What it means to be living…

I was watching a documentary on creation of synthetic life on discovery channel and at the end of the film they put a very pertinent question : from time memorial we have believed that life is something special and mysterious but if it can be created within a lab we may have to rethink our theories on existence, life, nature and God.

Sometime back I had read a book called the Web of life in which the author had pointed out that while we think of ourselves as central to the world around us , we are in fact an accident in the nature’s scheme of things. It is the atoms within us which have decided for some unknown reason to arrange themselves in a certain manner that gives us our shape, form, color, emotions,skills and intellect. If they decide to rearrange themselves in a different way there is jolly little we can do about it except get mad or sick or even perish and become non existent giving back to the elements what we took from them.To that extent our intelligence, beauty(handsomeness), morality, emotions are all governed by the arrangement of atoms and molecules within us. As we grow older this arrangement perhaps changes in more ways than one and we become different not only by getting old by by having more wisdom from the experiences stored in our data warehouse.The quality of analytics depends upon the quality of data and the richness of data points and so is the case with our mind.

Before I digress from the original thought let us turn to the interesting bit – if what is being proposed in Paragraph1 is possible even to a small degree then what I have quoted in para 2 doesn’t entirely hold true. Which is to say that if the atoms within me start arranging themselves which causes me pain from arthritis I could seek a remedy or even a cure from the artificial life cells and atoms within them. So on one side there is an attacking army which I do not own and has decided to fight against me but on the other side I have an army of my own that can be trained and programmed to do as I please,wish or command.This is different from antibiotics which are temporarily hired mercenaries who will cause more harm than good if not ousted from the system in time. And when your heart breaks you can go to the ‘love doctor’ and he will fix up the atoms so that you become completely oblivious to the person whom you once thought be the most important in life. Alcohol is currently used for this but again it has a transitory effect and is not free from side effects.

It might seem to be like a simple story of good vs. bad or love vs. hate but it is anything but that. It is really the theory of our existence and the very meaning of it. If we can always be happy and healthy then why go to the mosques, the temples and the churches ? Who will bother about God and seek his Blessing ? Death and decay cause fear and fear gives rise to ideas of another life, another time , another place that is accessible through the idea of a supreme being who created everything and can therefore control it whether it is on the earth or in heaven. Religion and morality which occupy a large share of our consciousness and mind space will be gone as now there will be no need for a means to attain bliss or God. You can see this now if you compare the importance of religion in the developed,the developing world and the tribals who have nothing to bank upon but the Sky and earth.

When You are always happy and healthy and you have what it takes to enjoy life to the fullest. Feeling stupid get your brain scanned and go for some Brainy cells, Feeling weak go and get some Sporty cells, Got a disease get it flushed and replace the diseased cells with good ones and so on.

But one problem will still remain – if no one dies then where will all of us live. And if we stop reproducing where will the newness in our lives come from ? and even if we suppose that we will keep rotating the same people in different parts of the world for a change who will look after such a complex system of transfers ? Also what will it mean to love if You cannot start a family or live with the same person till the end of your days as there are no end of the days anymore ? In suspended time where all people are always there humans may become like mountains seas and rivers till one day someone says enough I want to die so I can give my life a meaning. And then more and more may follow so that they can laugh and cry and strive and achieve and love and hate and live and die.

The one who preaches death as a means of salvation – finding meaning will probably become Deepak Chopra in the new world and you will have a number of Nityanands cropping up to give solution to the ever living souls trying to find some meaning in continuing to live forever without death and disease.

So what am I trying to say here….nothing great really perhaps Craig Venter should put me on a panel that advises him on how to use this new technology so it makes sense for the people and profits for him.

And then the same can be passed on to the Angels who I am sure have started to feel bored sitting and smiling there in heaven for centuries now….

3 comments on “What it means to be living…

  1. Reblogged this on Lalmani Tiwari's Blog and commented:
    Thoughtful …

  2. Rahul says:

    Good Observation Rajnish Bhai…

    You have provided a very good subject to ponder…

    Deep inside, I feel that man should never interfere with nature… history has numerous disastrous examples of such intervention.

    Rajnish.. do you remember, during our school days, we use to discuss a lot on mondays regarding various episodes of COSMOS.

    In fact I was very much influenced by Carl Sagan and his views on Mankind, Universe and perhaps God also. He use to say “The idea that God is an over-sized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity”.
    I don’t think these views are of an Atheist but at the same time there is same rationale in this thought.
    But our very own Hindu belief give us an entirely different perspective. We have about 33 crore Gods. We see God in perhaps all things of nature be it a snake, a banana tree, a river and son on list is very long. Perhaps it is nature around us, environment that surround us that is holy should be holy to us… like God….. we should respect it as we respect our God.. message is very straight.. if we can decode it….. …at least I feel after reading a lot of Hindu scriptures during past few years….some God is within each of us… In you , in me , your brother, my sister, my neighbor…. in that 5 years old girl who was raped few days back…even in those monsters who had done such demonly act( ????)….the only thing is to realize that..

    Bye the way .. your Blog is very nice and I will try to read every post in the due course…

    • aahang says:

      Rahul, I do remember lots of our discussions and debates we had. Carl Sagan was almost like a hero and we used to wait for COSMOS every Sunday. Life was simple and less consfused, so it gave more time for friends, family and perhaps yourself too.If you have nothing else to do(by todays definition) you will be forced to think and look inwards. We used to sleep on the terrace in summer vacations and lots of time was spent just gazing at the stars and absorbing the vast nothingness,not that we used to think that way !
      There is a book called The Mind Of God by Levy which is a classic and deals with our understanding of God and our relationship with him. As I am growing older the question what it means to be living stares at me at least 10 times a day 🙂 The only observation that is getting firmed up in my mind is that the only meaning of life is that it has no meaning….the sooner we know it, the better. When the Doors of perception are cleansed everything will appear infite…
      Today my dad and Your dad have organised a function at Lucknow Press club,to fecilitate their teacher who is 86 years old. Perhaps to be alive till the last moment is what life is all about…and when the time comes just dissolve into nothingness. Really don’t know Bhai.
      I do keep reading your blog too…lets keep exploring the way we used to collect stamps and match box covers. May be one day it will all start making sense, else our collection will be unique to ourself.

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