Posted June 16, 2010on:
Life has a sacred element. This sacredness is not derived from a divine entity in the sky, nor does it connote deferential or servile obeisance. The universe in all probability is ambivalent to human existence. We are in all likelihood nothing but a product of the blind forces of nature. A vehicle of its random laws. Motherhood probably an evolutionary tactic to ensure survival of the species. Love nothing more than a search for healthy mates. Altruism a complex form of give and take. Feelings only chemical churning in the brain. Further disaggregated, we are probably nothing more than clusters of subatomic particles floating around space in accordance with the rules of chaos. And transient, a blip compared to the vast time scales of the universe.
But we must never believe we are only that. We must believe that life has inherent value. That it has purpose. To find that purpose and live as if that purpose has a central place in the universe. To love from the depths of our life. To believe in truth, justice, compassion, fairness, reasonableness, tolerance. To shun violence. To ensure equality. To believe life is not futile in the face of imminent death. To try and not grow cynical or weary. To never lose faith in this sacredness. To treat every human as an end and not a means. And keep love at the center of all things.
This sacredness is derived from nothingness. But it is this sacredness that makes life worth living. The universe does not feel. But it has spurned conscious, feeling beings who are capable of pain. Beings well aware of the paradox of their very existence. Meaning has sprung from meaninglessness. Tragedy has been created. Is there a greater wonder? The meaning which is relevant to us is the only meaning that really matters. Otherwise what does it matter if rocks collide with each other? And explode? It certainly doesn’t matter to the rocks themselves. The meaning we create is the only meaning. Copernicus was wrong, we are the center of the universe. This is the conclusion of existentialism.
This sacredness must be nurtured. Reason may lead to the conclusion of meaninglessness. But this conclusion is not inherent in life. With every breath life asserts meaningfulness. When we love, we feel in communion with the divine. Our dreams, where we imagined the perfect reality, unfold right in front of us. We are in touch with eternity. We have found God finally. We may speculate about death, and shudder, but instinctively we do not know what it would be like to be extinguished. It is as if life believes it is permanent.
If for nothing else, this sense of meaning and purpose makes for a healthy and full life. If not, we would just meander and wither away.