What if?

What if I am wrong about everything? About every thing that makes my own life meaningful and productive? About every single “given” I’ve always believed in, that my parents love me, that I’m an intelligent woman, that God(whatever you name him) exists and cares about us as a species and me as an individual? That all the events of my life have combined to shape me as the person I am today and that no experience however unhappy is actually wasted?

What if I am wrong about everything?

I’ve been here before, poised on this brink of the vast cravass of unknowing, peering into the darkness and finding the darkness has eyes that look back at me, that the darkness is the Smoking Mirror that reflects first what exists and then shows what may.

I’ve been here before, aghast at the prospect of a life spent without meaning.

So have others, many others.

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things- trees and grass and sun and Moon and stars and Aslan himself, Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem  a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours IS the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there inst any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and settting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”  

Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, from The Silver Chair by CS Lewis.

Wherever you are today on your journey, rest assured, some one else has probably been here before you.   

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12 thoughts on “What if?

  1. Interesting, I have often wondered. What if there is no God, how alone would we feel, would we be able to cope, not having this Father / Mother figure to ‘depend’ on?
    Would our assumed complicated minds be able to deal with the fact that we are actually alone in this vast universe?

    We choose to believe whatever helps us cope, and I would like to believe I am part of something bigger, ‘Overland’ here I come….

    • I confess that I have spent many months at a time believing that we are alone. But belief is a hard habit to break and I start looking for patterns, of divine coincidences.
      In truth, our minds are not complicated as such. day to day existence, getting through the normal day take up much of our consciousness. When I am without belief, it is more like a feeling of bereavement because you cannot conceive that IT never was, and feel now rather that IT is dead.
      I don’t think we choose to believe or not; I don’t think it’s that simple. I had a patient (now dead) who really wanted to be able to believe in God. We had many discussions about it over the two years I treated him, and his desire for faith was sincere and earnest. I feel that faith(which is what belief is, in essence) is actually a gift. Christianity would call it a gift of grace.
      For me, the dark times where my faith(and don’t ask me to qualify or quantify this right now) is gone are the hardest times because for me, without the built-in understanding that my life has meaning and that I am not alone, I sink into despair and wish for my own death.
      The best advice I was ever given for these times was given to me by the vicar who prepared me for confirmation back in 1981: continue to act “as if” you still believed and gradually you wil find you do.

    • Then I’d be the most annoying person alive!!
      I already annoy friends and family by being right about things; heaven help us all if I were right about more profound things too!

  2. I too have had my dark times where I have felt alone, I must say though, they don’t happen any more. So what changed? Whenever I feel alone I just look to nature and realize that something far greater than my understanding created all of it, there is no way it could’ve been an accident.
    Such beauty and complexity continually amazes me, so now my only dark times are when I realize that us humans are destroying nature at such a rapid rate.
    Apparently there is hope after 2012, we’ll have to wait and see…..

    • Ha don’t get me started on the whole 2012 thing!
      Having studied some science I can say I wonder at it too but the whole Cosmic watchmaker idea just doesn’t cut it with me.
      My darkest times are still in relation to the crimes humanity has poured on itself and the earth, and my own apparent futility and powelessness and utter insignificance in the cosmos.

  3. You are not futile, powerless and definitely not insignificant. Every small little thing you do has a ripple effect which spreads throughout the whole universe.
    Have you seen the movie ‘Pay it forward’?
    Bit of a tear jerker, but a powerful message…

    • No, I haven’t seen it, Brynn. I avoid movies that are tearjerkers because I hate crying!
      I agree that everything I do has a ripple effect; but then so too does the so-called Chaos Butterfly! In the grand scheme of things I AM only a very small and unimportant cog but every cog has a job to do…

      • To be a little blunt, I can’t put it any other way. We will only feel as important as we believe we are. And God believes we are important enough to experience life on this planet, so we must be.
        This blog and the wisdom and experience you share here is important, please remember that… (you are so much more than a cog!)

      • Thank you.
        Have you ever taken apart an oldfashioned watch? I have, as a child. Putting it back together taught me that small as a single cog might be, leave it out and the whole thing won’t work. I chose my metaphor with care, believe me!

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