being, and while there is no evidence that this did not happen, there is little that did. Either way, it’s surprising that we know so many things but still have so many questions to answer.
The idea I have is that with everything in nature, except for life, things seem to be dominated by the second law of thermodynamics known as entropy. This is evident when naturally ordered things pass from order to chaos and are part of our natural world. An example of entropy is simply when you see a glass fall and shatter. This movement from the organized structure of the glass to the broken glass is in a very simple sense entropy and again the second law of thermodynamics. Interestingly enough, life seems to be one of, if not the only, natural forces that counteract entropy by creating order in as much life and form and function as it cannot and could not otherwise exist.
When life is first created the level of entropy resistance is very strong but as we age, all the things we create that are a byproduct of life ages, the deterministic force starts to grow stronger and the life force slips away. It is a constant balance and struggle that is present in our world every day but is not often thought of. No matter what level of care we give to any product of life, entropy will eventually trump life. However, for a while, our “life force” gives us resistance, and while this may be a spiritual concept, it leaves room to think about what that “life force” might be like.
I see all of life as an equal representation of that life force of which we are merely an aspect rather than a cause. So often it seems that when we ask about the meaning of life we really want to know the meaning of our lives, and I personally think this is a selfish perspective because we are probably not that special. Instead, I prefer to ask what life is in general and why life exists at all. Given the higher level of order we have within the human brain, there is perhaps more life energy involved but ‘private’ doesn’t seem to be anything other than our way of feeding our egos and collective egos.
Another idea about life is that we are literally made of stardust, which is mostly made up of ancient supernova stars, and in our bodies there is a more or less balanced ratio of elements as there is within the universe. From carbon being one of the most common elements to heavy elements like iron (makes your blood red) in very rare proportions. In addition, our ego creates a sense of duality that makes us feel separate from the physical world but specifically a product of the Earth. In other words, and steal a reference from Alan Watts, just as the apple tree apples the peoples of the earth. We are the offspring of life that is Mother Earth, which, by many measures, is its own lifeform.
Also, being a form of life created from the material of the universe, we are in many ways products of the universe becoming “self-aware.” Through the various forms of life, it is as if the universe experiences itself through our eyes, ears, and other senses, but also our thoughts, dreams, and the wonders of the mysteries of existence. Accordingly, if there is a Creator and creative force existing within the universe rather than the Creator being “there” and us “here” perhaps all life would be individual expressions of the Creator trying to experience his creation through our eyes.
In many ways, “we” give the universe meaning through our observations, definitions, and other ways we break things down into digestible aspects that our consciousness can assimilate. After all imagine what a universe would look like without any life at all? It would have no beauty… no mystery… what would be the light… or the distance? All we know and understand about reality is that the universe, through consciousness and life, is trying to make more of itself.
The ultimate Schrödinger’s cat box experiment would be filled with an infinite degree of quantum latency but without life there would be nothing to observe when opened, thus collapsing the wave function into something or nothing. The universe may simply remain indefinitely in a state of quantum latency and this may be the purpose of our existence.
Moreover, your eyes may not only be a window to your soul but to creative people as well.