I dreamed of ships in rough seas making it safely to harbor.
It’s my birthday. I can’t claim to be at the halfway point anymore. Considering how I lived my life so far, how I’m living it right now and how I plan to live the rest of it, I have serious doubts that I’ll make it to 98. If you’re searching for regrets between the lines you won’t find any. You won’t descry any deep sense of contentment either. I’ve missed numerous chances and grabbed a few improbable ones out of the blue. I’ve stumbled and stood up, many times. I’ve loved and failed, yet I’m in love again, forever. This post, however, will follow a twist early on. It is about me, about my relationship with the rest of the universe and my true meaning.
A dear friend of mine, very close to my age, often repeats when under the influence: “Only if I knew then what I know now.” I always answer jokingly, more under the influence than he is: “Don’t get drippy on me. If I really knew then half of what I know now I would’ve changed the world in the blink of an eye.” But it was never meant to be that way.
In my quest to understand the meaning of life, and hey I’m claiming to have found the real answer here, I went through the gamut of faith, belief, doubt, skepticism, agnosticism and atheism. As a member of various social groups at subsequent stages in my development I interacted with and absorbed the prevalent social psychology. I befriended the deeply religious and hypnotically canting. I escorted them for a while then abandoned their convoy. I shared much more than bread and salt with their heathen nemeses and accompanied them to unattainable summits and unfathomable abysses. It was when I walked alone that I felt most comfortable, however. Somehow, somewhere the elusive answer existed in between doctrine and anarchy. I think the fatal fallacy of religion, every single one of them, is its claim to hold the absolute truth, to be the quintessence of the word of God. I differed with the nihilists also because of their arrogance, their cocksure mirrored rationale or lack of any to be more precise.
I owe it myself and to no one else to write down my syllogism since it’s my guiding light on the way to the inevitable end. I can’t maintain a gray opinion on certain subjects that are truly contradictory to my own sense of truth in a futile effort to not offend someone. The answer, as far as I’m concerned, is so elegantly simple. It might be difficult to put into words but that doesn’t detract from its inherent simplicity. For instance I need to affirm that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) not only makes more sense than the monotheist (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) story but actually negates any grain of truth in this agnate account. I can’t reduce my raison d’être to accept that I am a server, a worshiper or a propagator of the species at best.
I am because I am inevitable. There would be no notion of creation if it were not for me. There would be no perception. There would be no religion, there would be no science, there would be no arts, no philosophy, no poetry, not even a word. I have always existed and will forever prevail. In different forms of matter and energy, I am immortal. So is the universe, the timeless and ageless Cosmos, of which I am but an infinitesimal part. The rise of consciousness is ineluctable due to the grace of infinity. Anything can happen in an infinite timeframe, anything, even the emergence of sentient matter. It is very unlikely that the human race is a unique or solitary manifestation of cognizant beings. The cosmos must be teaming with consciousness everywhere and it is. Even the words Live, Alive and Life are too chauvinistic and provincial since biology is one known form to host consciousness but is not necessarily the only one.
When my energy is exhausted, when I physically die it will be difficult for the inert body left behind to regain awareness anytime soon. But as it breaks apart and joins the colossal pool of substance on this planet and the endless affluence of matter in the universe, parts of what was me will regain realization in some form out of the interminable variety on this same planet and eventually beyond. I might never love again as much as I do now but given a few years or a couple of millions I might very well do. With the luxury of infinity on my side, we will meet my sweetheart and me and fall in love all over again.
The three monotheist religions have already exhausted their purpose in the service of the human race. At their respective times they were revolutionary in their far reaching results and evolutionary in their old tried and tested approach to reason. But they have also caused agony and mayhem. They have raped liberties and further deepened the schism between the sexes. Humans, fauna and flora have been sacrificed in the name of an unforgiving god who only created us to worship him. Religion can’t replace science anymore as the notion is plainly absurd. It cannot befriend the accumulated and evolving knowledge of the human race either unless it admits that alongside its good nature it had always fostered the seeds of hypocrisy as well. Its only chance at credibility is to admit its human pedigree. For over forty years, ever since I received my early indoctrination of Islam, through the period I learned everything I needed to learn about Judaism and Christianity followed by my curiosity about all the better known human religions, their bodies of knowledge did not change. They have remained stagnant. I have been hearing the same sermons every week. I have been reading the same arguments over and over again; religion has completely lost its capacity to enchant me, to stir me, to scare me or to make me feel safe. I wake up in the morning and switch the TV on and discover a much more interesting feat of science. Everyday! Every single day… religion tries to fit in, to find a place, to make its absurd claim that it had told us so before. It had told us many stories most of which had been proven wrong. It certainly contains some truth hidden within the folds of its wide robes but not the absolute truth.
The birds’ song outside my window is inevitable, the rain drops, the smile of my beloved, the awaited sunshine, fear and comfort, sickness and health, the rich and poor, right and wrong, life and death. I am inevitable and I am celebrating my birthday in this shape, in this place, in this time. I've had billions and billions of birthdays before and I shall continue my celebration... forever.