On turning 60 and the joy of #Atheism

I have been alive now for 60 Earth revolutions around the Sun. During this past year, I have moved completely to atheism; and I am quite happy about it. I want to share with you why.

It all comes with the background of these agreed upon facts in the scientific community: the known universe is about 13.72 billion years old. It contains billions of galaxies and the Earth is one planet in one solar system in one galaxy that has, through evolution and natural selection over millions upon millions of years, brought about life as we know it today. I am but one (temporary) life of one species on that planet Earth, a tiny little speck in the grand universe.

My belief is that all of this happened on its own and with out any god of any sort, that for billions of years I have not existed, and for eternity after I am dead I will no longer exist. [For compelling, convincing reading on this see the works in particular of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss.] My existence under the Sun is but a fleeting, very brief number of decades. I am nothing more than a human being – a body with a brain – who has a relatively minuscule blink of time to exist. And that’s it. This is not a dress rehearsal. This is not the case, that if I think things in my life are not going well, then I can say oh well because I’ll have another life (analogous to having a bad day). Nope. There is no “tomorrow” or other life for me. This is it. And every minute that passes is one less minute that I have left.

Depressing? Not at all! I’m far happier with this than with any religious or “spiritual” angle I have tried on. The amazing thing is how fantastic and incredibly lucky I am to have this life and to have it at this moment in the history of the universe. For even 50 or 100 years ago humans did not have the knowledge of our place in the entire scheme of things that we do now, not to mention the scientific and technological advances. We are much more out of the dark (dare I say enlightened!) about things like who we are, how we got here, and the history of the universe. What an amazing piece of good fortune that I exist and that I exist at this time. Indeed, I think that everything is about luck, accident, and coincidence! (And to think I used to have the opposite New Age belief – “there are no accidents/coincidences, everything happens for a reason” etc.)

How fantastic, amazing, and liberating all of this is! And at the same time, my minuscule blink of time at the age of 60 is surely well over half or probably around two-thirds done. This gives me pause.

What I have decided is that there is no more time to waste. Henceforth, my aim/intention is that not one single moment will I waste on things like: disappointment, resentment, hate, regret, worry, comparison, envy, frustration, stress and strain, asking “why” – etc. etc. Life, for me, comes down to three simple things: connecting with and caring for one another, paying keen attention to and appreciating the present moment, and having as much fun and enjoyment of each moment as possible. And that’s it. There is no more time to waste.

Every minute counts. And I want to enjoy all the minutes I have left. I might have very few minutes left, or I might have quite a few million minutes left. I don’t know. But, I’ll be damned if I am going to waste any of these minutes on petty things such as disappointment, resentment, hate, regret, worry, comparison, envy, frustration, stress and strain, asking “why” etc.

This is it, and my precious brief time in the Sun is in fact fading away. The time is now. Enjoy. Love. Do. Connect. Create. Laugh. All else is madness and a waste.


2 responses

  1. Michael,
    what a happy coincidence to exist in the same blink and in the same relative neighborhood (this Multiverse > Universe > Solar System > Planet > Continent > Country > Region > Time as you. Thanks for inspiring me to wake up and live.

    Wild Bill

  2. Existential angst leads to living every minute to the fullest so that life is appreciated as it passes minute by minute. If we have the luxury of eternal life it is not indicated in any discernible fashion. Enjoy the brief moments that life has to offer. Each minute is an opportunity not to waste.

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