Coming to the Point

A sharp evening breeze blows agitating the vegetation in front of a balcony. It is the wind before monsoon, offering relief from a sultry summer and yet teasing as no clouds inhabit the sky above. The occasional stillness is brought to the scene as the breeze disappears with the same dexterity with which it had come.

A : “ You, know”

B : “ Yes”

A : “ What is the point?”

B : “ The point? Or a point, a point is something with geometry, no dimensions and yet it exists and all that sort of thing..”

A : “ No, no. I mean what is the point in anything?”

B : “ Ah, I see.”

A : “ What? What do you see?”

B : “ Its going to be one of those days, self reflecting and fundamentally outputting.”

A : “ No, I mean really, first why do we call it the ‘point’ anyway? Most things have no points, why not say what is the direction of something or purpose.”

B : “ So you mean, what is the point in saying things have a point when they are actually not in possession of any physical points?”

A : “ Why do we do stuff, why do you and I go to work? I mean I understand putting food on the table…”

B : “ Yep , must have the glucose to keep going on.”

A : “ Precisely, why go on? What is the purpose of one’s continued struggle with reality to embrance a certain death?”

B : “ So the question becomes, what is the point of life?”

A : “ Or, what is the point of death? If life in itself has some meaning why let it end? One of these things must have a point and thus by association the other cannot.”

B : “ Had a bad day did we?”

A : “ No, but uneventful, one which could be said lacking in purpose.”

B : “ But are there any days with any purpose at all?”

A : “ What do you mean? There are eventful days, filled with social engagements or professional triumphs.”

B : “ Yes, but is there any point to all of that in the long run? Suppose you have more successful and fruitful days than I, is your life more full of purpose? Is this purpose not temporary and derived from making more desirable this continuum of which we know no motive?”

A : “ Knowledge, I think, that is the purpose, to learn and acquire as much as you can while breathing this very life giving oxygen.”

B : “ I’d like to agree but consider this, the very best of scientists and wise men in years gone by were perhaps the most knowledgeable men of their time. But our this yardstick of knowledge is it self a function of the time and the society we live in. So different people will meet their purpose differently depending on where and when they are born.”

A : “ What about wisdom? Surely that deserves some credit, Solomon would be as wise in his decision to have the baby split today as he were in his own time. Surely how wise you become can decide if a life has been fulfilling.”

B : “ What is wisdom if not intelligence, we see it as timeless but all this stems from the same brain. How wise you become is to me a result of experiences, not every one is endowed with the environment and circumstances to experience the same things in life. So can you say that the man who spent his lifetime in pursuit of studying the atom has had a more meaningful existence than one who did a 9-5 job in a IT firm as a software programmer?”

A : “ Yes, why not? While one could potentially contribute to the betterment of millions of people’s time on earth and even billions who come after them, the other is merely sustaining, not adding to the chances of better existence.”

B : “ We come back to your question then, even if say that human life is much bettered than it is today, as we die isn’t everything dissolved? I can see you replying now that then surely the purpose of our existence is to defy death, for as long as possible. Suppose over millions of years, if humanity manages survive and we are able to prolong life in such a manner that termination shall not be a concern, then shall we not achieve a state sans purpose?”

A : “ No, now as you often do, you are flogging your thoughts as mine. I’d never advocate immortality as the purpose of existence. Its hard enough to find meaning for the few decades we are put on this planet, imagine having to do so for eternity!”

B : “ Ah, I have just had a thought, perhaps this purpose of life is to reach a state where the search for this purpose is no longer a concern.”

A : “ Something like Moksha and escaping the cycle of human suffering, no that sounds a rather flimsy and easy explanation.”

B : “ Well simplicity can’t be held against a possibility when evaluating its chances, but I do see where you are coming from. Its all biological.”

A : “What is?”

B : “ Life of course, a series of biological functions occur periodically and then they stop after a certain age or when stopped due to external forces or a internally faulty mechanism. It is by the virtue of such processes that you and I are having these thoughts of purpose. Look at it like a machine being able to discern the possibility of its creation and wondering not how but why it got there.”

A : “ We are not going to get into Creator, no creator arguments are we? That would be very tiresome with the usual non entity of a conclusion presenting itself.”

B : “ No, I think I’d say the point is to have these thoughts, these discussions and experience the whole thing. Not that doing so might change anything but as long as we are here, we might as well do something.”

A : “ You know what.”

B: “ What?”

A : “ If only you’d bought some beer like I asked you to, there’d be some point. Till then , WHAT’S THE BLOODY POINT!”


[ Such conversations can only be had with oneself, who else can provide such stimulation?]


3 thoughts on “Coming to the Point

  1. I’ve pondered on this quite a bit too. To me the point of life turns out to be life itself. We’re biologically 99% the same, similarly, our environment determines to a large extent what we can and cannot do. So believing you have a purpose is a hard to digest. You may hear people say “Oh he was a born leader” which is mostly an afterthought people gather once see someone doing good as a leader. Biologically, we are machines designed to just eat, sleep and procreate. Nothing less, nothing more. It is wonderful that the peacock puts on a dazzling display of colourful feathers, but the purpose of peacocks existence is not to dazzle you, the display is intended to attract mates and keep the circle of life going.


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