Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Will I die when I find the answer?

I have been on my quest for many years now and the idea that I will die when I discover the answer to the meaning of life has crossed my mind many times. It's an interesting and very weighty idea. And a bit of a paradox.

Here are some variations on this theme:

Fulfillment of my quest: This is the biggest thing. Often I could consider that when I discover the answer my role here is complete and it's time to move on. Of course that is conjecture because I don't really know if there is anyplace to move on to. I would imagine the answer would answer this question. or maybe it wouldn't.

The quest is the meaning - I definitely do not like this one at all. It says that the meaning of life is the quest itself. Robert Pirsig sums it up pretty well: "Life is not about getting to the top of the mountain, all the life and beauty is along the side and the climb". That's a rough paraphrase of how I remember it anyway. If this were the case I probably would die, of heartbreak. Seems too pedestrian to me.

A Revelation before dying - I also have this thought that each person, just before dying, is revealed the meaning and answer to everything. Seems like a neat package with a great bow but beats me if its true. If it is true I haven't been able to verify it seeing as I am unable to talk to anyone who has been there. And it brings up the added thought that I am attempting to short-circuit the way it is meant to be. If the revelation comes just before or during death then is my search wrong? Will my answer come to me in time (of my dying?) And if I found the answer sooner would I then force the hand and die?

Here is how I feel about the whole question raised in this post.

About a month ago I injured my right calf during a run one morning. It's one of the risks of running in very cold and icy conditions. While it still bothers me, I haven't stopped running. I get out there every morning. Why? Because If I stop to let it supposedly heal, I may fall into the rut of not running and never start up again. Or worse, once it heals I may not run again for fear of a re injury. And that fear is not something I will allow. Same goes for my quest. I will not allow the fear of dying to stop me from questing. Especially seeing as It's only conjecture. Anyhoo, Like Percival I must continue on in my search for this grail of grails.

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