Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Vast Expanse of Nothingness

To live at all is miracle enough.
     -- Mervyn Peake,
The Glassblower (1950)

I often wonder if the infinite nothingness we experience before randomly coming into the world is the same infinite nothingness we will experience after we die. This is the single most frightening thought I can fathom, and makes me realize why spirituality is such an important factor in relieving such existential angst. Although this nihilistic view is bleak, I sometimes turn to it for a zest boost in times of monotony or boredom. Nothing gets me in the mood to live every second of life to the fullest then the impending doom of eternal nothingness.

What is it that randomly allowed me to feel conscious during this brief segment of time at this specific place. This question may never be answered. Although this remains a mystery, we are left with the spiritual endeavour to ponder our existence and take awe in the miracle of life. Richard Dawkins said it best in Chapter 1 of "The Anaesthetic of Familiarity" (1998):

“After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, and enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?”

To live fully is to question matters of our existence and reconcile our spiritual beliefs with scientific discovery.

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