Sometimes my existential musings lead me down a rabbit hole so twisted and strange I struggle to recover from it. For this reason I've always tended toward the side of science when interpreting my reality. A younger version of me has fought tirelessly to apply her powers of deduction and reasoning in even the most trivial of observations. But I found as I approached the wise old age of early 30s that my feverish need to comprehend my place in the universe had prevented me from experiencing it. It's always seemed like the people around me 'get it'. They go about their daily lives, unconcerned with the nature of reality; building careers, taking up hobbies, branching out socially. They seem to have a balanced and digestible perception of trees to forest ratios.
I've never been good at blending in. As most who know me can tell you, I've always been a bit odd. I've come to terms with that at this point, so I'll save you the false diffidence. I find it extremely odd that we're not all freaking out right now. Seriously, why aren't we screaming, running through the streets and tearing our eyes out? I mean, really.... what the actual fuck is going on? There are too many completely horrifying, astonishing, mind-blowing concepts to be considered and pondered. It's possible to get so lost in the woods you can't find a tree.
I don't think I'm alone, even if a bit lonely, for my tendency to cry while watching Through The Worm Hole With Morgan Freeman. I may be in the minority for my need to consider all possibilities. And I'm sure I seem like a contradiction for embracing the cognitive dissonance of science and religion. But I refuse to believe there exists a stone not worth turning. Even though the incomprehensible immensity of infinity does cause me heart pounding anxiety, this uncanny curiosity is coiled so tight around my perception I've lost sight of where it ends and I begin. Perhaps it is madness by most standards, though neuroscientists, like David Eagleman, are re-writing society's definition of 'crazy' as we speak.
Growing up my obsession with the meaning of existence brought me nothing but discomfort. And the worst part was that answers never brought me any relief. Settling on the label "atheist" for most of my life, I felt an emptiness. Answers. Absolutes. They're all just shadows on a cave wall. Crude grunts we use to assemble crude representations of what we really mean. Learning how to ask new questions has always been much more fulfilling. And now that I'm a big grown-up adult it seems easier to exist in the presence of 'the question' without fidgeting impatiently for someone to bring it up. I welcome it now in all forms. Is there a God? Was there a creator? Am I God? Does God get mad when I curse? What's gravity? Are we living in a virtual reality? Is the Universe Infinite? Does God watch me poop? Does God poop?
It seems almost silly to me now to have believed so staunchly in the absence of a Creator, since conceptually, the absence of something still validates its existence. Now I realize the real problem is words. Call it what you want, God, Jesus, Buddha, Yahweh, dark matter, infinity, us, love, the singularity, the collective conscience, chaos, or the weirdest, most meaningless accident in the history of the universe. We're all talking about the same thing. And I feel like more of us are coming to that understanding. As technology and the limits of human achievement expand exponentially, we're awakening to a new perception of reality.
So shout out to all the Existentially Anxious out there. There's a place for us in the future, in that uncanny valley where science and spirit meet.