Epiphany of Existence
That Moment You Realise You're a Thing

About the Author
Jackson Capper
Jackson Capper 2nd March 2018 4 minutes

You recall growing up as a child. Perhaps only blurry visions and fragmented memories of houses you lived in and towns you visited. Some memories are of events with no apparent significance and others were unforgettably significant. Starting from the oldest, faintest visions and working forward through time, your recollections will eventually coalesce into a solid experience that becomes your childhood and the eventual consciousness that you can closely relate to today.

You find yourself as an entity with most likely two legs and two arms. These limbs that you control, fork into five separate digits. You have incredibly precise control of this physical elegant structure. You only have to will it to move, and it moves. You also experience the light and sounds around you. You have a deep presence seemingly inside your brain which engages in a constant war of thoughts, rationality, irrationality, emotions, and temptations.

There are others too, just like you. You can speak and receive utterances verbally and in writing to instruct, convey, and request information with these other people. You come to realise they are having the same experience as you, and you empathise with them.

You exist on a large plane of solid land mass of dirt and rocks. This land is surrounded by a vast ocean under an enormous sky. The entirety of this environment is saturated with other creatures, inanimate and animate. They are the plants and animals. While you share many physical characteristics with the animals, it is immediately clear that they are not like you. They are vastly lacking in the ability to process information like you. Have they ever considered the peculiarities of their existence?

You learn that many people had existed before you. They had lived and died, and left an accumulation of art, science, and knowledge for you. You can know the entirety of everything they had discovered. It turns out this plane of land curves around on itself to form a sphere. It’s a planet. It hangs in space around what turns out to be an enormous ball of perpetual fire. It’s one of many billions of stars that form a larger galaxy cluster. There are many other galaxies.

One particular oddity is the fact that of 15 billion years prior, and of trillions of years to come, you happen to have been born at this particular moment in time.

Uncannily, the environment you dwell is able to provide you not just with basic nourishments, but also many sophisticated luxuries such as a buoyant ocean to float on, and an atmosphere with the density required to achieve flight. The resources in the ground, while seemingly random, offer affordable sources of energy and chemical properties that can be utilised to build sophisticated machines. Resources are so abundant and of a particular nature, you can construct with them devices that can rocket into space! Not only is the environment useful, you are coincidentally blessed with just enough intelligence, and just enough articulation in your limbs to use it.

Welcome to your life as a human, on this planet, in this grand universe. If you've ever thought that your existence is uncanny, coincidental, or peculiar, you’re not alone. We all woke up here for some reason and many of us are trying to figure out how and why.

What We're Really Asking

We can explain how an organism might develop 4 limbs given the earth’s environment. We can explain why the earth’s environment is a result of chemistry. We can explain why the elements behave and interact the way they do. We can even explain why the electron might jump between orbital shells virtue of the modelled interaction between quantum fields. Since all things are determined by the consistent interactions of quantum fields, all questions can be reduced to an interrogative singularity: why do quantum fields interact the way they do?

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