Why We See Constellations And Believe In Horoscopes.

Finding signals in a hopelessly noisy world.

Aaryan Harshith


Image by Zoltan Tasi.

‘Life’ has no meaning. Nothing has any meaning. But still, we never stopped trying to find meaning in things. Let me explain.

We happen to live in a surprisingly random, complex universe.

A universe where countless particles met each other by chance to create everything we know today. A universe with no visible rule that dictates how people behave or how the stars align. No grand design or pattern that makes us believe there’s something more at play.

Everything’s incomprehensibly chaotic — without a hint of organization, intent, or harmony. Atoms arranged in trivial orders, moving in completely irrelevant directions, and coming together to form nothing in particular. That’s our universe.

The only reason that the chair you’re sitting on and the device you’re using to read this article exist is because someone had to configure random atoms into non-random things. And even so, everything you know will end up joining the rest of the universe’s meaningless particles doing meaningless things.

Some people might call it ageing, and others might call it entropy, but it doesn’t change the fact that everything is either random or will eventually succumb to the randomness of it all.

And as for the creation of Earth, the Sun, our solar system and galaxy — they were nothing more than strokes of luck. Out of the 10⁸⁰ atoms in our universe that could’ve created something cohesive, only a fraction of a fraction actually did — no more likely than a fluke.

So in an environment like that, how can anyone assume anything has a meaning?

And if everything somehow did have a meaning, it would have to be absolute— no room for speculation, arguments, or theories. But what do we see? Nothing but guesses, disagreement and people’s opinions.

There is no meaning. And even if there was one, we couldn’t be further from finding it.

Everyone’s looking at the same universe but discovering different patterns in it. Or should I say, everyone’s looking at an infinite universe, but only finding what they want to see?

Randomness hurts. It hurts to think that we have no purpose. It hurts to think that our existence was no more than an accident and that the universe is going to move on with or without us. That’s why we try grabbing on to whatever loose sense of meaning we can get.

It might be why, in the vast expanse of evenly distributed stars in the night sky, we only notice the vague patterns of constellations. Or how we associate those star patterns with how your day might go.

Or even why meeting a long-lost friend after ten years seems like fate instead of a coincidence. Maybe it’s why we created religions, cults, and conspiracy theories — all to try and find meaning that wasn’t there — to try and find a reality that was a bit less depressing.

But in the end, those patterns are nothing more than anomalies. Anomalies that are only natural in a random world.

Everything is random, but we only make out the patterns that matter to us. But those patterns were never meant to be patterns. They never mattered.

Nothing matters and all we can do is move on.