Is This All There Is?
By Bart Vogelzang

Yesterday I read a post by someone who lost his marriage in divorce 18 months ago, and he’s been slowly losing his way. His disappointment, not to mention the loss of his emotional support ‘network’, caused him to poison his work environment, thereby losing him his job as well. His increasing frustration, and rapidly deteriorating financial condition, has caused his will to live to take a roller coaster dive to the bottom.

A lady who has multiple disabilities, as well as being diabetic tells another sad story. One of her two pets died, and her medication and needles are going to double in cost, but she has so little money now that she often cannot afford to eat anything but popcorn, despite the need for better in order to manage her illnesses. She struggles to get to work, but often cannot use public transport because of rules that preclude her from drinking water, something she needs to do to manage her condition. So she staggers to work on a bum leg, works for 10 to 12 hours, and staggers home late, in the dark evening hours.

Neither of these people has a relationship, nor do they see any chance of one happening. They are in pain, barely making it through each day, with bleak and deteriorating conditions facing them. They are not gay, but they would probably laugh without humor at “It gets better.” It doesn’t, and won’t; not for them.

What is it that we live for? Have you asked yourself that, ever? Have you figured out your own answer to that? Animals don’t ask it; they just exist for the moment, with maybe some instinctual preparations for the upcoming breeding season, or winter. Is there really any purpose to our lives? I’m sure that religious people have their own answers, but methinks they are deluding themselves. Living to glorify God is not only silly, but also presumptuous in its assumption that we have anything to add to God, and insulting in its supposition that God wants or needs glorification.

There is really very little that we can do that has any real purpose. Helping other people is all very well, but it’s a pretty narrow focus and hardly earth shaking in its impact on the planet. Helping the environment is not much better, since what we would be doing is really just reducing the enormously devastating impact of people even being here, there, and everywhere. Loving another, while a very admirable and lovely thing to do, is hardly a reason for our existence; for sticking around while carrying heaps of misery with us each minute that we struggle.

No, the bottom line is that we don’t have any purpose for being here; we only delude ourselves into thinking we have one. If we can do that successfully, we can ignore our pains and frustrations, or we can ennoble our daily sacrifices. If we don’t delude ourselves, we can lead a life of debauchery or dreariness or whatever else without any thought about our future. We can live minute by minute, with no need for planning. The only problem is, we will regularly wonder, “Is this all there is?”

© 2011 by Bart Vogelzang All Rights Reserved