April 12, 2007
post EasterHoly Week has come and passed. There was a lot more eating than I ever would have anticipated, which I guess means I have developed good friendships, and there was also some time for reflection about what is significant in life.
When I was a kid I used to dream and wonder about heaven a lot. The concept of a spirit I was developing at the time was such that I had the idea that after death a spirit gets absorbed into God, the creative force of the universe, and recycled into some sort of happiness somewhere else in the God-o-sphere. But that concerned me some because I appreciate my individuality to a degree; it's not that I wouldn't have wanted to truly connect with the creative force behind the universe, and I don't think it was necessarily a selfish feeling, but I was, and am, just barely starting to get a grip on how to make sense out of my life. I mean, I have always felt like I am more than just the chemical substances and reactions going on in my body. And I don't just want to believe in God, I want to believe there is a God who intentionally made me to be me, as a buddy. You think that if you exist and have this ability to think and feel emotions such as love, that those characteristics above all else you would want to transcend this existence in the form of an essence, right?
But according to some scientists and existentialists, thats all wrong! Instead, my essence is just wishful thinking and certainly does not precede my existence. Or does it? Because even if this world operates purely by the rules of nature, which may be as arbitrary as the sky being blue, and perhaps even if freewill and natural selection have presided over who I have come to be friends with rather than the notions of fate and destiny, it's still quite logical that there may have been an initial intelligent (and I presume benevolent/loving) force involved in, at the very least, the allowing for the possibility that such a randomly-appearing universe could exist. And if such a force could exist (and it must in my view) then probably it's involved not just in making everything possible, but intimately with all things, and in all aspects of existence. So I guess I didn't need to worry about my individuality so much when I was a child. And while I guess it may be impossible to truly know anything absolutely about anything more than our human experience while we are experiencing it, just the experience itself of having our experience may be enough verification of “a higher power” or some essence other than ourselves that, more than likely, had something resembling a thought that would have sounded like “let there be...”.
Getting back to Holy Week...being raised with a Christian background, while growing up the emphasis of this special time of year always seemed to be placed on Easter Sunday, the happy ending part of the story, which honestly is also the part that has always been the most difficult for me to literally accept. Rather, for me Good Friday has become the most significant of any day that is celebrated by Christians, because, according to the stories, a man who loved all of humanity so much believed that if he gave not just everything he had, but presumably all that anyone ever could give, that everyone who ever has been, and ever will be, would be able to experience all the love that he felt, without regard to the apparent finiteness of life. And this feeling, more than anything else about Holy Week, resonates with me because I can wholeheartedly believe that a person could save the world with love. Many of the greatest people who have ever lived have had that same feeling.