we’re all just people. 1

I’m beginning to write this new book with an idea I’ve been toying with for some time now. The easiest and most palpable phrase for this idea is this: “We’re all just people.” This phrase makes sense in the most obvious of ways, but I have come to attribute several levels of meaning to this subtle and simple phrase. It answers many questions asked since the beginning of time and I believe makes life worth living. For all intents and purposes, I will acknowledge all philosophy and religion as influencing my belief in hopes of describing the most important phrases of my life.

I’ll start with the phrase itself. We’re all just people. “We’re” is the obvious contraction of the words we and are. Instead of explaining grammar, I will mention that these first words have been used before in Western philosophy in the singular as I am. Cogito ergo sum, Latin for I think therefore I am, was made largely popular by the French philosopher René Descartes. It seems to be the basis of my primary phrase, but my phrase omits the idea of thought. We are, and moreover we are all simply people. Simply is a clarification of the use of the word just. When we can first recognize the simple fact that we are nothing more than living organisms like any other creature, we can then recognize our own species as human. Every human is exactly the same. Just as every dog and likewise horse is exactly the same. We have DNA and everybody has their own set of rules or principles or morals or life, but the simple fact of the matter is that we all live by the exact same set of organic and natural rules. We are all just people in that we behave as any other human would behave under the exact same circumstances.

The next phase is to recognize that not only are we all people, we are all one entity. From matter comes, existence, not thought. Some would reason that because we can think, we exist, as Descartes would have us believe. This is not the case, but it also is the case. I, the author and creator of this document, exist because I pronounce and declare it. Should I cease to exist after my body has decomposed and I can no longer utter the words I exist? I will exist but no longer in the imprisoned “Wesley” that I was called when I could deduce and rationalize. I will simply exist as matter without form. Purpose is in the eye of one who needs it, so it is useless to say I have no purpose after my passing. So we are all one unity because matter returns to matter and combines to create other forms. This is to say, my body decomposes into bones and dirt. The actual chemical process of decomposition is much more complex than dirt, but it is to say, my materials are used for something else. Before my passing, I consumed raw materials such as iron, zinc, and other fibers and proteins to keep my organism intact. These processes are simply a harmony of existence and create the unity of our collective beings.

Next we are to recognize that we do have rational minds that create complex worlds. With this realization it is necessary to understand the validity of our current world and also the absurdity of it. Having a marriage, going to a football game, making dinner, college graduation, and university are all absurd creations of our human brain and its rationalizing aspects. The marriage between a man and woman has absolutely no bearing on the actual world. It is absolutely meaningless, yet we hold on to such ideas as being sacred or purposeful. A football or basketball game and whether a team wins or not is completely without merit unless you deem that your team winning has some meaning for you. These are all ways to occupy our time and rationalize living. Sex and death are both naturally occuring events that hold meaning to us as human beings, but to the non-rationalizing animal, it means absolutely nothing. Animals do not get married nor do they graduate from high school. Realizing this simple truth makes the reality we create that more entertaining because we create every aspect of our living. The idea is to agree to a certain set of rules.

One cannot commit murder and upon being discovered of this activity be let free in the human world. Murder is deplorable and is in most societies today usually never forgiven. It is sometimes punishable by death. It sometimes warrants imprisonment, but it almost never goes unpunished. Is it morally wrong to kill someone? The natural answer and reason bears a harsh truth.  There is no wrong in murder just as there is no wrong in rape or suicide or adultery or burglary or any other crime in our systems. However there is effect in the natural world. If one persons kills another, one person remains alive while the other is dead. This is not naturally wrong because we all die and leave this world just as we were all once born into the world. It is the imaginary laws and rules we create and agree to that makes being human so interesting. This previous paragraph would seem to completely obliterate all notions of ethics and morality, but I think it makes the case of morality so much more powerful. We have evolved to rationalize, so it makes sense that we rationalize existence with ideas and principles. We have emotions not unlike other animals. We will feel the loss of a friend quite difficult to handle just as we will be jealous or envious of someone who takes something that we covet or own. It is only rational that we would want to prevent feeling unwarranted pain or sadness from such losses, so we create laws. We also create games and sports to occupy the mind, create elation, and satisfy competition. Basketball means absolutely nothing to a squirrel. It serves the squirrel no purpose. It may serve purpose of exercise and strategic development for the players, but it has even less purpose for a spectator. To test the application of this theory, watch a game being played by other people. Do not try to learn the rules, but simply observe. Notice how the passing of the game does not give you much satisfaction nor is anything accomplished by it.

We make up the rules to our world. It is a collectively agreed-upon rule-book for the game we play called life.