I fantasize about suicide, I fear heart attacks, cancer, acts of agression or simple accidents. Yet I still ask myself constantly “how…?” and “when…?” as if the question didn’t actually mean “why would I ever…” – after all, I am the dreamer.
I am scientific minded, you could say. I do not meant to imply I have special claims to mastering a science, or a long, medium or any-sized actual experience with science. I just mean have a mind that clicks better with the idea of science than with the idea of faith.
I discovered very early that I cannot lie to myself. That is, not if I can see what I am doing (there is all kinds of lying that we do that we know nothing about, and regarding those I have no special powers).
It was right after my granmother’s death. I was seven years old and I needed reassurance that I will see her again and above all, that that awful thing that just had happened to her wouldn’t ever happen to me. So I turned to God – or I rather tried, because it didn’t take. Even at seven I knew that I was just wishing there was a God, but I didn’t really believed in it. And I knew that without proof I could never believe.
The thing I like about science was never so much the science itself, but its philosophy, its ethos. Don’t get me wrong, from my adult perspective I’d love to have studied physics, cosmology or math; but back when I was a teenager there was this artificial and arbitrary divide between the worlds of arts and letters (to which I thought I fully belonged), and the world of hard sciences. But even then I thought as a scientist as far as the burden of proof goes. Because, mostly, atheistic marxism is very much like science in that aspect, and that was the soup I was cooking in.
By this I do not meant I refused the spiritual world. To this day my favourit stories include a healthy dosis of the supernatural and with it (and without it) a sense of the higher purpose. But just as I do not equate higher purpose with religion, I resent the appropriation of the spiritual world by the spiritual types.
Some of the spiritual things I believed in are: love between two persons -love that is so strong and lasting that it creates a third person that is both of them and more; the incredible affinity between animals of different species such as man and dog – dogs and their unbelievable talent for self sacrifice, us and our constant need for reassurance; the powerful connection to other person’s mind that is reading; music, music, music; the instant surrender that happens when you first see your child… you get the gist, right? I am contending that the powerfully emotional is often akin to the spiritual.
Throughout the years I lived in a sort of divided state. My convictions are fundamental to me, and my convictions on the issue of death are and have always been very clear: we cease to exist as an entity, we decompose and disappear. There is no “energy” or “intangible” that remains behind. No essence of our beings survives other than what we live in other’s memories – but that residue has no awareness of itself. Yet, on the other hand, I detect a mockingly detached part of me waaay in the back, by the shadows, that “knows” that death and annihilation of the self – of *this* particular self – is simply impossible.
I have tried to shut that guy up a thousand times; there is nothing I despise more than false hope. But he refuses to go away. I fear that when I grow old and in all likelihood atherosclerotic, I may give in to him. If that moment ever comes, please shoot me. You have my blessing and absolution.