A Brief Spattering from an Armchair Philosopher
On the Meaning of Everything
As I often claim, growing old makes you think deeper, especially if you were a deep thinker as a younger person. Now, if you’re fully or semi-retired, you have more time to really contemplate things. Contemplation brings you closer to who you really are inside.
But thinking deeply does not mean you’ll figure out the meaning of life with any certainty — at least that’s how I see it as someone who is 66. Consciousness and death will always be mysterious in my mind, no matter how much I try to define them, no matter how much research I read on the origins of our consciousness as well as what it may mean to die, no matter how much religion and spirituality I may delve into.
I have never had a conversation with a deceased person, although there are plenty of books published about people who claim they have had such conversations. Sometimes, however, I feel a spiritual presence of some sort from family and friends who have passed away. Sometimes I have experienced lucid dreaming. At other times, I have felt a calming presence that seems to be protecting me, like a guardian angel. And there have been memorable times when I felt that everything was truly beautiful, and I experienced a transcendence that could perhaps be described as a magnificent astonishment beyond reality.
Are those brief moments of transcendence a window into what comes after death? I don’t know the answers, but I remain curious.
My curiosity, however, is governed by the following thought process: I can’t see myself making atheistic, materialism-oriented claims, but I do see myself making agnostic idealism-oriented claims. The belief in materialism posits that only matter and its movements and modifications exist — in other words, matter scientifically explained is the true essence of everything. The belief in idealism posits that knowledge depends on our thoughts, which can be transcendent and good, way beyond the scientific constitution of matter — that an inner truth can be both scientific (real) and not so precise (ideal).
For example, our brains have molecules governed by neurological facts, but the physicality and molecules of our brains are not the only reality of our humanness. We also have emotions, premonitions, spiritual awareness’s, beliefs in the unseen, and mental associations that are not so easily defined in precise neurological terms. What’s up with that? Well, there’s more than enough information out there to make you very confused.
I read and try to understand piles of it, resulting in this non-stoppable curiosity-based lifelong endeavor that sometimes (not always) resembles a feeble attempt to tackle the mysteries of life, to better understand what it really means to grow old in a world changing so rapidly and disturbingly that it often gives me a disturbing sense that we are one huge mess teetering on ultimate destruction (think climate change for instance).
Reading and thinking deeply tells me that humanity is both evolving and devolving. In my opinion the evolving portions of humanity believe in a prominent and unimaginably large cosmos that creates and supports the continuing growth of a beautiful and purposely good universe that exists in both body and spirit — in other words, the evolution of goodness.
The devolving portions of humanity occur in a much less prominent cosmic fashion by creating events and eras in the history of mankind that are horrible, tragic, and move mankind temporarily backwards — in other words our continuing devolution driven by evil.
Is it a yin (dark)/yang (light) that somehow must always balance itself out? It does seem so, but would it not be better for us all if yin (the dark side) did not exist? I think it’s rather obvious, or am I not thinking deep enough? Some say that good cannot exist without evil. I have a hard time agreeing with that.
What do you think?