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Hans Decoz

Why, not how, that is the question!

Last night I watched a show about the creation of the Universe. I love shows that explain the incredible magic we call creation, especially from the viewpoint of physics. It talked about everything from quantum physics to parallel universes to photons and electrons being in several places at the same time, to the existence of an infinite (really?) number of universes in existence before the Big Bang and still producing billions of universes today, and so forth. All those different dimensions we can't see or hear, distances we can't possibly relate to, like 164 billion light-years, a whole universe smaller than an electron, and so forth. I love it all. I am not saying I comprehend much of it, I just love it because it makes the magic even more amazing and magnificent. But one thing about this show struck me as a little odd, especially considering that I have seen many similar shows and realized that this odd thing, this one minor issue that is lacking in all these shows, didn't jump out at me many times before. And that is the "why?" All these super-duper brainy scientists devoting their lifetimes to unraveling the mystery of "how" this creation came to be, what the mechanics are, how long it has been around, where it is going, etc. And yet, I don't remember a single one of them asking the simple question of why all this magic is happening. Who, or what, benefits? A dumb question perhaps, but I look around at the many incredible manifestations of this creation that I can see and that I can relate to, and everything I see appears to have a purpose. Even when we think something may not have a purpose, it is always just a matter of time and study to discover that in fact it does have a reason for being.

So what about this whole gigantic, inconceivable mystery we call creation. What is its purpose? Is there something we don't know that is even more important and valuable? Something that can only come into existence through the workings of galaxies and microbes and invisible particles and dark energy and human beings and flowers and sunsets and ....?

Think of it as making coffee. We explore the universe and study tiny particles. Similarly, you can study coffee grains and boiling water and paper filters and be amazed about the molecules and particles they are made of, but we understand quite well that the purpose of those coffee beans and that hot water is that you end up with a cup of coffee you can enjoy. What is it that this creation produces that warrants all that effort and magic? A cosmic cup of Java? And if so, who gets to enjoy it? Surely this is a fair question. So here is what I think might, just might be, a truly worthwhile purpose for all of this.

Ask yourself this question: "What is the most important benefit, the most valuable experience you, as a human being, can hope for?" It is, drum roll please, f-e-e-l-i-n-g g-o-o-d! Think about it. Everything you do you do in the hope that the end result will be a good feeling. Whether it is making money, courting another human being, giving birth to a child, playing golf, watching a tear-jerker, whatever. It is as if we humans have only one true purpose and that is chasing this feeling, a feeling we can't locate, can't transfer, can't deposit in a bank as a future asset (memories can produce feelings, but they are never as real as the initial feelings that created the memories). This "feeling-good-thing" lives - when we have the great fortune of enjoying a little of it - somewhere in the vicinity of the heart area and the throat. When we experience the activity of our brain, when we do some thinking, we can pinpoint it pretty accurately as happening inside of our head, the result of chemical reactions and sparks of energy jumping around in that mass of gray cells we carry around up there. Feeling, on the other hand, cannot be located quite like that for the simple reason that matter is not involved. No particles of any kind, no molecules, no neurons, no nothing (sure, we can measure the effect of feelings on our brain, but that is not the same thing - that is the brain interpreting a feeling). In fact, I can't think of anything else in the whole universe, that is not a material manifestation of some kind, be it ludicrously small or astonishing large or anything in between, absolutely nothing exists that doesn't consist of matter - even energy. Only feeling exists free and out of reach of any and all kinds of matter. Oh, I forgot, and consciousness of course - the living recipient of that feeling. And there we have it. The consciousness of feeling. Of all the magic that surrounds us and exists within us, the most amazing magic by far is the consciousness of feeling. When you watch the birth of your first child, the mystery of the event, of a human being coming into this world, will blow you away and fill your heart to the brim with gratitude and love until there is so much feeling your eyes spill tears of joy. And while this is a moment of incredible beauty, there is an even more amazing splendor happening at the very same time, and that is your ability to experience it. This, the fact that somewhere inside of you exists something that is capable of feeling love and gratitude and joy is the truest miracle of all. And that, dear friend, is the real reason all this material magic exists. If the ability to experience joy and love did not exist, neither would anything else. No particles, no stars, no planets, no flowers, no smiling babies, no sunsets, no nothing. I am sure of it. Imagine for a moment, that in the beginning there was this one power, this one source, and this power was perfect and omnipresent and so forth. Wonderful, truly wonderful, and yet, who is there to enjoy it? So this power takes a piece of itself and makes it manifest in a trillion gazillion ways, creating and producing infinite numbers of beauty and fantastic creations including human beings. And limited as we are, puny little human beings full of nonsense and faults and foolishness, we do have this one incredible gift; the ability to feel love and joy and gratitude. And to top it all off, we have the capability to become aware; to turn inside and feel that feeling. And even more than that, you, as a human being, can feel rivers of gratitude for the simple fact that you can feel! It is like an endlessly expanding pyramid of feeling the purest joy, the purest gratitude, the purest love. It is as if we, human beings, have a purpose most of us never acknowledged, a purpose that offers, when you think about it, the ultimate peace and total and exclusive job security: we are the cups in which the cosmic java flows.

Corny? Sure, for many of us. A reality? Absolutely, for some of us. Is it worth devoting your life in true sincerity to hopefully, one day, come face to face with that gorgeous reality inside of you, your own immortality, the part of you that is that very same power that was in the beginning and will always be? I will tell you, it's more than worth your full attention and devotion. The reward outweighs the cost by about a trillion to one, to come to the realization that everything you need is right there inside of you, hiding in plain sight.