I was raised Christian, turned agnostic when I was a teenager, and turned atheist a couple years back. I really want to leave this place, but, in the words of William Shakespeare, “to sleep, perchance to dream, ay, there’s the rub”. I think one of the main reasons I haven’t already snuffed it is because I’m worried about what might come next.
I used to believe what everyone else seems to believe, that there will be a white light, a tunnel, a kind voice beckoning, dead relatives, and a world designed as either reward or punishment for all the stuff you did here. But I don’t really believe that anymore because, here’s the thing, after living in this world for 35 years and seeing all the random pointless crap that everyone has to put up with, I just don’t get the impression that this world is as meaningful as everyone thinks it is.
I mean so much of what we think and feel and do are the result of forces beyond our control. Right from the very beginning: if your cells don’t divide and split off properly you could be born with two heads or three legs, with malformed organs or mental retardation, and even if you make it out of the womb in one piece your DNA pretty much defines what your life’s going to be like:
If your DNA makes you ugly you’ll have a great personality but everyone else will make your life suck. If your DNA makes you beautiful you’ll have a shitty personality and you’ll make everyone else’s lives suck.
If your DNA makes you smart you’ll get more from life, but if you’re too smart you’ll see the world for what it truly is and that will make your life suck. If you’re born a moron you’ll fit right in.
If your DNA makes your personality unique you’ll get to experience life from a new and interesting slant, but if your personality is too unique you’ll end up experiencing it alone.
I think free will is an illusion: we don’t control our lives, we react to them. If life has a positive purpose, it seems more likely that it’s a lesson than a test. Because a test not only requires free will, but foreknowledge of the rules and objectives. So I don’t buy that there’s a heaven or hell because it doesn’t make sense to be judged so severely for how well you learned a lesson. I also don’t think you just completely blink out of existence, because your existence has clearly happened at least once. Even if it was just by chance the odds say it will happen again. I think, at the very minimum,Â it continuesÂ randomly with no memory from one incarnation to the next, but my leap of faith is that it’s not all for nothing. I believe that there’s some kind of compounding of experiences from all the incarnations of this life; mine, yours, everyone’s, and they amount to something meaningful beyond human understanding.
I’m pretty sure that I’ll take my own life at some point. It will happen when the pain outweighs the joy by too great a margin and I don’t have any hope of tipping the scales. I don’t believe this makes my life less meaningful, just mine to control.