Hey I'm not looking to have a pity-party, I just feel like I'm loosing touch and would appreciate some sort of well-thought reply to these questions. On one level I know why we are alive. I know (more or less) all I need to know about evolution, DNA variation, everything traced down to quantum physics and extrapolated to the movement of planets — or at least I know I’m in a position to find out. I know that our prime biological directive is survival, and that in a sense our actions can be said to be as logical and bound to the movement of particles as dropping a ball and letting it fall to the ground. But I don’t understand. I don’t understand why a janitor works long hours for minimal pay simply to put food on the table when he is propagating an existence he knows to be bleak. I don’t understand why he chooses to have children when he knows that they are not economically viable, or he is not in a position to really provide the best for them. I acknowledge how lucky I am in so many respects. I simultaneously cannot understand why human beings living in torturous conditions, starving, afflicted without medical attention — choose to continue living and further the cycle of life by having children. Do the joys of life really outweigh the pains? Is the human survival instinct so strong as to direct people to seek life when dying is of no consequence? Is the effect of religious or social dogma so strong as to create an unquestioned directive to live for human beings? Is there a reason why the sacrifice of one’s life is regarded as the highest form of self-sacrifice? It's a source of confusion to me, so much that I don’t try to understand lest I become even more confused. Hypothetically if I had all the facts I could work out the geography of why every rock lies where it does, why the clouds move in the meteorological patterns that they move in, but as I look at the rocks and the sky I’m assaulted by a total incapacity to really understand why they exist at all — what binds them, what about them is supposed to provoke a reaction in me consisting of wonderment or the appreciation of beauty and awe. I don’t understand why, all things being equal, my mind consistently conjures violent dreams of being hunted down by tigers, being forced to fight the entire population, or being persecuted by people or intangible ominous entities. I don’t understand why these dreams fail to provoke within me any real sense of terror or discomfort. I hang around other people, but I don’t understand what compels them to do what they do. I don’t understand why they work their asses off for weeks to finance a ski trip which lasts for days. I don’t understand the payoff. I don’t understand why people seek loans from the bank which they cannot plausibly or easily pay back. I don’t understand why people presume the existence of supernatural beings when the force driving this belief is not logical deduction, but indoctrination by others. I don’t understand how my biological programming can be to survive yet my thoughts are so easily capable of challenging, analyzing and destroying the survival instinct — I don’t understand why it’s so easy and natural to reach the conclusion that all things are equal and inconsequential anyway. I don’t understand why people hold grudges or engage in spiteful behaviour, when it ultimately serves to make them unhappier. I don’t understand how the fruits of a 1st world capitalist society can be anything more than tentative entertainment to fill the time between birth and death. I know that my awareness, my consciousness, or my subjective ability to experience may simply be a manifestation of complex chemical processes within my brain. Yet I don’t understand why as human beings we are considered to have feelings when a rock — also made of atoms — is presumed not to. I don’t understand the point where complex groups of atoms are considered to be alive. I don’t understand why I need these questions answered. I don’t understand why I can’t be happy without this sense of meaning and understanding. I hope that people will respond and show me how and why my thinking is completely wrong.