In David Lowery’s recent film, A Ghost Story, one of the characters goes on an extended soliloquy about the nature of humanity and how one could easily interpret the whole of human existence as a pointless of exercise. One day, everything as we know it will be gone — even, most likely, the universe. So what’s the point of it all? A24 released a short excerpt of the speech on YouTube above. (You can also watch my Periscope review of the film).
This week, the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt released a new video that tackles this very issue.
From the video:
If the universe ends in heat death, every humiliation you suffer in life will be forgotten. Every mistake will not matter in the end. Every bad thing will be voided. If our life is all we get to experience, then it’s the only thing that matters. If the universe has no principles, the only principles relevant are the ones we decide on. If the universe has no purpose, then we get to dictate what its purpose is.
Humans will most certainly cease to exist at some point. But before we do, we get to explore ourselves and the world around us. We get to experience feelings. We get to experience food, books, sunrises, and being with each other. The fact that we’re able to think about these things is already kind of incredible.
Obviously, there’s no one answer for this eternal question, but I appreciate them taking a shot at it.
In short: in the grand scheme of the universe, our time on earth is but a blink of an eye. We might as well enjoy it and try to help others enjoy it while we can.
For more ruminations on making the most of life, see Wait But Why’s post on Life in Weeks.