How to Know If You Are Still Alive

With reality bending multiverses, automatons, the advent of AI, not to mention the vampires, aliens, zombies, and narcissists — are you sure you even exist?

Prajinta Pesqueda
6 min readMay 6


Fuu J

The narcissist and the psychopath killed themselves a long time ago. They have moved among us ever since, vibrantly co-existing with the living, but tragically vacant and lacking a pulse. They adapt, assimilate, acquire. They enmesh, entrain, engulf. And the technicolor dream-coat they wear is both stunning and seductive. They may appear eccentric or unusual and you can’t quite put your finger on it. It’s just something that is a little off, not quite right, and your intuitive voice is confused by this swirling dervish. They are shapeshifters, devilishly delicious bites of your dream come true, yet tauntingly out of reach. They are ghosts among us, long dead, pretending to be human.

So how do we know we are not the walking dead?

A literal scientific explanation tells us that if you are breathing, all the cells in your body are breathing. This means that there is a continuous breakdown of glucose and a continuous generation of ATP, which can be broken down by other cells of the body for energy. So there is continuous production and utilization of tremendous amount of energy, in our bodies.

Just as life cannot be explained as an epiphenomenon of Carbon chemistry, also consciousness cannot be explained as an epiphenomena of electrochemical reactions between neurons. There is more to being alive than cellular processes.

NASA defines life as “a self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution.” Some experts get a little more specific — they lay out seven properties of life.

What are these properties?

The first is organization. That means that living things are made of cells and they need to have specific parts that know how to do their designated job. Secondly, living things must have metabolism. This includes all the biochemical processes that take place in something that is alive. The third property is homeostasis. That means that living things regulate the conditions inside their bodies. Finally, the last property of life is evolution. Living…



Prajinta Pesqueda

Educator, aspiring humanist, composer of words. Survivor, warrior, healer, believer. Contact me at