The greatest question to me at this moment is "what am I?"
Not just as it pertains to my social label of Humanist, atheist, agnostic, irreligious, skeptical, etc., but in relation to my mere existence. This fuzzy feeling I get when crawling around in the darkness of existentialism seems too real. I keep finding new ideas and experiences and when I press their "on" buttons to see what they do, it changes my perception of reality. It's more than just being objective when playing with new ideas, its coming to terms that everything I understand about my reality is fundamentally limited by this brain that is meant to process it. I'm so self-centered. So tragically self-centered.
Wanting to be sexually satisfied is more than a thought in my head or a behavior...its a feeling my body looks for even if "I" am not. Eating is a feeling I need to satisfy even if I wanted to choose otherwise. Becoming angry with someone is a feeling that arises whether I do or do not want it to and the same can be said of love. I'm being bombarded with thoughts all day that are more than just self-centered, they are anthropocentric. I cannot understand what a thought is like outside of this human body for precisely the reason that I am human.
There is this consciousness that relates to this body so vividly, that it believes experience is centered around it. After all, I will never truly care for a gazelle being eaten by a lion - neither of them are me. I will never truly care for a farm animal to be killed and dismembered for food - they still aren't me. And most tragically of all, I will never care for another human being to die - because I'm still alive. The best this body has created to cope with such a solipsistic world view, are the tools provided by our own genes. Tools to allow them, not me, to survive - I live simply as the product of their needs to live. I sympathize with one species more than the others only because my genes have allowed me to see their pleasures and suffering more like I experience them - bringing it all back to me. Every thought I have is forced to view the world narrowly. I am forced to see images, hear sounds, feel what I touch, taste flavors, and smell scents. I will never have the ability see what is not useful to be seen or hear what is not useful to be heard (useful in terms of my species' evolution and need for survival).
Every door closed to us human beings have mysteries behind them we could only dream of understanding and more importantly experiencing. And by the same token, it appears painful to not know what's hidden! It's more than frustrating, it hurts to not know. These questions become more and more important to us because they leave the possibility open that we are worthless, we are simple, we are hopeless. What's worse, perhaps the people I care about are of the same unnoticeable magnitude. These are questions that burn inside because now everything I am apart of... may have no meaning.
But I began to notice something. I've heard these questions before. From Christians, from Jews, from Buddhists, from Hindus, from Wiccans, from "spiritual" folk. We've all asked, "what am I?" Well...
Being atheist doesn't get me anywhere. Atheism simply takes me back to square one, but perhaps that's the best thing I can ask for as an individual consciousness. Religious people always talk about experiencing god. Maybe that's what I need - an experience, but I'm going to take it further than "spiritual" people. All of you out there will never know what it's like to be me. Not a single one of you can understand how I feel towards the people I've chosen to love, the music I've come to drown my ears in, the flood of visuals I've deemed as beautiful. At the very least, I'm important to myself. I matter so much to me and who/what I love may even matter more (to me). This is square one. Cleaning off my slate so I can answer those questions for myself. Asking why do I matter in my eyes, not why do I matter to a god.
I'm not finding my purpose! Who told me that there is a purpose out there that someone buried in the sand and I incomplete until I find it? No! I'm going to do something that shows other people and most of all, myself, that I matter. Why? Because the Universe couldn't stop me from being born in this body, and nothing else can ever change the fact that I exist. Go 10,000,000 Earth years into the future...the fact remains I still existed. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear the crash, did it happen? To the tree it did. And if it could think, what would it even care that the rest of us didn't know what happened? Why is it so important to people that we be involved and be important to this world forever? Pass the torch on. Stop being so attached to ourselves that we can't even imagine a world without us because that view has caused so much pain to the rest of us and to ourselves.
Those questions that hurt me before, they may not all have answers. They may even have answers I don't want to accept. The limitations of this body doesn't mean I can reject it. That will only worsen the problem. I can't scapegoat it. I can't declare that I'm transcendental to this body. Instead of giving up on the body, I should give up on the limitations. I should admit that the Universe wasn't created with me in mind. I should admit that the planets weren't put there to reveal to me who I should love or how I should behave. I should admit that heart breaking tragedies in my life weren't out to find me. Having no plans and being random is a platform to discover something meaningful much like silence is a platform to fill in with something beautiful like music.
That's the purpose I'm growing into. I don't have a map.
And the best part, I am not alone in my journey - I am one curious consciousness, surrounded by other conscious beings asking the same questions. Is this religion? Is this spirituality?
I can't find any philosophies that present in arbitrary languages what I feel inside. Though I feel safe calling it Humanism. But in the end, its just me and my thoughts.