This month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, drawing from my “Grab Bag of Delectable and Occasionally Edifying Interwebby Wonderments.”
Today’s post is brought to you by the Big Questions, or, as I like to call them, the Five Ws of the Meaning of Life. (Almost sounds like a Sesame Street jingle, doesn’t it?) These are the questions that keep our existential angst bubbling merrily away on the back burner: Who am I? What am I? Where am I? When am I? and Why am I? I put these questions to the interwebs, and the interwebs have spoken.
“Who am I?”
- Who am I? – From VisualDNA, here’s a quiz to help you figure out the finer points of your no doubt stellar personality. The test was fairly accurate with my results, although it did make a couple of glaring errors. Or did it? Maybe I
- Meditation: Who Am I? Or, if you prefer a more spiritual approach to the question, kick off your shoes, get comfy and play this guided meditation led by Alyssa Nobriga, a life coach.
“What am I?”
It’s a fair question. Are we stardust? Are we golden? Are we sacks of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and a soup of other chemical loveliness? Are we the products of divine ingenuity or the lucky accident of evolution? Or did Walt Whitman nail it in Book XXIV of Leaves of Grass:
What am I after all but a child, pleas`d with the sound of my own name? repeating it over and over;
I stand apart to hear – it never tires me.
To you your name also;
Did you think there was nothing but two or three
pronunciations in the sound of your name?
“Where am I?”
- If we’re being literal, Google maps can answer that question in two seconds flat, because they’re just insidious like that.
- Or, if we want to pop on our philosophers’ caps and dive deep into questions of identity and space, we need look no further than Daniel Dennett’s essay, “Where am I?” [Warning: This is not a light read, and if you’re doing the A to Z Challenge you’ll almost definitely not want to attempt it until after April. If you like the essay, you’ll want to check out the Daniel Dennett’s Brain Gets Removed docudrama.]
“When am I?”
Do you sometimes wonder when you are? Like, for instance, you’re in the middle of one of those déjà vu moments, and for a few disorienting beats you feel like you’ve been sucked into a time warp?
- According to Albert Einstein, “The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent. Time is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in one direction, and the future exists simultaneously with the past.” In other words, it would seem that you are then, and now, and tomorrow. Which is kind of cool, because now Present you can can have a rousing game of Calabresella with Past and Future you.
- Or, if you have an Android phone, just open Google Now and say “OK, Google, when am I?” See? Google knows. (Actually, I think you can do this from the Google app on your iPhone, too, if you have one). I’m not including a link to Google here, because I’m going out on a limb and guessing you’re not going to have any problem tracking their site down.
Why am I?
I’d torture you with another philosophical essay (because, believe me, I can find one in a heartbeat), but I’m not that unkind. Instead, I leave you with Flumpool’s thoughts on the subject. I don’t understand a word he’s saying, and I suspect most of you won’t either, but this is probably as close as the interwebs are ever likely to get in answering this particular question.
Whew! Almost there. Three more posts till the finish line–we’re going to make it, people!