Does the future just happen, or is it a function of our finely honed and intricately planned intentions? Certainly we want certain things, believe that we deserve them, and do what we can to bend the "arc of reality" toward those hopes and dreams. We often call that "planning," is sometimes called "hoping," and is covered over with the all purpose whimsical and philosophical term of insight called "whatever."
We educate, entertain, work, play, and interact not only with a wish for a satisfying and meaningful present, but also a fulfilling and hopefully vindicating future. By that I mean that we want to create the future that we know or think we deserve, and want to do what it takes (at least, some of the time, if it's not too terribly difficult) to actualize and have manifested in our lives that desired future. Notice I say "have manifested" as opposed to "manifest" and further note - in case you missed it - the passive versus active verbs at play here.
That is the human condition much of the time, although in the not-too-distant past preserving the present moment and staying alive was almost constantly on the front burner. Preserving the present most often supersedes planning for the future, depending on how one views the present and how closely and rapidly the very hungry tiger approaches us.
So what's the point? All of our history is filled with answers to that question, with various degrees of usefulness and utility, depending again on the closeness of the hungry tiger and his proximity and rate and direction of advancement. (Forgive my cultural prejudice in assuming the predator is a male, although I would lay pretty heavy odds on that, but that is for yet another website.)
I will now steal concepts from many other philosophers (too many to name, but they know who they are, even if already dead) and assert that there is no point (or meaning) that exists outside of our comprehension and world-view. That does not mean there IS no point, however, but it is beyond our ability to comprehend. That is, we make it all up, based on many variables, including background, experience, education, brainpower, zeitgeist, and even cellular structure. Quite often it is the closeness of the hungry tiger that suggests one option versus another, for differing reasons, and survival of whatever we consider to be "us" plays a major role in all this. And a thorough discussion of that concept rates another website, and perhaps someone else with a more perceptive mind and a better grasp of language.
Please note that my assertion does not negate any particular belief system or world view, and is consistent with them all, as I see it. That concept, which is to hold differing views at once and entertain and investigate them all, defines us as "civilized," as opposed to the alternatives (those "others.")
Now we get into deeply philosophical questions such as "who are we, really?" and other intellectual meanderings, as long as the tiger has not by that time had his meal and we are dead meat. These questions are better pondered in a safer space, some ivy-covered tower somewhere with like-minded searchers, seeking meaning and purpose, in addition to staying alive.
Further, for my friends who have differing cosmologies from me (and they are legion) I will also assert that their religion or world-view is not inconsistent with what I have said above. There is space enough in the infinite universe for various points of view (for the most part, depending on the level of tolerance exhibited by the protagonists). The way out of this seeming conundrum is acceptance, forgiveness, and tolerance, along with a healthy dose of humor and insight, and an absolutely necessary ability to take ourselves less seriously than we normally do. The last item is the most difficult, and please do not ask how I know that.
Thank you for having the curiosity and the desire to view this website. I recommend my other websites listed elsewhere as listed with links on my home page on this website, should you be simply curious, or perhaps are a glutton for further prodding, poking, or perhaps punishment.
As I complete these additional thoughts at the end of November 2021, I am finding that I am less and less caught up in the somewhat momentary dramas that fill my various news feeds, and tend now to look either at the far-off future, or else concern myself with the minute details of everyday living on the prairie south of Santa Fe. To me, at this point in my life, they are each available now, and always of the same importance.
As I look back at some of what I have written earlier on this and some of my other websites, I see that those issues about which I have written have been resolved one way or the other, for better or worse, and that what I wrote and worried about takes on far less importance at this point. This is a good thing, and it is certainly how civilization moves forward (despite some stark and compelling evidence otherwise), and at some point - perhaps now - others will take up the sword, shield, mantle, chalice, platform, microphone, or cause, and all will move along as it is destined to be (and hopefully modified in a good, purposeful, and beneficial way) by our collective and individual actions.
For now, my purpose is to enjoy the moment, plan a bit for the future with the realization that it likely will not follow my well-meaning plans, and to learn how to allow reality to be what it is, and for me to take pleasure and joy in everyday simple things, people, animals, thoughts, and emotions. That to me at this point is the purpose in living, with the ever-present disclaimer, "for now."
There is some old Eastern saying, title, homily, or thought (or perhaps a book name) that goes: "Chop Wood, Carry Water." I believe that is the secret, hidden in plain sight, and the way and the path to peace and satisfaction. It is simply what we all do, all the time, in our own ways.
May we all be at peace, and enjoy the journey.