I am a lucky bundle of molecules.
I received this form after the big bang happened, for reasons nobody really understand. Things blew up and there were laws that governed how they interacted with each other.
Smaller things joined to become bigger small things. We got a few small molecules and started making stars, which in turn made us bigger molecules.
Planets were spun off and the molecules formed into bigger molecules. Amino acids, proteins, and some arbitrary level of complexity appeared which called itself life.
I’m one of those vibrating bundles of molecules that has what we call life.
Physics made me. From the big bang to the fingers that I type with, no part of this unlikely collection of matter was formed outside of the laws of the universe.
Physics also gave birth to evolution, an emergent drive for reproduction of certain molecule collections.
And it is evolution that controls me. I’m the sock puppet, and evolution is the hand. When my molecule eyes look out, they show me a painting given to me by evolution. It turns wavelengths into color, and smiles into happiness.
And I am thankful.
I have met other such bundles. Other randomly special collections of evolution-controlled molecules like myself.
I’m partial to one in particular.
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Evolution made me that way. It wanted me to make more bundles with her, but I declined. I prefer keeping her to myself. Eating and laughing and sleeping. These are other evolution tricks that bring pleasure to us, but I see through them.
I know they are tricks. Love and joy and pleasure and happiness. They are all evolutionary carrots, dangled in front of us to make us run towards its singular goal of making us procreate.
I see this. I know it to be true.
Yet I take these false gifts of smiles and hand-holding and I cherish them not less for it. And because happiness is deepest when we pursue and conquer these dangled carrots, I too take joy in running them down.
But when I have caught one, after running at full speed for a span unmeasured, I look back at evolution and offer a wink. I know I did it for you, but I enjoyed it so we’ll forgive the deception and call it even.
I am honestly just thankful for the experience. Not everyone gets to be a bundle of molecules doing evolution’s bidding. And even fewer get to realize it.
So I will take these gifts. The gift of a functioning molecule body, and Petri surroundings in which I can flourish, and companion bundles with wish to share the experience.
I know what I am. I know what I am not. And I am thankful for the ride.