Sunday, October 23, 2016

A void filled: On finding life's purpose - 2

The prevailing theory of our universe is one of cosmic expansion. According to this theory, popularly known as the Big Bang, at a finite time in the past, the universe as we know it today was of infinite density and temperature. The expansion of space that resulted in the universe we live in today, did not however originate from a single point as would be the case with a conventional explosion. This may be illustrated by the example of blowing an air bubble. As the bubble expands each point on the surface of the bubble moves away from other points on the bubble as it fills with air. There is no particular center from which the surface of the air bubble expands. Relative to any particular point on the surface of the air bubble, all other points appear to moving away as the size of the bubble grows. Those points on surface of the air bubble may be thought of as galaxies; and as the three dimensional universe expands, each galaxy moves away from other galaxies. No matter where we are in the universe, it appears that we are at the center of that expanding universe due to the fact that other objects are moving away from us. We have a similar experience in the mind where each thought can appear to be at the center of an ever expanding mind.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A void filled: On finding life's purpose

In the last 200 years, every generation has been a witness to dramatic changes in connectivity with trains, cars, planes and advances in communication bringing us closer together than ever before. Our generation is not unique in that respect. The big change that our generation has witnessed is the proliferation of the internet and how it has changed our lives. Many of us may be old enough to remember a time before the internet was widely available. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the internet was used mainly by the people in academia as a means of connecting with one another. Now it has proliferated to such a large extent that it has virtually become an “utility” like water and electricity. In such an interconnected world, it is hard to imagine life without the internet. In some sectors of the economy, the internet is threatening to make humans obsolete. Driverless cars are just the start of that next big revolution. Succeeding generations will need to contend with those advances. When it comes to communication, a crack has now widened to a large chasm, it is becoming harder to have one foot in the old world of paper and personal touches, and the other in the new world of digital avatars. One or the other will have to be embraced in times to come. Brick and mortar operations will slowly become a thing of the past in many sectors of the economy. Just as ancient tribes may have gathered around a fireplace every evening, the modern day tribe of humanity gathers around the internet not once a day but 24/7. The internet has become our celebratory “bonfire” which is gradually melting interpersonal contact and also an important connection with our inner being hidden beyond the mind. No doubt, the internet has filled a big void, but it is leaving an even bigger void in its wake. The cumulative knowledge of mankind may easily be available on one’s fingertips through the internet, but it cannot show us life’s true meaning and purpose.