I'm obsessed, in a pleasing way, with a cosmic notion: existence exists.
Seemingly there's not much I could add to what I've said about this ultimate mystery. Except... what I'm going to add right now.
Which is another attempt to speak about the unspeakable feeling that comes over me when I contemplate the fact that existence exists.
This feeling can't be produced on demand.
Right now I'm talking about a memory of it, not the feeling itself. For me, it's a sort of godless grace. When the feeling happens, I'm grateful for the sensation of getting a glimpse of what can't be known.
At least, I'm pretty sure, not by a human brain. Any human brain. Doesn't matter if you're a genius, a mystic, a Nobel prize winner, a poet, a savant, a philosophical mastermind.
I'm convinced that the feeling I've talked about in my blog posts is a cosmic lock, not a key. It vaguely points in the general direction of Ultimate Mystery, but in no way does it lead closer to an understanding.
Here's one of my attempts to talk about the cosmic lock.
It happened again today. That sudden "bottom falling out from under me" feeling, sort of the mental equivalent of being startled by an elevator going into free fall.
I like the feeling. It's the most genuine sensation of spirituality, not really an apt word, but best I can come up with, that comes over me in my churchless way of looking at the world.
What it is -- and I'm also struggling to find the right words here -- is awe that existence exists.
I was walking along with one of our dogs on a pleasant rainless mild Oregon day, enjoying the early spring sprouting greenness on a trail that leads through woods to a nearby lake.
I'd been thinking about how nature has no straight lines, no obvious rigid order, no firm demarcations between this and that. Only the human-built structures along my way possessed those features.
Then my vision of nature became much more cosmic. In an instant I was swept past all the various manifestations of nature into a void of mystery which was as much an ultimate fullness as an absolute emptiness.
Down the rabbit hole. Cut the elevator cable. Dive out of the balloon with no parachute. Exhilarating.
Time stood still. Or rather, time no longer existed. I was face to face with what is for me the only unarguably true spiritual sensation:
Existence exists. Always has. Always will. Is now.
After my most recent "bottom falling out from under me" feeling I had this intuition: that sensation is mind-blowing because the human brain lacks the ability to cognize the primal reality of existence existing... eternally, uncaused, uncreated, just freaking there.
Evolution has brought us Homo sapiens some marvelous cognitive abilities compared to other species. We have unraveled many cosmic mysteries -- quantum mechanics, relativity theory, and so much else.
There are significant gaps in our knowledge of the universe. But I agree with leading scientists that there don't appear to be any insurmountable obstacles to vastly expanding our already-immense grasp of how the cosmos is put together and operates.
When it comes to the sheer facticity of existence, though, the is'ness of reality, it seems extremely unlikely that we humans ever will be able to open that cosmic knowledge lock. The feeling I have when contemplating existence exists is akin to a psychological short-circuit.
My brain just doesn't seem capable of grasping the fact that all facts can be friends with "why?" -- except the primal fact of existence. I have the sense that natural selection has given us humans the ability to unravel complex tangles of cause and effect, but NOT the ability to grasp the meaning of existence pure and simple.
Assuming there is such a meaning. Or such a thing as "existence pure and simple."
Maybe advanced beings from an alien civilization in a galaxy far, far away possess the cosmic understanding of existence exists that eludes me, and seemingly every other member of my species.
But how would we know this, even if we came into contact with such a civilization? I strongly suspect that if an alien being handed me the key to the ultimate cosmic lock, I'd have no idea how to use it.
Or, how to grasp what lay beyond the open door.