On rare occasions, I happen to notice the ongoing friendly interaction independent myself whatsoever between two people who seemingly existed of each other in wholly separate social media networks prior to some other notable engagement that ensued in response to one of my tweets.
Though, I can never be certain and dare not ask, as I ultimately consider it none my business and symptomatic of egomania to even think to ask, I entertain the thought I had at least something to do with this, especially when the context of these interactions is something nerdy.
The accompanying feeling always makes me smile, and I get butterflies at the thought I facilitated a discussion that potentially lead to a genuine friendship—that I could be but one of the many, albeit each indeed necessary, causal links in this special, cosmic chain of events.
The majesty of the universe is as infinitely eternal as it is eternally infinite, even at the infinitesimal level at which we exist; which, if anything, suggests likewise of its complexity, meaning we have no hope of gleaming even the slightest hint of our own true significance.
Regardless of our perspective, it could all be for naught, for all we know and can possibly know—even of “naught” itself.
Consider also consciousness, and the rarity and strangeness of this phenomenon, which in actuality may turn out to exist as nothing at all rare or strange.
Nevertheless, it is both rare and strange relative to the things that exist within the context of the human experience, and I daresay the rarest and the strangest, considering the mechanism whence consciousness evolved into existence: evolution. This randomness leaves me in awe.
We are the sum collection of inanimate “stardust”, as Carl Sagan would say—complex arrangements whose most basic components are observed to be utterly lifeless: data, that in some bizarre way began twisting, turning, rolling, folding, and unfolding in response to the environment.
But, why? This is what is strange.
It seems that life did so as a means of striving to maintain its present form in the face of an ever changing environment, but this would not be possible without undergoing some degree of change itself, and thus did the struggle of evolution begin.
This feat alone, as if it were itself willed by consciousness of some kind, is dumbfounding; but to truly appreciate evolution, one must attempt to fathom the myriad ways life has continuously rearranged itself in order to survive—indeed, life has failed in order to succeed.
Furthermore, life seems to be its own distinct system apart the rest of the universe, consuming itself in order to sustain itself, ergo “survival of the fittest”, but such a phrase is often destructively misleading. The “fittest” may only survive by cherishing those “least fit”.
This means those “least fit” are necessary components of the system, thus in actuality they are not at all the least fit, nor are the “fittest” indeed the fittest—each and all are necessary for the preservation of life within the universe, even those species that are extinct.
We tend to think of those species that have gone extinct as failures in life—as the weak ones—but in reality, life knows better than we do. Any one species at any time could go extinct, for any number of reasons, thus life in all its millions upon millions of forms is necessary.
Life dies in order that other life may live—that life itself may persist in the face of seemingly impossible odds, and we should cherish life in just such a way.
Now, fathom all of this, if you will—this magnificent, majestic cosmic process—and imagine where you fit into it.
Do not imagine anyone else, for the moment. Simply imagine you and this virtually divine cosmic tapestry. Imagine anything and everything within yourself: all of that which you are and desire; that which brings you joy, sadness, fear, love, hate, despair—you, in and of yourself.
You should think to ask, “Why me?”
That there is even a “you” to call “me” is…impossible. In all of its majesty, in all of its randomness, the universe formed a soul, and whether or not the universe knew precisely what it was doing is ultimately immaterial—you are you.
You exist within this world, and you are aware that you exist within it. Whatever comes before or after this moment, or any moment so long as you exist, no one else will ever exist as you, nor take this moment away from you—whatever be the reality of it, you can say you knew you.
To be able to do so, I imagine, is truly something special—it must be something special, do you hear me?
However, what is even more special than this, is that there are others like you. Ultimately, they are just as lost, afraid, happy, sad, lonely, loving, hateful—all of it.
They ask the same questions about life that you do, no matter their path, from the “most powerful” to the “weakest”. No one has answers here. We are, each of us, souls adrift in this cosmic rift—a boundless sea of chaos spiraling in and out of existence—only along for the ride.
That you are even you, and furthermore aware of you, is practically a miracle. But the odds be even less so that the people with whom you cross paths and come to know in your life, if but even briefly, are they, themselves. I do not mean they are likely not whom they claim.
What I mean is that within all of this chaos, that any of us are aware of ourselves and get to experience our journey as ourself is a miracle. And, just as this is true enough of ourself, it is true of others and how they come to realize and imagine themselves. And so, there you have it.
This is what makes me smile and get butterflies at the thought of potentially having been one of the infinite, but still necessary, reasons leading up to two lost souls creating a genuine bond of friendship, if but for even a brief cosmic moment: because ever was such a thing virtually impossible.