Assuming that you are a regular human being living on planet Earth, you must be pretty proud of yourself. You are “you“, the being, the person, who has achieved so much so in life and are part of the race that rules the planet and has subdued everything else! You even have defeated the evil “keetanu” by investing in Hand sanitizer, adding salt in your toothpaste and through Air Conditioners which “kill viruses”. While considering that there are people who actually believe all that nonsense, I would like to inform you that in your mouth right now there are more bacteria than there are on a toilet seat. No, gargling hand sanitizer won’t help. In fact, you are nothing but a big fleshy colony of microbes, while at the same time being the stuff that stars are made of. You are also immortal and everlasting! Also, that what you call “you”, does not even exist.
I always have been harping on about how insignificant we are and how we never matter in the grand scale of things. Read on for some mind-blowing facts about the human being, which is you. Maybe some of them will make you feel insignificant, the major one being the realization that you don’t even exist as “you” on a Physical plane. Humbling to know how much of nothing we are.
No, not the gossip magazine. Like everything else, you are made up of billions of atoms, every one of which was “created” billions of years ago inside an exploding star or expanding Nebula, along with all the material that make up the stars of today. Some atoms in you might have come from these stars themselves, and some might age back to the beginning of time when they were forged in the furnaces of the Big Bang and the super hot ancient universe. And you keep expelling your atoms while taking in new ones continuously. Yes, we are all Stardust, made of tiny bits of stars, which reminds us where we came from and where we will return: To the Cosmos, as a part of everything that has ever existed and everything that will ever exist…
Do you know you are really one in a million? You are here because there are millions who did not make it. You are alive today not just by accident, but you are the result of thousands of millions of years of struggle, sacrifice and hardship by your ancestors, millions of them, right from multi-celled organisms, invertebrates, early mammals to humans, all forgotten and unknown. All of your ancestors were successful enough to survive nature, enemies, disease and predators from time immemorial to pass on their genetic material to a mate at the exact right time required that would finally result in you! If one of them had failed, you would not exist! You are the a living, breathing success story of nature. This also exemplifies the reason why we are here on Earth: To have sex and ensure the continuity of our species. You can read more about this here.
In other words, each and every one of your ancestors were successful in getting themselves laid. So do not despair. :)
3. You Are Cousins with Everything Else.
Every living thing – including all other people on the planet: every plant, tree, animal and insect come down from a common ancestor, a simple cell that was created millions of years back in an ancient ocean. Everything evolved from there, taking different routes to reach where they are now. You are somehow related to that tree on the roadside, the ants that scurry around, your cat, the moss on the wall and the chicken that crossed the road. Look at that cute chick across the table from you. A couple of thousand years ago, her nth grandfather and your nth grandmother might have been siblings or even a couple. Think about it. Here is some more interesting stuff about your lineage and all, “The Most Recent Common Ancestor”
4. Your Life is Inexplicably Short.
Many people consider themselves indestructible and believe they will live close to forever. But, If you are 18 years old, you have around 3500 weekends left in your life, considering you live to be 85, your consciousness as defined. So don’t wait for Fridays. You might not live to be a hundred, or even eighty, so stop planning and get out, enjoy what life has given you. Also, discard that belief that you are “young” once you cross 30. If you are below that, enjoy these carefree days where you can stand up and be counted among the “Youth”, consume liters of beer and ogle at pretty specimens of the opposite sex…
5. You Will Never be as Young as You are Right Now.
You are the youngest you ever will be Right now, this moment! Old is always something you will be in the future. Also, all photographs of you show you when you were younger. Think about it. Photographs are the best time machines man has invented till now!
6. You are Immortal!
Good news! You have been alive for the past 4 billion years though you don’t remember it. In fact, everything around you has been alive for the past 4 billion years on Earth in some form or other, but not one remembers it. For this, you will have to look on from a broader point of view and not just from a “life conscious” one. You come from cells of your father and mother, and from a cellular perspective, you were alive as part of them. When a girl is born, all egg cells she will ever have will be already present in her Ovaries. Which means when your mother was born, the Egg that would become you were already present in her. Same for your grandmother and so on. Looking backwards, a part of you was alive since the beginning of life through some crazy variety of “Inception”. If you are a woman, there is another bonus: You will live on through your daughters for ever.
