So, you think you’re ready to be a human?
I think so, but I’m a little confused.
Then you must be ready. Where do you want to be born? What kind of person would you like to be?
Hmmm. Aren’t people all pretty much the same?
Every human arrives on earth with only superficial differences to any other human. Unfortunately, it only takes a few short years before the society they’re born into traps them inside artificial, but powerful, boundaries. There are so many societies on Earth it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all the conflicts between them.
Then why would I want to be a human? Isn’t there enough already? They don’t need me.
I’m afraid you don’t have a choice. You’re going to be an instant burden on the planet but it’s not really your fault. Try not to feel bad; things are going to even out eventually. Whether humanity survives the shifting equilibrium remains to be seen.
I guess it doesn’t really matter where I end up. I’m feeling pretty scared about this whole thing.
That’s natural. Fear, ingenuity and desire are the main motivators of humanity. Each can be beneficial, but it’s easy to get bogged down in any one of them. The constant push and pull between those drives brought humanity to its heights, and will be its ultimate downfall.
I’m not feeling much motivation at the moment.
You will. Every society serves as a cog in a giant machine. Its motions are sustained by the collective effort of hundreds of generations striving to transcend the natural order—making way for the advent of science, literature, art, commerce and more. The system was designed by mankind to push the daily ordeal of survival to the background and redirect any bit of conserved energy toward their desires.
Yes, an imperfect machine with an immense cost to maintain. Anything of value you could possibly imagine has been sacrificed at some point to keep it running. You can overcome the machine but it isn’t easy; most societies have been built simply to sustain and protect it. Many people choose to live within the constraints of the machine to take advantage of the benefits it provides, even if those benefits ultimately prove damaging to the whole of the planet.
This all sounds ridiculously difficult.
You’ll be eased into society slowly. You’re just going to have to get used to rules. When you first arrive, you’ll be full of the desire to express yourself with total, unabashed freedom. It will take quite a few years to accept all the inhibitions needed to fit in but you’ll eventually conform.
What if I don’t want to conform?
Oh, you’ll be totally helpless for the first couple of years. You’ll have no choice but to give in. You’ll be too busy just learning to ambulate.
Your body won’t move how you want it to. In contrast to other animals, humans have sacrificed physicality for brain power. Just fighting gravity will take a lot out of you. People take for granted how much practice and effort it takes to walk upright and stay stable when there’s literally one ton of air pushing down at you at all times. All the while standing on something that’s moving at over 66,000 miles per hour AND rotating at incredible speed. It doesn’t help that you’ll be breathing a toxic gas–oxygen–that took cells on Earth millions of years to learn how to process. Anything walking around on the surface of the planet should feel proud, but life is never satisfied and humans have a short memory.
Of course. Just know you’ll spend most of your time in the beginning being hungry and tired and overwhelmed by stimuli. When you’re finally able to move and communicate you’ll want to run wild but they’re not going to let you. The world they’ve built around the machine wasn’t designed to be explored or traversed; they’ve made it too dangerous.
This is sounding less and less appealing.
Those first few years of life would all be terribly traumatizing. Fortunately, you won’t remember any singular experience from your early years. But, it’s not all bad; there’s a lot of good things happening on Earth too.
Oh, I don’t want to spoil all of it…but…the ability of humans to perceive beauty is remarkable. Hopefully you’ll remember to look for beauty everywhere because it tends to hide behind distractions. Once you’ve sublimated your wild instincts to the machine you’ll have enough time to start observing the beauty of the world, and the beauty of the world is unlimited in scope.
Finally, this sounds like something good!
You’ll experience the joy of discovery. You’ll uncover your talents, find your limits and push all the boundaries you can. Try to discover everything that brings you happiness and creates wonder inside of you when you’re young, because it’s those things that will sustain you through your entire life. The things that bring you joy will evolve and grow along with you.
So, what’s the best part of living?
Well, you’ll eventually learn about love. Love will break you down and build you up over and over again. Love might be the most beautiful thing you find—despite its costs—and despite how I’m making it sound at the moment.
There’s so much to remember.
This isn’t a lesson. The lesson is the journey. You’re time is almost here.
What is time?
Oh, it’s a little device the humans whipped up to try and make sense of things. They’re pretty confused in general, as a species. Time will define your stay and you’ll be checking it constantly.
That doesn’t sound like much fun.
Fun? Not really. But it does keep order. You’re going to find the order of things to be VERY important to humans. Just wait until you learn about numbers. Numbers rule time, they are constantly running forward, even when they are counting down. Humans are always trying to catch up with them.
This all seems pointless. Aren’t you my creator? Can’t you give me purpose?
Maybe I am…or this might just be the figment of your awakening mind. I’m afraid you’re never going to be given any definite proof of your purpose. There are a number of faiths you can ascribe to, or you can just choose to live a life you think has meaning. It’s all up to you.
I don’t know where to start!
You’re going to forget I told you this, but the true meaning of life—the purpose of all this—is simply, to live.
To live? That’s it?
Yes. For one speck in an infinite cloud of dust to be aware of itself, is truly something amazing. The matter and energy that is inside you can never truly be destroyed, just transferred. You never lived away from the whole of the universe and you will never truly die. You will always just…be. Being given true cognizance of your existence is the ultimate gift. Whether you’re alive for one second or a hundred years this is your moment to decide how to best experience your life as you live it.
Okay, I’m ready now.
No, you’re not, but that’s alright—you never will be.