An Awareness of God part II
I have been on a path for purpose most of my life. I don’t think I’m the only one on this journey, but I’m not going to assume everyone else is. I believe that each of us has, deep within us, that need for purpose. It seems to me that we do a lot of things to try and distract ourselves from that need. We fill our minds because our question of purpose is tied so closely to our own mortality and that is something each of us wishes to avoid. But in a life of so many unknowns, so many uncertainties, our own death is a known, it is a certainty.
This fact, that our life will end, as will the lives of all those we know, is one that fills us with despair. It is this position of despair that has plagued me for a long time. I’m not saying that I have been I a deep depression, because I have not. I have been happy and sad, and angry and silly. I find great joy in life.
I am talking about a disconnect, a psychic wandering, like a rudderless ship in an aimless wind. This wind steered me through the study of philosophy and fine art; though music and science. My depth of the human experience was increased, but the hollowness of purpose remained. The wind took me into the world of the cubicle and the cocoon of a career. I found I had money, enough for the finer things, yet it was my master. No amount of consumer comfort could answer the need and the wind blew on. It blew me to the faded planks of a saltwater dock.
So God, in the form of all that surrounded me, all that carried on with itself whether I was aware of it or not, revealed itself to me. The fabric of matter structurally imbued with the inevitability of life. Life that has provided humans with minds that can observe the world and recognize patterns, then manipulate these patterns to such a degree we have separated ourselves from all other life. We can think and reason. Decartes figured this out a long, long time ago.
I was sitting on the dock letting this realization flood over me. It led me to my next awareness, that of the wonder of existence, and the ability to appreciate it. I’m not sure a mosquito is very aware that it is alive, but not only are humans aware of their own life, they have such incredible experiences - the feeling of a warm breeze caressing your cheek on a sunny day; the display of a sunset through pink clouds over the ocean; the taste of fresh cooked sweet corn from the field (lightly buttered and salted); the smell of roses in bloom; the sound of Louis Armstrong playing on “West End Blues”; the excitement as a new love pours into your heart and overwhelmes your soul. Life in itself is a wonder. God is wonder. In the midst of all this contemplation my daughter, unsatisfied with the excitement of an empty hook, crashed into my thoughts.
“Dad, we’re just feeding the fish,” she said with a sigh.
The really important things come from my children, I have found – all that I can experience and enjoy, all that matters. All that God is is nothing unless it is shared. And that is love.
After this realization, I had a long talk with my wife on the beach. She’d thought I should become a priest for quite a while and gave me her complete support. I guess I should listen her more often.
An Awareness of God Part I