I’ve come to an uncomfortable conclusion about existence.
As I’ve been finishing off some chores while catching up with podcasts during the blizzard, a thought that’s been forming for a while struck home very clearly.
In general, we’ve got two approaches to understanding our existence: top-down and bottom-up. Top down is more concerned with meaning and teleological understandings of purpose. From this approach, it makes perfect sense to respond to the question of why there are biological cells by pointing out that they’re needed in order to explain us.
Bottom-up is more the approach of science. Whether one believes in divine intention or randomness and chance as the fundamental explanation for all things, the bottom-up approach starts at the beginning of time and winds things forward. Particles form atoms form molecules form compounds form cells form organs form us.
Sorting all that out will be the work of many essays, probably on Dust in the Light. Today’s Ripple-level thought had to do with something one doesn’t often find strongly enough stated from either perspective. Namely, the very core of existence, utterly essential to being and understanding, is relationships.
That’s a disconcerting conclusion for a periodically intemperate introvert who seems to have a knack for rubbing people the wrong way!