The truth is that if you had not already had an existential crisis or two in your life by now, you are either very young, in denial, or missing something. Maybe you HAVE had such a crisis but you have never identified it as such, or you have been afraid it will crush you, or you have never been shown the teaching and wisdom to be gained by embracing it.
Maybe you have never had a powerful CONTEXT for such an experience.
Because, in my observations and inquiries, I would say almost everyone has had at least one moment where they have been thunderstruck by the enormity of the universe, or overwhelmed by the sheer mystery of life, or been utterly disillusioned by existence itself in the face of death and suffering.
It doesn’t have to be all spiritual to be real, deep and painful.
Life is utterly bewildering. Awareness, the fact that we can think and be aware of thinking, is itself an exquisite miracle. The magnificence of manifestation as a personality who can effectively (mostly!) communicate with other beings, who can create things and who has self awareness is maddeningly amazing.
But the counterpart to that, the shadow of that, the dark side of that, is the wondering what on earth it all means, and what happens to us on either side of life?
As you move through this linear experience of life and ‘get older’ you begin to see how short our time here is. It is over in a flash. And as the years roll by there are times when life itself is perplexing, when the point of it is mysterious, when deep existential and spiritual questions demand answers. Or acceptance in the face of ‘no answers.
But we must look. You and I who are devoted to life’s truth and death must ask these deepest of questions, even if they mean we must face despair and disillusionment. We must not turn away from the dark side, from the shadow, from ‘difficult feelings.’ We must dive in and embrace the whole of ourselves, the light and the dark, the joy and the despair, the magnificence and the horror.
Only then can we say we have truly lived.
For wisdom and great depth are the jewels to be found at the bottom of the deepest ocean.