What is Life?
What is the point of life on Earth?
Life seems so random and chaotic. What are the rules of life?
These are not new questions. In fact, a lot of us ask at least one of these questions everyday.
A while back, in my early 20s, I was obsessed with these questions. Back then, I had no clue who I was and still lived with a dense cloud of confusion and societal programming obscuring my true identity. I was a hardcore Roman Catholic, a member or attendee of almost every society in my local parish. Even though I was young I had made a name for myself as something of a spiritual prodigy, and even the adults and old people regarded me with respect.
I had a close relationship with God since childhood, and we had a constantly running conversation. Although I never really understood His thought processes and His way of doing things, we were very close. He discouraged me from worshipping Him, and always encouraged me to regard Him as a friend, and even complain or lose my temper with Him if I felt He was doing something that I found annoying.
However, despite my close relationship with God, it was quite obvious to me that Life itself was a mystery to me. I couldn’t make sense of the rules of life and why random bad things seemed to happen.
I remember a particular day at Mass. The priest was delivering a sermon, and he said something similar to this:
“Life is a mystery which we can never understand while we are alive. If we worship God faithfully, when we die and go to Heaven, God will reveal to us the meaning of all things.”
As a young Catholic, I had observed that this was the general belief and I didn’t question it. But something in me rejected that line. Something in me I can only describe as “my Spirit” knew this was not necessarily true, and that there was more to the story than this. This was on top of the fact that I realised that the Mystery of Life was the most important – if not the only – mystery worth solving. How could God expect me to live life without understanding what I was doing? How could I live life without knowing its rules? Of all the things in the world, wasn’t this the most important thing to know?
And sure enough, one day as I stood in the parish compound a message came to me. It came in the form of a feeling, a movement somewhere deep inside of me. A compassionate, wise voice spoke inside me:
“Don’t worry. Other people may be content to wait and understand the mysteries of life after they die. But not you. You don’t have to settle for that. I will teach you what Life means, and you will understand Life while you’re still alive.”
The Voice of God was not new to me. I had heard it many, many times before. But that day stood out. The message was clear. Calm. Precise.
Now, looking back, I realize that was the day I became a Student of Life. Or, as The Voice soon began to call me, God’s Apprentice.
Over the following years, a multitude of experiences followed, most of which were traumatic and made no sense to me at the time. Nothing I did seemed to work out as planned. I always seemed to get something worse than what I actually wanted. I had no clue what was going on and why all this was happening to me. I was constantly frustrated, angry and full of hatred for myself, everything around me and humanity in general. I quarreled frequently with The Voice, railing at Him about how I hated the restrictions he was placing on my life, and how I wanted to be just like everyone else and have the freedom to do what everyone else was doing, and how I couldn’t make sense of what direction he was leading me in. The Voice would reply me compassionately and let me know He understood my frustration, but would give no explanation. He wouldn’t explain why my life was the way it was. He wouldn’t explain why He was constantly blocking everything I tried to do. Every move I tried to make.
As time went on, I got so frustrated that I came to hate God, and wished he would just keep his hands out of my life. I stopped speaking to The Voice, stopped going to church and just generally struggled along, trying to make it big without God’s help.
Time passed. I ignored Him more and more. We drifted further and further apart.
Things got so serious that I got a call from my mother one day. She said to me,
“Thomas, God is complaining about you. He says you’re trying to do it without Him, and you’re not going to succeed like that. He said, ‘Thomas needs to make space for Us.’ “
Ha! God had reported me to my Mother! I was glad to hear this, because it meant that God was feeling the pain. My revenge plan against God was working, and now He wanted me back, after all He had done to me. I retorted, “Hah! God can go to Hell! I don’t need him! He’s only missing me because He needs someone to worship Him. Rubbish!”
What I didn’t realise at the time was that The Universe was teaching me about life. It was giving me a foundation of experiences on which to build my understanding, because most of life’s mysteries cannot be fully appreciated in theory – they only make sense from experience.
I would later reconcile with God. God and I would be friends again, but on much different terms. I would come to understand that the whole purpose of my suffering was to open my eyes to a God who was infinitely bigger and more complex than the one I was introduced to during my religious upbringing. And The Universe would begin to use my experiences as a foundation on which to explain to me its complex and mysterious workings.
And this website is my attempt to share my understandings of these workings with you.