Did you know that with each moment that passes, the way you perceive the environment and your self in it changes? In small, unnoticeable incremental bits, the most distinct characteristic of the human being, the ego, becomes distorted by the noise of our background. People change; you are not the same as you were a year ago, and you are very different than who you were 10 or 20 years ago. Religion teaches us to believe in eternal life; yet theoretically given enough time, the person at point A, would be a completely different person than the exact same person at point B. Even immortality isn’t forever.
Eternal life is not of interest to me however. As far as I’m concerned I can only exist as this person – body and mind – I am only once. I recognize that for a species gifted with consciousness – awareness of their existence – the idea of not existing at some point in the future attacks core – survival – instincts which then try to push it away. What do you think it means to carve ones name on a tree, or as a more extreme example, to invent a religion? We want to last forever. As soon as you wrap your brain around the inherent meaninglessness of existence however, it’s hard to turn your back to it.
When I think of my life, I get this weird exciting sensation down my stomach that never fails to make me smile. It is incomprehensible how much randomness was accumulated to produce the chance event my parents called “me”. This life I was granted out of nowhere defied all odds, and I get to squeeze out all the experiences I can/want from it for about a whole century. I get to be happy, sad, embarrassed, angry, ecstatic, nostalgic, humiliated, amazed, amused and entertained by it. Will it ever matter? No, it won’t, because those 100 years are just a drop of water in an endless sea of time. But how liberating that is! It means that, I get to cherish as much good as I can while at the same time all disappointments, humiliations, embarrassments, failures, losses, defeats, shames and confusions will be eventually forgotten.
After all: “It is not the destination that makes a ride fascinating, but the actual experience of it while it lasts.”