By Hot Rod
Anything exists only because of a fluke in physical laws that allows for one particle of matter to emerge from every billion particles of matter meeting every billion particles of anti-matter that come into existence and annihilates each other. Life exists because our matter is arranged in the same asymmetrical chemical makeup that apparently has the same switch flipped to reproduce that sparked that initial particle of matter to come into existence. All of our experience and consciousness is an evolutionary adaptation based in pattern recognition that increases our likelihood of proliferating life through our internal patterns of DNA. All pleasure and meaning we experience only exists to further and abet the end of procreation. All pleasurable physical experiences - sexual experiences, eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, are adaptations that help encourage the reproduction of our DNA patterns. All pleasurable artistic experiences are a result of an evolutionary adaptation that prizes pattern recognition over most skills because of the paramount advantage it lends to the furthering of our internal patterns. Proto-humans learned to recognize how plants grew, how weather cycled; how to attract mates, and most importantly how to avoid predatory dangers. Pattern recognition is especially key in the latter skill though it plays a significant role in all, because it afforded us the skills to be able to avoid predation by anticipating it through pattern recognition.
So we have the basic physical sensations of survival - hunger, thirst, hurt, physical contact, love, sex, relieving oneself - that provide immediate reinforcement for activities that will reproduce our patterns. Then we have the more sophisticated pattern recognition rewards that make us ‘human’.
Patterns that are recognized are first enjoyed, then desensitized and then automatically recognized with no further biological incentive. It is this reason why we are not constantly bewildered by the millions of pieces of information presented to us at every given moment. It is the surprising patterns that generate positive chemical responses because they are the most valuable to recognize - you may as well have successfully predicted how the wily bear-tiger chooses its meals and avoided becoming one of those. Drugs are chastised in society because they present biological shortcuts to the reinforcement mechanisms that are in place to encourage you to do the right thing to reproduce. Drugs present similar chemical feedback as if you were succeeding in life; diminishing the likelihood you would suffer other more tedious conventions in order to experience the same reward.
Surprising patterns are recognized in art - as surprising visual patterns; in music - as surprising auditory patterns; in language - as literature, and poetry and comedy. Comedy actually incites the same electrical brain waves as having a seizure. Comedy and all arts at their best subverts patterns to such a shocking degree that it actually changes people for the better. Language itself is a series of recognized patterns of sounds that has proved evolutionarily beneficial. It has no inherent meaning, and subsequently neither do our thoughts which are comprised of language and are just one outlet of pattern recognition furthering the end of pattern reproduction. The separation between animals and humans, and plants for that matter, is merely the schema we use to recognize and utilize patterns. We have developed a very sophisticated seeming system for pattern recognition that has afforded our patterns the replication opportunities that most other DNA based creatures cannot enjoy. But at the same time, even altruism is based in the desire to replicate our internal patterns, just as grass and spores, and while its impulse is diminished every layer extended beyond the original, it still exists to such an extent that if you were left alone in a world with nothing but an eggplant plant and sand, you would be as emotionally invested in caring for that eggplant as you would your own child. Because we share a certain percentage of DNA; we share whatever that thing is that makes things alive, whatever that improbable offshoot of anti-matter meeting matter has invested in us and continued its inexplicable mission to continue to create matter out of nothing through pattern recognition and replication.