Neither do I.  I completely understand how bullshit that sounds.  How could I understand how that sounds if i don’t exist?  Why am I writing a blog for you to read if you don’t exist?  I’ll get to that.  But first, I’m going to make some more outlandish assertions:  You are the sky, you are rocks, you are your dog, and you are the seaweed that freaks me out at the beach.  So am I.

Here’s what I mean by all of that nonsense.  I am not just a human body.  I am composed of organs, and they are composed of cells, which are composed of atoms, made of subatomic particles and so on until we get to the most basic.  (the current smallest known particles are quarks.)  The sky certainly doesn’t have organs, but at some level, it has the same subatomic building blocks that I do.

You and I are really a great bunch of particles arranged into people. Everything is a composition of the same very basic building blocks, and that’s what I mean when I say that we don’t exist.  We are always changing, shedding cells, regenerating, growing.  Sure we are tangible, but we don’t exist as people in any lasting sense.  We aren’t even made of the exact same stuff when we die as we are when we’re born (shedding cells, remember).  The basic block are always there.  They rearrange themselves (or get rearranged by God…whichever you believe) into stars, planets, people, bugs, seaweed (ick), water, yadda yadda yadda.

A good example is a cloud.  Have a look at one.  It looks like one thing, but where are the edges?  If you try to draw it as precisely as you can, you’ll find them hard to distinguish.  If you have a closer look, you realize that that single cloud is a big group of water droplets.  They are closely packed together toward the middle, and they  spread out toward the “edges.”  How do you decide which droplets are part of the cloud, and which ones are just moisture in the air?  Is the moisture on your skin part of the cloud?  This is called the problem of the many.  Chances are, none of us will agree on the location of the cloud’s boundaries. It’s more accurate to say that a cloud is really just a compilation of water droplets.  We still use the term “cloud” because no one wants to ruin a conversation with scientific technicalities.  

The view I seem to be taking here is called nihilism.  Not only does it sound depressing, it’s often associated with anarchy, tossing morals out the window, and meaningless existence.  In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be that way. Like I said, you and I don’t exist just like clouds don’t.  That’s just a picky way of saying that we are not separate from each other.  There are no clear boundaries if you look really closely, and we are all made of the same stuff.  I don’t know how people get meaninglessness from that, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy toward my fellow man.

I am all the more fascinated by the huge variety of ways in which the basic building blocks are arranged.  (How cool is it that the same things that make me also make motor oil?  What?!)  Anyway, this means that my particular arrangement of blocks is completely unique and temporary. Suddenly I don’t care so much about the freckles I used to hate.  If nothing else, I am almost compelled to appreciate what’s going on here.  Ihave to have fun with it!  That’s quite a life purpose.  For some reason, I look like I do, I have the senses that I do, and I have this mind with it’s own personality.  I also get to interact with a whole variety of other block arrangements on a daily basis.

This is an excellent cure for envy.  Why be jealous of someone else’s experiences?  If we are all made of the same stuff…it’s my experience too, in a way.  If our experiences are shared then one would think I’d show some consideration to my fellow man rather than throw all morality out the window.  Laws are needed because some people don’t “get it.”  They think they are separate from everything around them, causing an every-man-for-himself mentality.  Consciousness naturally brings about kindness.  It’s difficult to be a jerk when you feel wonder and respect.

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