Saw this on the Onion this morning and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd share. Granted it is satire, but I was wondering your serious thoughts on the subject matter any way.
Actually, I know you know that, but since you and I have gone a couple of rounds in the past, I just needed to be sure you understood that this wasn't Round 3 - if that should happen, I'm sure you will be able to tell the difference.
There's hope for you yet.
Terms like self-realization or Maslow’s self-actualization have definitions that need to have a mutually understood definition in order for a conversation to be meaningful. So if we define “self-realization” to mean a stage in our life where we can stand back and become aware of ourselves and where we become mature adults. We learn the ability to be critical of own faults and aware of our strengths as we strive to reach our full potential and give our lives meaning. It is part of the process of framing our view of reality. It does not happen overnight and much of it is derived from direct experience of life.
Sometimes those that suffer most do come to terms with the value of having only one life and “see it” before people who may be 20 years older. Some never do because they never ask any questions about life – for whatever reasons. Everyone’s life can still have worthwhile meaning but I think it is enriched greatly by going on a personal “quest” to look for answers.
But no matter how deep your contemplation of “why are we here” or how much time you invest in your search we will never reach complete “self-realization” if we do not free ourselves from the burden of not truly addressing that other big question – that elephant in your mind that vies for the same space the cogs of free thinking reside in – your mortality. Say it out loud. Death – the end of your one and only life.
At some stage in life we are forced to come to terms with our own mortality. You cannot reach the zenith of understanding the true nature and meaning of life if you do not accept that we are only here once. The fool sayeth in his heart that there is a second life. No there is not. There are no gods. If you are not an Atheist then you are living in denial of reality. To be able to say that “death is the end” and be happy with that knowledge, that truth about the reality of your life is the only way to ever reach the full self-actualization. Not just to get to the top triangle but to touch its apex.
This is what I really detest about what I see as the worst crime of religion. It is insidious. Unlike the other crimes of religion it does not manifest itself except by deluding the mind of the deist. Religion removes the need to think critically about reality and therefore to have to contemplate one’s own mortality in an honest manner. It claims to have conquered death. It does this by offering to give you a second life that has no death in the contract. All you have to do is keep that delusion going by becoming a serf for life to its creed. Its promise is a lie, a falsehood, an untruth.
There are no gods and no second life. That is Enlightenment. There is no need for any hogwash or woo. Once we come to terms with this fact of having only one life then we can get on with the process of self-realization and find much more truth and beauty to give greater purpose, meaning, fulfilment and enjoyment to our lives. Religion comes from our dark ages when we were a blinkered and awkward species that was nearly wiped out. It cannot be a beacon for enlightenment if it shackles the human spirit.
Enlightenment is that simple – it is not layered like an onion. Come to terms with your mortality and get on with living life. Watch how you worldview changes and amaze yourself with what you will find.
Wow - both prolific and profound - well said, Reg!
Thanks Arch - I had a big bowl of pasta today so really the FSM deserves the credit.
Well, FYI, I was so impressed, I saved it to a text file for possible future use on my website, with proper credit, of course.
So should I use your name, or inquire further about the variety of pasta?