Regardless of nationality, gender or country of residence, everyone has thought about the so-called universal human values at least once in their life. Some of them turn out to be not so general and not very valuable. In some cases, an answer can be obtained through the accumulation of knowledge and an enlarged world outlook. It is enough to grow up in others, but some questions sooner or later arise before every person and remain unanswered.
We are not alone in the universe
Major cities flooded with light, even at night, have deprived us of a starry sky. Some shimmering dots are visible, but they are only traces, subtle hints of something grand and hidden behind the illumination. The night is transformed on those rare days when we manage to get out into nature, or at least into the countryside. It takes one’s breath away; the sky glistens, shimmers as if it’s alive. At such moments you cannot help but wonder if there is someone else there. At once, you get an unambiguous answer: of course, there is, it cannot be otherwise, because there are so many stars, you cannot count them all, and it is only a small part of what can be seen with the naked eye.
People always wanted to believe that they were not alone in the universe, although the supposed nature of their neighbors in mind was changing. At first, there were gods in the sky, ranging from the fearsome and cruel to the beautiful and wise. With the discovery of other planets in the solar system, certainty only grew stronger. Finally, we got a glimpse of Mars, with its undoubtedly artificial canals. Venus was presented as a tropical paradise, while the Moon belonged to the mysterious Selenites. The latter was successfully hidden, first on the backside of the satellite, then in its depths. However, in 1969, after the landing of humans on the Moon, the Selenites finally “died out”, there was simply no place for them, even in the most sincere and stubborn imaginations.
The same fate befell Mars’s “civilization” and the Venusian rainforests. Sadly, nothing of the sort was found there, yet people still believe, make films, write books, and develop games. Such faith and hope are inherent not only to ordinary people but also to scientists who keep searching. Most spacecraft launched to distant planets are equipped with life-detection devices, and all astronauts are instructed in the event of first contact with aliens. There is no clear and concise answer to the question, “why is this so important to us”. Humanity is simply lonely on its island, drifting at 30km/s in the vast ocean of stars.
Humanity is older than commonly believed
We want to be older, and there are several explanations for this desire. First of all, humans are curious by nature, we need white spots to be discovered and riddles to be solved. If there are none, we will invent them ourselves, solve them and make them more complicated. Besides, ‘older’ means more important, both within the whole chronology of the planet and in relation to other, younger peoples or cultures. Strange as it may seem, but the second point is especially relevant because this is a scientific field where serious battles sometimes break out.
Alternatives can appeal to tens of thousands or millions of years with absolutely no proof, inventing the most fabulous plots. There are ancient civilizations out there with technology beyond our reach. There is a timeline where humans coexisted with dinosaurs and great states that sunk along with entire continents. Meanwhile, in scientific circles, the scale is always much more modest, but the results of discoveries or new finds also claim to rewrite, if not the history of the world, then at least that of individual regions.
Whenever archaeologists dig deeper, they hope to unearth something more ancient and, having found even the slightest hint of it; they stick their necks out for it. For example, Brazilian scientists have been struggling for a decade and a half for the age of the petroglyphs in the Serra da Capivara National Park, arguing that they are between 30,000 and 40,000 years old, despite the generally accepted theory of settlement of the Americas only 15,000 years ago. Such discoveries occur almost every year, reported in the media, and pundits argue among themselves as furiously as anonymous commentators on social media.
There is life after death
The mind, having once appeared, no longer wanted to disappear without a trace, much less forever. It wanted to believe that death was not the final destination, beyond which there was nothing. Having recognized themselves and singled out their own most important ‘I’ from the world around them, people resisted the inevitable. The first ideas about the soul or something similar probably emerged as early as 120,000-150,000 years ago, when dead loved ones began to be buried. From a practical point of view, this process does not make sense, but faith and hope exist beyond logic and do not need to be justified.
Fear of death is natural, for it nullifies all the achievements of life. In the end, it does not matter at all what a man achieved, what he left behind him, because he is gone and nobody has ever been able to return to look at his heritage even with one eye. That is why methods of prolongation of existence had to be invented; the afterworlds, the great justice, heaven and hell, and the transmigration of souls came into existence. Anyway, all world religions agree on the idea of endless continuation of life because none of us wants to disappear.
It is even difficult to imagine such a thing, the question “how can it be that one day I will disappear for good” is literally out of the question. It is easier to believe in anything else, accepting any speculation or justification. There is no doubt that people believe far more in life than in death, and perhaps not without reason. No one knows how things work out there, after all, which means there is hope. Whether it is random reincarnation, a system tied to karma, Elysium or Valhalla, no matter, either option is preferable to complete and utter extinction.