R’Kok: The Search for Meaning
My dear brothers and sisters,
This is R’Kok speaking. I am the reptilian who has murdered millions in the past, who has since repented and I now work as a military advisor to the Galactic Confederation.
As a teenager and young man, I was obsessed with external achievements. I wanted wealth. I wanted power. I wanted respect and fame. I wanted to have sex with many women and I wanted these women to have sex only with me. Of course I don’t mean it to be like that, I’m just sharing how I used to be.
Some of this came from the “attack or be victimized”, “swim or drown” nature of reptilian society, and sure, I had been exposed to some trauma and abuse. Sure, it hurt less if I passed on my pain to others. At least it hurt less in the moment.
But really, looking back, I think a lot of this is a hollow void, lurking at the edge of my awareness. I was only vaguely aware of this. Sometimes it came up when I was relaxing without any external stimulation, or when I was walking alone in the streets at night. And then I sought pleasure or external distractions. I always wanted to have music or something else on.
Because really, why should we exist? Why continue? Why should we keep getting back up after being knocked down?
Is it because if you work hard you can create a life that has more pleasure than pain? Perhaps?
If we are on our deathbed, are there a lot of pleasures, riches and respect that would make us satisfied with our life? If we have five hundred orgasms and two houses, will that be enough to satisfy us on our deathbed?
It sounds ridiculous when I write it like this. But then why continue?
As a teenager, I was sure that if I could just have total control over a city and everyone who lives in it, then I would finally be happy. Then I achieved that goal. But I wasn’t happy. Eventually I became the overseer of an entire planet. But I felt nothing. The only thing I remember is thinking, well, then that task was done. At least I don’t have to work with it anymore.”
But if our success depends on important tasks or tasks, then at most we are only momentarily happy, isn’t that foolish? Are we not deceived by our egos? Aren’t we trapped in a hedonistic grotto mill, at the mercy of our own dopamine receptors?
More questions than answers. Every additional step you take on the ladder of so-called success, you realize that you are still as far away from happiness as you were when you took the first step. But now you are lonelier. Now you have to watch your back. Now you don’t know if your friends actually like you, or if they are just trying to use you or to get something from you.
Then, after certain events, I became a member of the Galactic Confederation. And having just learned this new way of life, I discovered that the Galactic Confederation spent zero time trying to amass wealth and power. In their lifetime, they had not even commanded a small group of soldiers, not even built a small harem. They didn’t even have a slave of their own. When they died, the history books didn’t mention them.
And yet they were much happier than I had ever been. They were generous. They laughed, sincerely, instead of mockingly. Their humor had no ulterior motives, they did not use jokes to imperceptibly put other people down. Instead, they lifted others up. They spoke plainly. They did not try to have expressionless facial expressions. You didn’t have to be a mind reader to know what they were thinking.
And women loved them, even if they weren’t very powerful or rich or handsome by their society’s standards.
So, what was going on? I asked them what their ambition was, what their secret to happiness was, but their answers only confused and irritated me further. At first I was convinced they were mocking me, keeping something from me, but when they realized I believed that, they invited me to read their minds and there was… nothing there. They were happy, but there was no secret training or outward performance that brought them happiness. How?!
At first I thought they even lacked ambition, which in reptilian society is thought of as something basic, like the ability to be on time when you have an appointment. They didn’t even have that. So they haven’t even come up with the word ambition, only in the equivalent of how to tie your shoelaces. And yet these average men were happy, and I wasn’t. How?!
I’m not saying I’m proud of my past arrogance. But that’s how I used to think.
Then at some point I finally figured it out.
They were happy because they were part of something bigger, and that thing was genuine and real and it was a worthy thing. And they actively contributed to that cause.