Monday, November 12, 2007


Here is where I stand on this topic, I think. I have never seen a better statement on it from my point of view, anyway. I owe this to my daughter Libby, who owns the book and at whose home I read it whilst spending time with her and her family, which at that time did not include Beck. I find it exceedingly beautiful and poignant at the same time. As a writer of sorts, I also find myself feeling impotent, incompetent and pointless in the face of it every time I read it. I think it's that good. It doesn't get any better, actually. Wish the hell I could have written it.

But no . . . Lucky for you . . .


"I don’t know what God is, or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion. In fact, I don’t know if God even exists, although I confess that I sometimes find myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at a display of unexpected beauty.

There are some ten thousand extant religious sects—each with its own cosmology, each with its own answer for the meaning of life and death. Most assert that the other 9,999 not only have it completely wrong but are instruments of evil besides. None of the ten thousand has persuaded me to make the requisite leap of faith. In the absence of conviction, I’ve come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is an inescapable corollary of life. And abundance of mystery is simply part of the bargain—which doesn’t strike me as something to lament. Accepting the essential inscrutability of existence, in any case, is surely preferable to its opposite: capitulating to the tyranny of intransigent belief.

And if I remain in the dark about our purpose here, and the meaning of eternity, I have nevertheless arrived at an understanding of a few more modest truths: most of us fear death; most of us yearn to comprehend how we got here, and why—which is to say, most of us ache to know the love of our creator. And we will no doubt feel that ache, most of us, for as long as we happen to be alive."

--Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven
January 2003

1 comment:

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