They come and they go, the are born, they grow, they get old, they die, some say they are reborn, to live again, to age again and to die again. This begs the most obvious and age old question: “why are we here?”
We might declare our allegiance to a religion or to a non-religion, but either way, there will be moments in our lives when we just feel the need to close our eyes, turn inwards and try desperately to connect to something bigger, greater and more knowing than we are. No matter how amazing and above it all we feel and think we are, the fragility of our very mortality will at some point in our lives humble us to the greatness of what caused us to be in the first place, regardless of what we may call it.
It is the biggest question of all! Are we here only for this lifetime? Do we go on afterwards? Why can’t we remember where we came from? Does it make any sense for it to end here? What kind of a bad investment would that be?
The questions that haunt us all and the answers that we think we are so sure of, but are we? No one has been there and back yet, have they?
I often wonder if the impressive and extravagant architecture of cathedrals is meant to distance believers from what is heavenly and saintly, almost belittling mere humans in the face of religion. But when I think of religion, the image that comes into my mind is a special place in nature that is so inspiring that it draws on all the awe that lives in me and leaves me in sympathy with the mysteries of life, not scared, not feeling smaller, why would it? Aren’t love and kindness the essence of religion?
Have you every had a conversation with a 7-year-old about the meaning of life? Well I am finding out having one of these humans with me that theological issues seem to be on top of their list when it comes to discussions and every little thing seems to lead them to this territory. It goes something like this: Why are we on this planet? Why do people die? Will I live again? Will you be my parents again? Will I be a girl? Can you show me a picture of God? Are you sure God is a man? How many numbers can you keep counting before you run out of numbers? If the earth is spinning, whey aren’t we feeling it?
… you get the picture. And she can do that for an hour straight and then pick up where she left off the next day. I think this is the most humbling part of parenthood, a time of honesty, of admitting ignorance of certain deep matters, of encouraging further questioning, unless you are like my grandmother who used tell me each time I asked her as a child about beyond the beyond that one more question from me and I am sure to be struck by lightning! I still remember waiting for dry days before trying to ask her again 🙂