‘Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head.’ ~ Henry David Thoreau
It still puzzles me how those who hold desires for a supernatural world over and against the natural world seem unable to recognise the profound beauty of this world, as if this world simply isn’t good enough for them.
When I was a little child, I thought (in my own naïve way at the time) that calling someone or something stupid, ugly, or wrong was an insult to God, who after all, spent the time and trouble to make it all. I was especially adamant about this when it came to the ‘natural world’ (I used to always wander in the woods, fields and along the beach when I lived in Italy).
I’ve never been particularly sympathetic toward the idea of the supernatural—even when I was a Christian many years ago (travelling along the whole denominational gamut), I found the notion of an afterlife irrelevant, if not harmful. A manichean division of the self and the world I have always found strange. What is the matter with matter? This isn’t good enough for you? Why be an ingrate?
While I no longer believe in a god today, I find it hard to comprehend the all-too-common attitude that ‘This can’t be all there is!’—as if ‘this’ were something cheap, unimportant, or somehow wrong, something from which one ought to escape. Yes, this is all there is—this is your one and only opportunity to live your life, rather than run away from it (and yourself) in fear. It is a difficult task, but it is the only task that is worthwhile. Anything less than that is illusory, a deliberate turning away from living up to your own potential as a human being.
‘If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another, and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.’ ~ Albert Camus