7. You are Everything!
As said before, you and me are made up of billions of atoms which have this habit of wandering around. You constantly take in new atoms and expel others. And they over billions of years were part of many other things before they later became part of you. It is a common adage that says there will be at least one atom in your lungs right now that was in Julius Caesar’s last breath. You might consist of millions of atoms that were once part of some dinosaur’s body, some ancient plant, other human beings, some building, the moon, some ancient star, and so on. The water you drink next will contain millions of atoms and even molecules that were part of somebody else’s excreta. You are made up of history, of everything. You are made up of Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin King, Hitler, Stalin, Freddie Mercury and who ever else imaginable… You are everything and everybody! Coming to think of it, you might even contain atoms that were part of some alien life form once.
8. You are Empty.
If you had paid attention in High School instead of staring at your pretty classmate with all your fresh pubescent fantasies, you would have remembered that an atom is mostly empty, with examples saying that if the nucleus was placed at the center of a football field and was the size of a full stop/marble/golf ball/tennis ball/football, the first electron would be x meters out and so on. So what consists of the space in between? Nothing. Apparently 99.9% of an atom by mass is nothing but empty space. And since you are made of these things, it means that 99% of you is empty. Yeah, the next time someone calls you “Full of gas!”, remember, there is nothing to be agitated about.
9. You are Not Even You.
You have close to ten times as many bacteria, yeasts etc in your body than you have cells. So around 90% of the DNA in your body is not yours along with a majority of metabolic processes inside your body. So, from a cellular point of view, you are not really you – but you are made up of and belong to Bacteria! Or looking at it from a DNA standpoint, since you contain more bacteria DNA than human DNA, you might be more bacteria than human! But most of these bacteria are helpful for various bodily processes, some without which we wouldn’t be able to survive, which we are trying to kill with antiseptic soap.
Many organisms must have sensed during the early eons that we would become the dominant species on Earth. So they invaded our cells and set up camp here, forming a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with our cells and becoming part of our DNA and living happily ever after. This is called the “Endosymbiotic Theory“. An example in the Mitochondria in our DNA, without which there would be no females! So deep down on a cellular level there is no “You”, but only a collection of organisms, independent or assimilated. You are nothing but a colony of organisms that somehow learned how to think.
10. Do You Really Even Exist?
You already know that you are really not one organism alone. But if you thought that we can take solace in imagining that at least you exist, wrong again. As said before you are made up of atoms. But the irony is that none of those atoms which make you up and give you life are alive, and they don’t care if you are alive or not, it is none of their business. Bill Bryson says:
“It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.”
In this plane of thought, you are just a mound of inanimate atoms which in their journey of billions of years through space assembled themselves in the form of you for a very brief period of time. You, as an entire complete being, do not really exist. You as you that you perceive as a being was never there, never has been, your sentience is just an illusion created by your consciousness. There is a high chance that all the matter, atoms, that made you up 20 years ago have been replaced by now (but not cells). So the physical ‘you‘ that existed 20 years ago does not exist today. You exist only as electrical signals between Neurons in your brain, your thought processes that give you the sense of your being. You do not exist on a physical plane, but exist only as a consciousness in a constantly changing physical body on a metaphysical plane. This is why we are cosmic organisms and not physical ones.
How Did This Happen?
Hydrogen gas, if given enough time, turns into people who become self-aware and discover that given enough time, Hydrogen gas turns into people who become self-aware. In the same way, once upon a time on a Pale Blue Dot, a large number of atoms somehow arranged themselves in a complex manner which resulted in them being able to write a blog post about how they arranged themselves in a complex manner to write a blog post about it. They had lots of generous help of electrical signals hurtling to and fro between a large number of those atoms. Remember, how fragile we are and how much of nothingness we contain, and among all the nonsense you endure each day and spend your time on, make sure that you choose your priorities wisely, so that you will be contended that you had spent your time wisely when the End of Days roll around…
Oh, and hey, thanks for reading my blog, cousin! :D