I was standing outside a store earlier today looking at a publication and I glanced past what I was reading to the sidewalk where there were several tiny ants running around in circles. I’m not sure the variety of the critters. I know they weren’t fire ants and they weren’t carpenter or black. They were what I’ve come in the past to know as “piss ants” or (more politely) sugar ants.
Anyway, they were running around staying close to the wall and I thought about stomping on a few of them and then I thought about the universe and life and began wondering. (I knew I was heading for trouble.) Sure enough I started thinking about the ants and everything else under the sun and beyond that was “alive” and puzzled over how it all is, or how it came to be, and what separates me from you and you and I from the ants. Is that a run on sentence? Probably. Probably broke every english rule or at least a fair number. But … rules. Who sets them? Are they of value? I suppose they bring order. So, yes, they are of value. Now, what of the ants and the rest of us. It is life. Is it not?
So, what is life? Animation in reality? Consciousness empowered to act? If we destroy an ant are we harming the universe? Are we harming ourselves? I don’t know. I really don’t. How could I. I would be arrogant and totally out of place if I said I did know or understand for that matter. Besides, at 2 AM I surely am not completely awake enough to be able to really be complete in my thoughts.
But I want to know! I want to understand what is it that takes a bunch of atoms and animates it and brings about thought such as I am having now and such as you are having while reading this. And, please don’t hand me the athiest BS that we just happened as I don’t buy it, not that I am into a religion but I am spiritual.
So, in the end, I looked at the ants with my foot raised above them and then I lowered it carefully to not crush any of them and walked away with so many unanswered questions. As I did I wondered if any of the ants had looked up at me and wondered about me.