“She tried to think extra hard about being alive so as to forget that she would not be alive forever. But it was impossible. As soon as she concentrated on being alive now, the thought of dying also came into her mind. The same thing happened the other way around: only by conjuring up an intense feeling of one day being dead could she appreciate how terribly good it was to be alive. It was like two sides of a coin that she kept turning over and over. And the bigger and clearer one side of the coin became, the bigger and clearer the other side became too.” - Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World
I wonder hourly where the world comes from. I am in a perpetual state of existential crisis trying my hardest to quench my fears of death and lack of purpose by reading everything from quantum physics to philosophy to young adult fiction (I recommend "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green). I don't understand how anyone can have absolute faith in religion, but I at the same time don't understand how anyone can have absolute faith in science, with so many questions unanswered. Absolutes are only absolute until they are not. I frequently imagine that in a 1000 years our species will look back at this generation’s science and religion in the same way we look at that 1000 years before us; incredulous that we did get right what we did with such limited technology, while at the same time realizing just what a small part of the picture we were then able to see. There is no topic I find more interesting than the notion of time - have we constructed it into something linear when it's really more of a… wibbly-wobbley timey-wimey stuff? #bowtiesarecool
With my opportunity to address you, Listserve community, I want not to give advice or talk about what I know to be true, but instead leave you with questions so I know I'm not the only one out there pondering these paradoxes today.
How do you define consciousness? Does consciousness exist? Can we ever know that to be true? Are we our bodies or are we our souls? Is the experience of life limited to our bodily functions and form? Can we know? How do we find the intersects between science, holistic practices, and religion to best work in unison towards to finding out why -anything- exists? What are the truest pieces of any of these fields? And how can we define something as true if we are experiencing it through a state of consciousness we cannot prove exists?
I encourage you, for just one day, to question everything you think you know to be true. You may find both sides of your own coin bigger and clearer. While that may make death scarier, it certainly makes life more fulfilling- and isn't that what we all want at our core anyways?
P.S. Since I have you here, don't forget to vote.