“A man who has once perceived, however temporarily and however briefly, what makes greatness of soul, can no longer be happy if he allows himself to be petty, self-seeking, troubled by trivial misfortunes, dreading what fate may have in store for him. A man who is capable of greatness of soul will open wide the windows of his mind, letting the winds blow freely upon it from every portion of the universe. He will see himself and life and the world as truly as our human limitations will permit; realizing the brevity and minuteness of human life, he will realize also that in individual minds is concentrated whatever of value the known universe contains. He will see that the man whose mind mirrors the world becomes in a sense as great as the world. In emancipation from the fears that beset the slave of circumstance he will experience a profound joy, and through all the vicissitudes of his outward life he will remain in the depths of his being a happy man.” -Bertrand Russell
” ‘Why are we here? What are we here to do?’.”
“What if there is no grand truth my child? Do you still want to know, then?”
“I think that humans are here to experience the world and enjoy their humanity and to make something of it all. This world is for them but it is not theirs. Can’t you see it now? The little blue pea in the ocean of darkness? Isn’t it perfect?
“They abhor the thought that this is all there is. They make themselves a life after death that resembles nothing the true world, where their souls may stifle and collect in a place that is incapable of change. They make themselves believe that such a place will make them happy. But do clouds and ease and infinite, trivial pleasure and golden harps make them happy? no. They let themselves be miserable in faith of this heaven. They take this world for granted. But don’t they see that they are already in heaven? A heaven for them of music and companionship and laughter tempered, not cheapened, by change.
“The wise among them seek true happiness in their world, happiness not made of artificial or temporary pleasure but of a peace with their place in the world. Some of them call it enlightenment. But most call it happiness, that elusive grail.
“Have you ever felt enlightenment, my child? Love and passion and terror and gratitude, pain and grief and misery and despair all melded into one thing, a state of mind, of utter clarity, an emotion gripping by the shoulders. Also, it is wonder and awe, inspiration and beauty, weariness and age and youth. All comes crashing down at once, sobbing and bursting and a silent, sorrowful awareness. It is wide eyes and open mouth and tense body. Most of all, it is the quiet of a place at night where you can see the sky and feel the nothingness of cold air and the stars settling down on your shoulders like snow.
“All of a sudden you become the universe. You know everything there is worth in knowing, you see the world in its startling simplicity and complexity. And then, in another second, it is gone.
“Child of the universe, can you not feel it too? How many souls have I collected from the dead? How many years? How many more to come? I am bound by time just as you are. Oh, I am so old. I contain the world and I know the universe. Yet I am so terribly young.
“Child, don’t turn away. Can you not see me with your pale face under the moon, and your sea-eyes? Can you not see the face of death? Do you not believe in me?
“Did you never hear me at all? You never do. You fear me, you worship me, but you do not see me until it is over. I am not so terrible. Don’t you see?
“I am human too.”
(Written by Yours Truly)