I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but there is a thought that, if I pursue it with any seriousness at all, can lead to insanity. In fact, as I pursue the thought, I can feel just the barest tendrils of insanity taking hod and I have to pull away from that thought. It makes my heart race, it makes my mind start to spin out of control, and ultimately it is one of only a handful of thoughts I am not capable of following through to any degree. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, because I honestly am not sure most people have the intellectual capacity to realize exactly how maddening this thought is.
That’s not a slam on most people, by the way. They’re better off.
The thought is this: The fact that anything exists at all has to be an absolute impossibility. And yet, here we are.
The fact is, there has to be an origin to anything. That origin may, in fact, not be temporal, but in order for something to exist it must have come from somewhere. But it’s turtles all the way down – where did anything come from? Where did God come from? That thought, right there, is where the insanity comes from. It’s not that I think that God is by any means physical, it’s that there is something out there that is just simply impossible to comprehend in any meaningful way, and one of those things is, the nature of God and the realm in which he exists. I can’t fathom the question of where he comes from, and in fact, whenever he’s asked who he is, he just said “I am”. What more can he say?
As an aside, I believe the arrogance of atheism is to think they even know which questions to ask, much less answer them. I think it speaks for the dearth of intellectual capacity in most of the atheist “thinkers” out there that they just dodge the entire question. It leads to insanity for a reason. It’s also why I consider some of the most celebrated thinkers and philosophers to be fools. Not because they’re not intelligent, but because they think they’re more intelligent than they are. They don’t understand the place of science, and refuse to.
So, what is human existence, then? Semi-animate life, created out of a Universe that seems to have come into being under improbable circumstances, with not only the seeds of life but the seeds of death built into its very programming. The idea that any animate life itself has value, honestly, is laughable on its face, because while it is precious in its uniqueness, the cavalierness with which nature itself treats it is shocking. One must come to terms with the fact that animals kill each other – often violently. It’s not because the enjoy it, it’s becuase it’s their nature. Whatever it is that we have been dropped into the middle of, it’s a very violent world, and I think we’re well justified in asking “what the eff, God?”
But there is beauty, too. Would life be the same without an orange sunset? Without the deep blue of lakes or oceans, combined against the lush greenery of a forest? What about mountains? Flowers of every imaginable color? Animals that have beauty baked into every feather, every hair on their furry little bodies? And don’t get me started on women, some of whose bodies are the most absolutely beautiful things ever created.
But everything I just said was a value judgement. I perceive beauty, so those things are beautiful. What does my cat consider beautiful? Is that why she chews on and crinkles plastic? Are those sounds and textures satisfying to her? She loves food, and spending time cuddled with me. Are those things that are beautiful to her experience? She can’t see the colors that I do, but she can hear much better than I can. She hates it when I whistle, for example. Is is beautiful for her when she can catch a particularly challenging mouse? (thankfully, for me, I don’t have mice. Does she resent that?)
I wish I could answer the question of why we are here, and what is to be accomplished with this world. It doesn’t seem in God’s nature to do something without a purpose, but yet the purpose of this world seems to simply be to exist. Is this it? Is this all there is?
I wish I were like people who could just ignore this question and take things at face value. Unfortunately, I can’t. But the questions can’t be answered, and the only thing to be taken from them is misery. Don’t wish for intelligence, folks. It’s not a blessing, it’s a curse. At some point you run smack head first into questions that you know are important, that you know are fundamental to the whole human – and universal – experience, and at the end of the day you can only be just smart enough to know that you’ll never, ever have the answers that you seek. And then you have to, somehow, learn to ignore the questions and the lack of answers and eke some meaning out of a life that, on its surface at least, has none and will never have any.
About the only thing further I can say is, never, ever trust people who think they do have the answers. They’re lying – either to themselves or to you. They don’t know anything at all. Maybe God revealed something to them, he has given me a few juicy tidbits, but I’ve come to realize that even those tend to be intensely personal and are rife for misinterpretation. Only the most arrogant people are certain of the answers, and only the most stupid people think they have life figured out. After all, the most impossible thing is the most true, and that is the paradox that underlies all of existence. We should not exist, and yet we do. There’s no substrate for us to exist on, and yet we do. How to answer any questions based on that when the very core is a paradox?