Amid a host of articles recently discussing plans to open large cloning facilities, something that sounds ,admittedly, terribly sci-fi. I have been compelled to answer one of life’s great quandaries, what is the meaning of life? After deciding to take this immense burden upon myself and after a short period of examination, I am happy to report that I have solved it. Yes, that’s right I have solved it. It seems rather simple actually, and in my humble opinion the meaning of life is to create life, to continue and to be. Not so much a poetic answer and I’m not about to back up what I say with a myriad of scientific facts or observations. But just hear me out.
A quick dive into any number of search engines will produce a seemingly endless list of websites that have given this much more thought than I have. It is in giving it a little less though that I have arrived at my epiphany. Take for example the first one to appear at the top of my returned results list. The aptly named: http://www.meaningsoflife.com/. This website as it name suggests deals exclusively with this question and draws readers through a winding tunnel of deeply considered philosophical points, quotes and arguments, but doesn’t fundamentally arrive at any coherent conclusion. This website is closely followed by Wikipedia’s explanation and another offering a menagerie of quotes focusing on the topic, although some seem slightly off topic:
“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
Edgar Allen Poe
But no real answer is reached. Arguably this is an incredibly flawed approach consulting the great basin of knowledge that is the internet, but so far so good. Now, here is where the cloning comes in. We are instinctively programmed to do a few things. These things can be broken down essentially into two camps, to survive and to reproduce. We are obsessed with continuing our own lives, breaking free from our mortal shackles in the pursuit of immortality. Making many people the world over extremely jealous of the Turritopsis Dohrnii, an immortal jellyfish. Throughout history there are legends surrounding the Holy Grail and the workings of Alchemists attempting to unlock immortality’s secrets. Cloning may just be the latest trend in seeking this goal, the creation of life, although in this case it is also the maintenance of life.
Every living being on the planet is set in a never ending pattern, a continuous cycle that inevitably leads to the reproduction, copying or splitting of oneself to create new life. There are even philosophical and religious structures to explain this unending repetition. Take for example Reincarnation, a very popular expression of immortality. All life on this planet works towards and is continually focused upon this one impending goal. Sure, I can understand now that you may be saying to yourself that you have no interest in having a child, not at least at this very moment in time. But the thought is there, is it not, lingering at the back of your mind? You may not even have a child in the near future, but there is a strong chance at some point you will have one, or seek out a means to obtain one. That is was draws me to the conclusion that our purpose, our meaning, if ever we are to have one is the creation of life. At least that is what I believe it all boils down to in the grand scheme of things.
I know that the flow of this post comes to a rather abrupt halt. Yet my answer doesn’t actually require a great deal more conceptualisation. That is what makes it so simple, and more often then not, the more simple the answer the more it can be and is understood by the ones delivering it and the ones it is delivered to. Admittedly this may not be, in actual fact, the final and complete answer to this epic mystery. At the very least its some quality food for thought!