“Our destiny is to become the gods we once feared and worshipped. Science will give us the means by which we can shape the universe in our image. The question is whether we will have the wisdom of Solomon to accompany this vast celestial power.” – Michio Kaku, The Future of Humanity.
Last time we looked at the first of three key decisions facing a person considering taking up a cosmic purpose, i.e. whether to adopt one at all. I concluded that adopting a cosmic purpose in tandem with a societal purpose offers a greater chance than either alone of leading to the subjective assessment of one’s life as meaningful. Today we look at the second question regarding the kind of cosmic purpose to adopt.
If we infer the purpose of the universe from its trajectory (and no other method presents itself), then we conclude that its purpose is expansion with areas of localized order, and the emergence of complexity and variety, progressing so far, in our limited field of vision, to an immense assortment of living things highlighted by the unimaginable intricacy of the conscious animal brain, and perhaps the pinnacle of all – organically based intelligence.
Following this line of reasoning, human cosmic purpose comes down to aligning one’s life with that understanding of the construct fashioned by the universe as it has unfolded during its 14.9 billion year existence. In other words, one serves as an agent to reveal the secrets of the universe or to foster the diversity of cosmic creation. If Turgenev is correct that humans are the workers in the workshop of Nature, then our ultimate purpose is fixed by that truth. Thus while all people have a duty not to destroy Nature’s diversity, those seeking cosmic purpose or significance must go further by advancing our knowledge of Nature (pure science and mathematics) and elaborating and augmenting its contents through study and direct assistance. IN effect, all cosmic purpose falls into one of these two baskets.
Next time we will consider how various roles meet those exigencies and the manner to choose among them.