“To be or not to be; that is the question,” asked Shakespeare’s Hamlet. “Since the beginning of time we humans have pondered the meaning of our existence. And our pondering the meaning of our existence is perhaps one of the things that most clearly defines our humanness.” But what truly makes humans unique and different from other beings and everything in this reality? Do animals look to the sky contemplatively, pondering their meaning and purpose? It seems as though Humans, other then inherent looks and structure, have a tendency to view the world as separate or different. But what does separation actually mean? When I say “separation” I don’t mean differentiation. I mean building houses in cleared designated areas away from the uncomfortability of the true natural world.
Inherently Humans separate themselves from animals because of the way they preserve and conceptualize the world around them. The rough texture of bark on a tree and the smooth flow of a creek are both different from us because of the way we interpret it. “My body is different from the bark on a tree and the flowing water, right?” Humans and the natural world are physically different, although humans are constructed of the natural world, but nevertheless different. How could we not automatically separate ourselves from everything around us? That’s how we are able perceive ourselves in the first place. But what is “us”? Our bodies are made of carbon and water but that’s not separate from animals, we separate ourselves by the way we can understand, conceptualize, and use the world around us. And it is this mentality that causes use to extract the life from that natural world for our own benefit. What is Mankind’s purpose? Is it to find balance in our actions and follow a path of righteousness and harmony or is it to merely consume? Most humans alive today fall under the category of a consumer, blindly obstructing the natural world to fuel the engines that propel them further away from the “correct” way of living. But who am I to say that the way people are living their truths are incorrect? Each human has their own path but it gets complicated when individual paths cross. Everyone thinks their path is the right one and they would do everything to stay on it, especially when their path is blocked from another’s. I am not saying that white people should have the freedom or “right” to discriminate blacks and Hispanics for their own personal fulfillment. It pains me to see this happen in the world and the only way I can soothe this pain and fix the world by being the change I want to see, casting away the cultural point of view of race passed down to me.
Beyond race and opinions, what does it actually mean to be human in the big picture of things, we seem so small on the scale of the universe. But nevertheless we are a part of the big picture. Everything we do from meditating to driving a car is a part of this reality, meaning humans play a role in this existence. Humans are more connected to the cosmic forces than one would inherently think. The feeling one gets when they gaze upon a full moon on a clear night, the devotion to religion, and the mastery of astrology are all ways of tapping into the cosmic energy of the universe. By understanding the cosmic energy that I speak of, the possibilities are endless for a human. With the right mentality humans can achieve anything from moving objects with their minds to building machines to deepen our understand of existence. To me being a human means engaging reality to the best of one’s abilities in the quest for understanding balance and harmony. Moreover, the true limits of the human race are ever changing and the question, “What does it mean to be human?” is always shifting for better or worse.