When We’re Gone
Do you think it’s possible that when we’re gone, when we’re just another mildly successful extinct species that came and went like millions of other species before and after, do you think those that remain will remember us? Millions of years from now, when the mass we call Earth is still spinning in the sky but the two-legged creatures who onced ruled it are a distant footnote in the eternal continuum of history, will whatever is here in our place marvel at our achievements or scoff at our folly?
We have the self-congratulatory habit of considering homo sapiens the highest form of life. Ever. When the cockroaches and beetles rule the planet (again), will they or whomever is running the show concur? These insects, or God, or Whatever is overseeing eternity, may or may not experience this thing we understand as “consciousness.” Unlike us they may not be able to build nuclear power plants or airplanes or smart-phones. And yet, in the greatest cosmic joke of all, the Divine One(s) might reasonably consider human beings the lowest form of life.
We are super intelligent. We’re also super oblivious to the consequences of our intelligence. We organize ourselves around principals (greed, individualism, egotism) that are antithetical to every other species on the planet. And we fret over stuff that, when viewed from certain perspectives, belongs in the category of Absurdly Irrelevant.
Perhaps the Universe has made us for amusement. To God we might indeed be delightful playthings, endlessly entertaining strivers moving farther from truth as we bumble through a lifelong journey toward a mental construct called happiness.
We all came from the same place and we’ll all return there eventually, somehow. One day each of us will die. One day someone will be the last of us. And someone else’s dream will begin.