Some Riddles of Existence, and Their Burdens We Bear

Riddles of existence; what are they?  Well, a riddle would be a problem, simple or complex, that gets you thinking; thinking as to ascertain the answer to the said riddle.  As for the unsolved riddles, there is a burden we bear in not knowing their answers. A burden of unknowing; a burden that may well keep us up at night, just thinking about that riddle.  How might we and trees be similar; outside the obvious truth of possessing life? What are we compared to others, and what are others compared to ourselves? The riddles of existence might just be one surefire way to lose yourself in thought.

What are we missing out on?  Trees can’t see or hear because unlike us, they do not have the specific organs to sense such natural phenomena.  Humans on the other hand, well, we’re decked out with everything we seemingly need to live our life to the fullest. Eyes to see the world, ears to hear, sense of feeling to feel things, a way to taste things, and even the old olfactory to smell the world, but trees are missing pretty much all of that.  The full extent of a tree’s life is limited to everything it can sense, or respond to as a living thing. Here’s the question; with that same logic, what are we missing out on? There could be a whole world around us that we are completely oblivious of because we don’t have the organ to detect it. Think of the spectrum of light, and of how small of a slice of that spectrum our own eyes are able to detect.  A small fraction of all light in the universe is visible to our complex, yet simple eyes. Just to sit and lose one’s self in the wonder of what we could be missing out on is really quite something.

Who’s me, and who’s “me”?  Am I special? Is “me” special? We are “me”. Makes sense right? Like I said, we’re all “me”, we’re all “I”.  Not all of us are “he”, nor are we all “she”, but we are all “me”. Anyone other than ourselves can simply refer to us, our own being; as “you”, or “him/her/he/she” etc., but that same person refers to themselves as “me”, and “I”.  So that would be who “me” is; we are all “me” but only I am me. This is to simply say that we are all ourselves; our own beings, independent and free-thinking, seeing ourselves as “I” and “me”. So this is the difference between “me”, and me.  The “me” would refer to everyone capable of self-awareness, free-thinking, and independence. The “me” in quotes is my way of separating the individual from everyone. The individual would be without quotes; in reference to myself. My version of me.  “Me” means something different to everyone. To any conscience outside of my own, I am a “he”, a “them”; somebody else.  To the same person that sees me as a “him” and a “he”, they too would think that they are “me”, which is true, they are the only them and that applies to all people and makes them special, but the other thought here is the conclusion that, in a general sense, everyone is “me”.  Everyone is special for this very reason. No two people claiming to identify as a “me” are the same. Every “me” is different, but they’re all “me”. The burden here would be somewhat existential; in knowing that you might see yourself as so special, when really you’re just like everyone else in the sense that you are “me”.

Now let’s take a look at the grand scheme of things.  Think of the whole universe. Every star, every planet, every cloud of dust that looks like something inappropriate, it is all the universe.  So where might we fit in all of that? Think of this. The human brain is tremendous at making things feel like a big deal, but don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing.  When we’re getting charged by a bear our mind takes it upon itself to make that the most urgent event in our lives to take care of at the moment. But to really sit and think for a second and think of how our tiny lives fit into the whole of the universe, it’s really quite humbling.  Of everything, our little share of the matter and stardust is quite small. A fraction of a fraction would not be an inaccurate way to describe our space in the universe. Now, this is not to say that our lives are dimensionally limited, but rather that all the space we have even been to or sent objects to, is a very, very small amount of the universe around us.  The riddle here would be, how big of a deal are we to the universe?

 There’s a lot to think about in life.  These riddles, for example, just to give one idea.  We could spend our whole lives comparing ourselves to trees, or asking who we are, or looking up at the stars and wondering if we really are that big of a deal.  Of course, it’s no less than human nature to go on and on with, “what if” this, “what if” that. In reality, we should keep our heads more tuned to things going on here in our slice of the universe; it just might do us a bit more good than what may come to mind.