I should be in bed asleep right now. I am exhausted and have a lot ahead of me tomorrow with a backlog of chores and another long day in the comm. center but here I am, 2 o’clock and some change tapping away on these keys and wondering about life, death and the meaning of human existence. Over the last year I have lost nearly everything. My house, my car, my marriage and, of course, my beloved mentor. But the gains have far out weighed the losses. For the first time in years I am on my way to recovering from the crippling depression that, in part, cost me so much. The world is bright and full of wonder again. I am becoming healthy, happy and a better man. My son is doing better in school and seems genuinely happy for the first time in a long time. I’ve learned who my true friends are and have been reminded of the values and bonds of family.
So why the heavy mental lifting, then? Why ponder about life, death and the meaning of what it is to simply be? Because, in all the loss, these things still trouble me. What is life? What separates me from the squirrels in the back yard or that monkey in the zoo? Is it a soul? That segues nicely to my next pondering; what happens when we die? Is this life all that there is? Will it be a black veil that never lifts and a consciousness that never again exists? Will I be reborn in some other form or will I shuffle off this mortal coil to join my ancestors in paradise? Have I chosen the right path or will I be condemned to an eternity of suffering for my sins and transgressions? This of course brings to mind the thought of why a loving and benevolent creator or creators would condemn a being to live in the pain and suffering of a temporal, carnal life only to meet with a painful end and be condemned to further pain for a period of time not limited to the end of time itself?
And why? Why are we here? What is our cause? Does everyone have a divine purpose or are some of us created more special than others? Are some of us really just window dressing, the background material for another person’s life story? Is there a single, unified meaning to all human life or an individual destiny for the 7 billion plus men and women shuffling about this spinning blue marble in the universal equivalent of the middle-of-nowhere? Worse yet, is there no meaning at all? Is life and existence without drive or purpose, chaos for the sake of chaos?
Believe it or not, I had a fantastic day. Slept good, ate decent, had a good night at work and a great evening afterwards. Still, these are the thoughts that creep up out of nowhere and the questions I find myself asking. The scary thing is, there is no definitive answer for any of them. Each man has a journey to make, a lesson to learn, a destiny to answer and a fate to accept when it comes. Some people find their answers in a book, in the trees and the wind and the twinkling points of light that fill the night sky above them. Others find solace and comfort in the thought that theirs is a temporal life and will end when it ends. They seek out joy and love where they find it and console themselves in the loves they make.
Then there are people who question it all…