I'm pretty sure I'm in the midst of some post-mid-life crisis or phase lately. I seem to be questioning everything. Particularly my beliefs.
I think it's healthy to question your beliefs. It may not be the most comfortable thing to do, but I think it's a good thing to reflect upon—or even have cause to question—your beliefs. After all, that's how you got them in the first place, right? By questioning. So it's not outside the realm of possibility that you might have missed things or made incorrect assumptions along the way.
To be clear, I still believe in a higher intelligence in the universe and the interconnectedness of all things. I believe in that enough to be certain it's fact. There is a "magic" and a logic out there that humans don't understand and largely ignore. Our egos tell us we are the ones in control here on earth. And maybe we are. Or maybe the universe allows us to believe whatever we want to believe. Which leads to the question I've been exploring (or struggling with) lately.
Are we here on a mission? Do we have a purpose to fulfill here? Or are we just a function of evolution in a universe that adheres to laws for creation, but doesn't actually create anything itself? And thus, this universe has no larger agenda because it has no agenda at all. It's all just math and physics. And we have no special purpose in being here. We're just a product of evolution and biology.
In such a universe, man might be among the least evolved, because we're among the least attuned to the universal intelligence, as a whole. Certainly a swarm of birds is attuned to something that can't be perceived by the five senses or explained by modern science and technology. Dogs can somehow know their owners are on the way home, even if the owner is miles away and returning at an unpredictable time. I mean, I believe every living thing both receives and transmits invisible, unexplainable communications to/from/through/whatever this higher intelligence. But does that intelligence have intention? Or is it just math and waves and physics?
Man's complex minds are a blessing and a curse. They hold the seed of extraordinary connection to —and even one day unlocking the secrets of—this higher intelligence. But they also hold an ego that constantly gets in the way of attuning to it at levels even close to our full potential. It's like our technology is state of the art, but there are glitches or a virus in the system. Which means we're also not as evolved as a sentient being can get. There's something better yet to come. Meanwhile, it's as if earth were littered with all the previous attempts at evolving the kind of critter that could really take advantage of the complex physics of the universe, but that critter hasn't come along yet. In a way, earth is like the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.
What if my own self importance is what makes me think there's some higher reason for being here? Are the destinies and life's purposes we run toward—or away from—merely
manufactured in our own minds? Do those thoughts blend with the magic and
logic of the universe to then make them true? Were we actually NOT sent
here for a reason?
If I'm honest with myself, logic leads me to believe there is no "grand scheme" thought up by the universe. The universe—or a higher intelligence kind of "deity"—has no special plans for me. Humans tend to anthropomorphize this energy...the angry or forgiving omnipotent god. But assigning human characteristics to this energy is, at best, a comfort to us and, at worst, a function of our egotistic belief that humans are the highest intelligence and everything revolves around us.
I have to admit, this line of thought shakes things up. It's never something I really questioned so much before. I just took for granted that I am here for a purpose and have a destiny. It sounds so romantic, doesn't it? And it gives us a reason to persist here. It doesn't preclude the other stuff I believe in, like reincarnation, life after death, manifestation and divination—things I truly believe I've "witnessed" too many times NOT to believe. That's all part of the energy, the magic...the math...of the universe. But I must admit, it's a really depressing thought. If there's no higher reason for me to be here—for us to be here—what's the point? Is there really NO point?
As I'm looking at the 20 or 30 years I have left (if even that) I feel like I'm only now ready to stare into the possibility there is no higher purpose to us being here. I'm ready to face the scary, ugly truth. Because a higher power without intention makes more sense to me than one that gets pissed off and rains down fire and brimstone. Or even one that loves. I mean, math and physics don't have emotions or ulterior motives. And while I've known that all along, it has only now broken through in a way that I'm willing to embrace. If this is all true, then a good part of what, in the past, has given me hope and confidence for my future, is a lie I've been telling myself. Depressing indeed.
And yet, I have no desire to turn away from this. In any relationship you're going to learn a truth about the other that is hard to swallow. And that can turn you away. Or it can help you love more honestly. Even if there's no caring deity to receive that love, the universe does reflect that love back on me. It's part of the physics. And instead of doing something because I feel destined (which I still do, possibly because I created my destiny myself) I can do it for the way it makes me feel inside. Or for the way it helps others. And not because it's what I'm destined to do, as if somehow mystically anointed from above. It may be a depressing perspective in one way, but it does relieve a lot of pressure and fear around failing. I mean, I can handle failing myself, but it's harder to handle failing some god figure you're trying to win the approval of.
So, anyway, this is what I've been noodling lately. For some reason, my recent birthday has me thinking a lot about the time I have left on this earth and what the meaning of it all is. Random birthdays from my past have triggered similar spiritual "crises". I generally don't think too much about getting older, but suddenly I am. The difference is that there's a peace and strength at the midst of this crisis I don't remember feeling before. It feels more like I might be entering into a new level of understanding, spiritually speaking. And even if there is no reason behind this madness we call life, gaining new understanding and seeing where that leads is reason enough to carry on.