I’m beginning to think of the quest to comprehend “the meaning of life” to be not unlike quantum mechanics. Much like the laws of physics behave a certain way on the macroscopic level and a different way on the sub-atomic and quantum scales, so to does the idea of life having an ultimate meaning or purpose.
On the human level, having a purpose helps us to make sense of the fact that we exist. However, in the grand scheme of things, “meaning” and “purpose” really have no bearing on anything on the cosmic level. In fact, without meaning, life would continue. The physical processes of the universe don’t care about whatever meaning and purpose we attach to them. They existed before we did, and they’ll continue to exist long after every human being has died.
So I have to wonder what the point of attaching a meaning or purpose to life is? Isn’t it enough that we exist? Isn’t it enough that in the seemingly infinite sea of the universe, your unique life came into being? That, given the scope of every possible course of evolution, you have the unique abilities and characteristics that you have? We’re just part of a system, ultimately. And while it’s certainly romantic to think that we as human have some grandiose purpose in the universe, perhaps we don’t. Perhaps we simply exist as we do.