Auto-Pilot

There was this article I read awhile ago that discussed how we are akin to subatomic particles to the universe: small, puny, and insignificant. No, this post won’t be a nihilistic discussion; rather, it will be a fascinating overview of how fortunate it is to even be here right now.

There are times in my life that I go into “auto-pilot” mode; I wake up, take a bath, eat, go to school, go home, do some papers, eat, take a bath, sleep. The next day’s the same old routine. Like a knife being used to cut over and over and over again, one becomes dull through the endless routine imposed by oneself and by one’s society.

While surfing around the Internet, I came upon a comic that struck a nerve; sadly, I found myself similar to the position of the character. This made me realize that I needed to stop what I was doing and look back. Where am I now? Where am I going?

Apparently, I am like a bottle dropped into the great ocean, swept to and fro by the tides of life. Sometimes I see the sun, and other times, I taste the abyss. The world is a beautiful place, yet it is also one that jades the heart. A dog-eat-dog world where natural selection is a cruel reality and survival is the norm. How ironic it is that I often find myself alone in a city populated by a million of my countrymen. One’s eyes avert the others when their paths cross; genuine salutations are a rare commodity.

This outlook in life, though it serves its purpose, looks too much into the details that we forget the bigger picture. On “auto-pilot” mode, though apathy becomes my brother, cynicism apparently tags along. I find myself looking too much into the details: the pattern of the bathroom tiles, the motion of the smoke-belching jeepneys, the journey of masses across the Manila streets and alleys, that I forget. We forget. Life becomes a spectator event; we become our own Orwellian Big Brothers, distancing ourselves from the truth of the senses. I forget, that I am.

We look to the sky at night, and we see the beloved Moon. For me, the Moon is the most beautiful sight that nature has bestowed. When I look at it, I think of those who look at the moon and dreamt, those of the past, present, and future, those in my hometown and those in lands I have yet to see. Somehow, she unites us, that which shows herself to all without any bias, criticism, and prejudice. The slave and the free man, the male and the female, the rich and the poor, all behold the moonlight. Somehow, she reminds us that we are all equal and of the same stuff. When you and I are gone, the Moon will still be there. She outlasts the emperor and the pauper; she alone hears the endless tolling of the bell.

We have began this discussion with the human experience and let us now ascend to greater heights. In my childhood I have seen pictures of our Earth, yet the most striking of them was the picture of the Pale Blue Dot. Taken by Voyager 1 in 1990, it paints a humbling perspective on our existence. To quote Carl Sagan:

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

To the lost souls such as I, this answers the question of where we are right now. We are “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” The question “Where am I going?”, apparently, nowhere but here literally, but philosophically, definitely somewhere.

I have been asking these two questions for as long as I can remember, and I have found my answer. That “somewhere” is where I am going gives me repose from the endless trudging and gives significance to the otherwise inconsequential life I have when I compare to the greater laws of the universe.

If you read the amusing article I linked you to awhile ago, it ends with a humorous tone by saying:

We guess that’s the main thing you should be taking away from this article: There are so very many dramatic ways that vast, incomprehensible galactic phenomena can kill you, that every single day that you go unmurdered by space is a miracle.

Cherish it.

As I finally close my epiphyseal plates and cease to grow physically, I resolve to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually as the days come.

No more “auto-pilot” mode: Today I live.

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6 Comments

  1. Kbugal

     /  April 26, 2011

    Yihee! 21 na si Jian! Haha! Enjoy!
    Move around and enjoy life! =D

    Reply
  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIEND!!!

    Reply
  3. jian5

     /  April 26, 2011

    Hahaha, thank you Kara! Congrats pala ah 🙂

    Reply
    • kbugal

       /  May 16, 2011

      Sus! wala lang yun. icongratulate mo ko pag naging karathegreat na ako. ha? HAHAHA!

      Reply

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