For millions of years, I didn’t exist. Throughout all the ages that have come before me, countless billions of others were born, lived out their lives, and died, without me, and without knowing of me.
Their lives were counted away in a multitude of days and a panoply of moments which played out their thoughts and emotions, their needs and desires, their contributions and failures, their successes and strife. To them, I was nothing more than an unimagined person who could have been from the incomprehensible past or the unimaginable future. And I was no more aware of them than they were of me, nor was I even aware that I didn’t exist.
And then one day I was born and life for me began. I lived out my life through a multitude of days and a panoply of moments which played out my thoughts and emotions, my needs and desires, my contributions and failures, my successes and strife. I watched as others around me lived out their lives, and then ended their lives. And I wondered. Where did they go? When would my life end? What would it be like when it did? Whose lives would be lived after I was gone? And when I was gone, would anyone even be aware that I had lived at all?
I realized that I already knew those answers. The others had gone back to where they had been before their lives had begun. My life would end when it was over. When it was over it would be as it was before it had begun, because once again I would not exist. Once again I would not even be aware that I didn’t exist. The lives that would be lived after me were the lives of those who hadn’t lived yet. And after all those who knew me when I was alive were dead, most likely, no one would be aware that I had ever lived at all. I would simply be returned to the non-existence from whence I had come.
At first, it really bothered me to think that after waiting so many millions of years to have my turn at living a life that I would simply be returned to the non-existence from whence I had come. What? No heavenly paradise to spend all eternity in? It seemed a bit … unfair. It seemed at bit … pointless. Yes, it was unfair to have this brief spark of life taken away and replaced with a pointless and endless non-existence.
But, much as I didn’t like it, I had to admit there was nothing I could do about it. And it wasn’t like I was the only person it had ever happened to, or would ever happen to.
So, this is what IT was all about, endless millions of years of non-awareness of non-existence, followed by a brief spark of life, followed by more endless millions of years of non-awareness of non-existence? How impressive. Could it possibly be more exciting? Could the depth of its magnitude possibly be more astounding? Was this, then, God’s Grand Plan?
And if it was, what kind of god thought this up? I screamed to the heavens, “God! It’s so unfair! God! It’s so pointless!” And then after that, I screamed out, “WHY?”
But no answer was given, not whispered, not hinted, not intimated, not stated, not shouted. No bushes burned, no tablets fell from the sky, and no visions appeared before my eyes. Silence was all I received. What? Was I simply not worthy of an answer? Or was it that there was no one there to answer?
And if there was no one there to answer, then was there no “god” to hold responsible, no “god” to beg redemption from?
So, whose stupid idea was this, anyway?
Again, no answer was given. And I realized then that it didn’t matter, because there was no fair or unfair about it and that it was pointless to even ask. The answer to what IT was all about didn’t exist, and that, in itself, was the answer to it all. IT did not exist. It never had and never would. And when I died, that’s where I would go, back to the IT that did not exist, the IT that was neither fair nor unfair, the IT that was completely pointless.
Relief washed over me. I now understood it all. It was so simple I nearly cried. No longer did I fear the end of my life. No longer did I dread a return to non-existence. How could I? All this time I had thought of it as a “nothingness,” empty, devoid of everything, and … endless. But that wasn’t what it was at all. Death was simply the return to IT. IT was where everyone who had lived and died before me had gone, and where everyone who would live and die after me would go. IT was a reunion, a return home after a trip to lands abroad. And they were all waiting for me there, all those countless billions who had lived and died before me.
Well, that warmed things up a bit. No longer did I need to worry about praying to the right god. No longer did I need to ponder re-incarnation. No longer did I need to prove the existence of ghosts. Now, I could sleep easy, knowing that when my life was over, I would return to the warm arms of the countless billions who were waiting for me there in the non-existence of IT. I could make my mark on the Wall of Life, and when I was done, I would go back home to IT.
Such comfort I had never known. Such peace of mind I had never dreamed. Now I was happy. Now I was free. No longer was I burdened with doubts, questions, and quandaries. I knew the answer to IT all.
And there was only one thing left to do, write it down here, on the Wall of Life, so that all those who came after would know IT too.
So this is what I have done. And when I have died and returned home to IT, home to the arms of those countless billions before me, then I will join them and be waiting for you, waiting for you to come home to IT, that pointless endless non-existence that is neither fair, nor unfair.
August 29, 2008