Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
This really is true, isn’t it? Life is a pretty simple endeavour. Survive. Have enough to keep body and soul together, as they used to say.
What happened? Why did we start optimizing our existence?
Well I have one theory. You can tell me what you think. When as a culture, we stopped fixing our gaze on a hereafter where every moment was bliss, I think we looked around and said, if this is it, I better make the most of it.
This is not a judgement of the motivation.
A hundred years ago, people not only believed in an immortal soul, but that their actions on this world would affect their chances of gaining eternal bliss in the next. So the mentality was that of delayed gratification: keeping your head down and doing what you ought would eventually pay off. Character was emphasized insofar as having it would help you get into heaven.
Fast forward to the rise of secularism, and people are questioning why they do the things they do. Why do they act this way, why do they make the choices they do? Before, religion was the answer. Now what is it?
That’s something every person has to answer for themselves. I would be very interested if you would tell us about it in the comments, if it isn’t too personal.
For me, I think that you can float through life with out a purpose or with one. For me, life is a lot more interesting and flavorful with one. And I hold the belief that being that there is only one me, I have the job of being the best me there is. Being that no one else could possibly be as good a me as me, this isn’t very arduous. But I see it as a game to play by myself, like solitaire, to better myself against my own metrics.
What do you think of my theory? Do you have your own?