Why are we compelled to reproduce and survive? Why is hydrogen compelled to be a star? Why is a rock compelled sit there under the sun? We are compelled to reproduce and survive because if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be here. The universe does not select for survival. It does not select for or against anything. At the beginning, the universe was set in motion. Collections of particles, governed by physics, were divided in spacetime. Then, now, and tomorrow, as these particles interact with one another, chaos will become order and order will become chaos. But chaos and order are abstractions, each implying the other. Those collections of particles that maintain “stable” interactions and avoid “unstable” interactions stick around for us to see. Things that change, change. Things that resisted change stuck around for us to see. The collections of molecules we call life, interacts in the way that it does because this “behavior” is the kind of interaction that sticks around given the laws of the universe. We are compelled to survive and reproduce because those collections of particles that were compelled to stick around did so. We live to survive because living to survive is how you stick around.
Thought, consciousness, qualia, and experience are abstractions constructed by the brain. We interact with the environment and we call a handful of those interactions our senses. Those sensory interactions cascade through the brain, causing changes that modify how we interact with the environment. This process helps us stick around. But helping others helps us stick around. Patterns help the individual survive, but they aren’t much use if they can’t be shared. By communicating these patterns to others, each system is better able to survive. We therefore construct thoughts for one reason. To share them with other people. Our brains form patterns that cannot be shared directly, so we communicate them to others with language. Our thoughts are the end product of our subconscious converting useful neural patterns into a version that can be shared with a different brain lacking those patterns. The experience of making a choice serves only to communicate our reasoning for a pattern to others, allowing the best way of sticking around to stick around. We construct experiences in our consciousness to share. We cannot measure our experience of red because the experience does not exist. We believe that we are conscious thinking beings with free will because that implies that other conscious thinking beings with free will exist to help stick around.
The mind is an illusion without an observer, constructing an experience that describes reality for the purposes of sticking around. We do not exist inside the universe. We are the universe. We are everything and we are all one, making it up as we go along in an effort of figuring out how we’re all going to stick around. Not because we want to, not because sticking around in one form is better, but because we are good at it. So what’s the point?
The point is, once you realize that that there is no point, you are free from your self-imposed shackles. My idea of “you” is a construct in my mind. Your idea of you is a construct in your mind. “You” do not exist in the real world. Neither do I. There is no “poor little me” nor you. Things do not happen to us. The idea of you that you are pretending to be, exists only as a representation, a pattern of neurons in other brains. But you are the whole universe. That’s the real you. Once you realize that you do not exist, you can pretend to be whoever you want to be. And every once in a while, when you need to, you can remind yourself of the real you. And then you can go back to pretending. All of civilization’s rules, laws, ethics, morals, and values were created by man to help one another stick around. Some of them work pretty well when it comes to sticking around. Some of them need to be changed. Some of them have been hijacked to help specific groups stick around at the expense of other groups. But the point is, the rules of this game we invented serve the purpose of sticking around. This is why it’s so easy to live to survive, but so difficult to survive to live. Once you realize this, once you really believe it, you get to make up your own rules. You get to pick your own delusions. You get to pick whatever absurd goal or life you want for yourself, and you get to pick whatever beliefs will help you achieve that goal. You get to survive to live. You get to experience whatever it is that you wish to experience. Shame, guilt, suffering, love and joy do not exist in the real world. These feelings are constructed in the mind. Now that you know, you get to play out this game however you like. Life isn’t so serious that it needs a point, it’s an absurd cosmic play, and that’s the point. It’s a journey towards realizing there was no journey. It’s not about getting anywhere. It’s about having a good time while you can up on the stage.