Does our Existence matter
I hope that what I shared in this post will allow you to look at nature differently. These two white tigers taken at the Singapore Zoological Gardens are not only rare, beautiful and majestic, they are life itself just like you and me. They have always reminded me that this world is much larger than humans; we co-exist with all kinds of miraculous life-forms and if it is not love that we share, it will be hate and aggressiveness.
These two tigers have attacked and killed a cleaner making headlines in 2008 where the cleaner had leapt into the tiger enclosure and waded towards them, provoking them with a broom and bucket. He was pronounced dead before he could be taken to a hospital. The incident was ruled a suicide by the state coroner in 2009. It is a tragedy and no one knows why the man did it but nature has to be respected—it not only applies to the tigers but to all forms of nature because respecting all lives is to respect oneself and the intelligence that created us.
There was a time when we do not exist as an individual before we were born, there will also be a time that we will not exist after our death. Does our existence matter during this short in-between life-span that we are having?
“Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter.”
I would like to share the story of the tigers pertaining to the question of existence. Tigers being one of the most revered and majestic animals are becoming extinct with as few as 3,200 left in the wild today. We have lost 97 percent of wild tigers in just over a century. The thing is why should you care? It is not like you have to deal with it as an imminent threat as if it was living among you. In a civilized society so used to comfort and security, we are afraid of the wild. We fear those things that we cannot predict because something wild is beyond our control, nature and animals are such. Some people are afraid of snakes, some people are afraid of spiders or reptiles, some people are even afraid of other humans and the reason is because they do not understand them. You fear that which you do not understand simply because you have no control and you don’t know what they will do to you. They are unpredictable. That is also the reason why some people fear life because life is unpredictable. It is easier to see others live their lives because going through it yourself requires a lot of courage and you rather be safe; it is safer to watch a movie about someone else going through all the danger instead of you having to do it. So if you are unaware, tigers have nothing to do with you but from the universe point of view, it has everything to do with you. Everything in the world is inter-connected just that this invisible thread cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Nature always strive to maintain balance. Tigers are at the top of the food chain, they are the top predator in every ecosystem they inhabit. Naturally they are designed to hunt those lower in the food chain and most of these animals are herbivores. If the numbers at the top of the food chain is drastically reduced, the population of the herbivores will increase and if left unchecked they will consume the rainforest in a matter of time. When the trees are gone, so will our air quality because we depend so much on the oxygen that the trees give us. What this means is that when the earth becomes barren, our children of future generations will suffer. Imagine a smog filled city which causes us to gasp for air and there are no devices to clean and renew the air we breathe. What is happening now is that tigers are illegally hunted for their pelts, meat and body parts (used in medicine) and their numbers continue to dwindle because of habitat loss due to logging and forest destruction—not only do we destroy and upset the balance of the food chain, we add further destruction to the trees that takes many years to grow but can be destroyed in seconds. In some ways, we are digging our own graves.
You might do something with your life, you might not, that’s not really important but understand that your mere presence has already change the outcome of existence. Just because you exist, things have changed.
If we realized this inter-connectedness, we will understand whether our existence matters. Every living being in the universe serves a purpose. You might do something with your life, you might not, that’s not really important but understand that your mere presence has already change the outcome of existence. Just because you exist, things have changed. You are a vibrating source of energy and even when you are still, energy is set into motion and it affects everything within your vicinity. People that are closest to you will be affected more. Take for example whether you are a loving person or not, the people closest to you will be greatly affected by your choices. Some people are more influential and have greater energy field and this ripple can spread far and wide and affect the lives of many. No matter how wide the radius, you are bound to change things; you can try not to touch anything in the universe, but what about the grasses you stepped along the way? It is impossible not to leave behind a wake of your existence. In some ways, just because you exist, it matters. Everything happens for a reason and if existence puts you right here, there must be a reason for it. The outcome of this reason, for better or worse, depends on you being conscious or unconscious about your life and actions.
Being conscious is to be aware of yourself as a part of the larger body of life, being unconscious on the other hand is to believe that you are your mind and the limitations of the body. These two states create very different outcome in your journey of life. When you are in harmony with existence, you flow with the joys of life and existence opens up to you because you are a part of it. Without much thinking, you flow through your dreams and arrive at where your passions bring you. The passion that is built into your nature allows it to be effortless. At best, you live a life that is intended, one that is in accordance to your purpose. When you think yourself as an individual, because all minds are individual, the world becomes a place of hostility. It is not actual reality, it is only happening in your mind that you are alone and the whole world is against you, that is enough to become a reality for you sub-consciously. Efforts will then become tougher and the struggle to keep things your way will wear you out. Going against the very nature of how you are created is a waste of time because this inevitably ends up in fear; everything will become so serious and seriousness will bring anxiety and fear—you will miss the point of life. Being so serious about things cause you to think that whatever you are doing is important but if you were to observe, there is nothing important in nature—we are like a speck of dust in eternity, one whiff and we are gone. Existence matters because you are here and yet if you function on the level of ego, you might also mean nothing to the whole of eternity when everything you believed in is taken from you at the time of death. The world will run just fine without you—it has and it always will be. Nothing is as important as it seems and yet by being your authentic self it becomes the greatest contribution to existence.
Take a look at a colony of ants. Sometimes ants drive people crazy and they can be killed in a simple pinch. They are so small and puny that they meant nothing to humans; people treat them more like pests. These ants know their functions which is built into their innate nature and they work tirelessly for the survival and expansion of the colony; they are one of the most hardworking workers you can find on the planet. Each member of the colony depends heavily on one another. They do not question their existence and they do not care whether what they do has meaning or not, they just are and doing what they do, they brought countless benefits that are unseen by us. When ants start to build their nests in the form of their intricate network of tunnels, oxygen seeps into the various chambers of the tunnel providing oxygen to the soil and the plant’s root; which in turns provides benefits to us through the oxygen produced by the plants into the air we breathe. Ants will also consume almost anything and this makes them one of the most highly effective waste products cleaner where if the wastes are not properly disposed of, it will rot and become infected with dangerous disease. All these side effects of them being ants, helps sustain our lives in a way that we couldn’t have imagined.
All these are just some examples of how we are all connected and I haven’t even touch the surface. It just takes eyes to see the evidence of this support and the inter-connectedness around us. The responsibility then becomes how you would want to affect another by your actions or non-actions, be it nature, fauna, flora or your fellow human beings. Know your place in existence and whatever you do will matter to the whole.