Nothing really matters because, in the end, we are all just beings, existing in this universe. We don’t have an ultimate higher purpose, at least unless you decide to have one. You can go an entire lifetime without a purpose, and you would still exist and be as you are.
Everything in the universe is just energy
Essentially, you, and everything else in this universe is just energy. It may sound weird but think about it. What are you made of? We, humans, are made of 99% empty space, and the rest is atoms. And what are atoms made of? Atoms are made of electrons, protons, and neutrons (quarks), which essentially is energy.
Read more (article): 99,9999999% of your body is empty space
So everything that looks and feels solid, isn’t truly solid. It’s all energy. The entire universe from the Big Bang until now is just energy. Another fundamental rule is that energy can never be created or destroyed. So all the energy that was in Big Bang, is the energy that is now. And what you, and I, consist of, has always been and will always be, long after our deaths.
Why nothing matters
Nothing matters, because on another plane of reality, we are all just energy. And why would anything really “matter” to something that just consists of energy? Why would a beam of light care about what clothes, cars, houses, or social status it has? Why would a stone, a tree, or a butterfly care about anything other than just being? Why would they even care at all?
Most things in this universe, just exist, such as insects, most animals, vegetables, and objects.
But animals on earth with higher intelligence and consciousness, such as humans, don’t just exist. We strive for more, for better, to take control of our own lives and the natural world. This probably stems from the fact that we have consciousness. Consciousness allows us to be aware of ourselves and creates a false sense of the “self”, distinct from the things around us. But in reality, nothing is truly distinct.
Read also: A Book About Our Consciousness
Metaphor: Take a drop from an ocean – Is it still water?
A good metaphor for this is to imagine a vast body of water (a big ocean). You can take a drop from this ocean. And suddenly, this drop seems to be its own body or entity. But when you drop it back in, then it just becomes a part of the whole again. And in a way, it was never truly distinct from what it came from. It just had a unique existence for a while. But it was always just water.
We, humans, are like drops formed from that ocean. But we are drops of energy in the universe. We feel as though we are very special, as though we are all alone. But in reality, we are all a part of a whole, of this one giant constellation of energy. The energy we consist of was here before we were born, and will be here long after we are gone.
I guess, in a way, that’s one type of reincarnation. But the thing that lives on is not our notion of self (our personality, memories, our place in culture); but the energy that we consist of.
Chasing goals and achievements that are not meaningful
And by taking this view of life, you can see how nothing really matters. The things we grow up thinking matter, such as…
- Being rich and having a lot of money
- Having high social status (seen as successful, cool, funny, interesting)
- Owning expensive houses, cars, clothing
are all just arbitrary. And another point is that those things can never be enough. There will always be someone richer than you, with higher status than you, or with more expensive things than you. That’s the reality of a capitalistic system where money can be generated from nothing.
Even things such as…
- Having children (reproduction)
- Being loved by many
- Having faith in something (religion)
may not even matter. Why would it matter truly to the universe and the energy that we consist off, if we reproduce or not? Why would energy care about being loved and admired by many, or if a conscious being believes in something? I don’t think that any of those things truly matter.
What matters then?
I, of course, don’t have an answer to that. But right now, my thoughts have gone to believe that perhaps it’s just enough to be. To be and to just exist at the moment. If you were a tree for example or the energy from the sun, wouldn’t it be enough to just be? To just be? This conclusion does sound close to the teaching of Buddhism; that one should let go of all desires. And who knows, perhaps that is what Buddha came to for conclusion as well.
But to be honest, this answer doesn’t feel fully satisfying enough for me, and probably not for you either.
Truthfully, I’m driven by the fact that I am alive.
What a miracle it is to have been born, and what a gift it is to exist in this world as a human. In 5000 years from now, the energy I consist of will still be in the universe. Perhaps in the form of sunlight, stardust, a tree, or a cow (but most probably spread around in the entire universe, being a part of a multitude of things).
The fact that I exist is a miracle, and I am grateful for being here. And even if nothing I do truly matters, I still want to use my time as myself on earth in the best way possible. I want to utilise the fact that I have the possibilities to do things, create things, feel things, and experience life.
And perhaps, we don’t need to do things that matter. We just need to be, in any way that we wish to be.