Quoth the Raven…

Posted on December 7, 2017. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Poe’s raven speaks to my present-day state of angst…

  • I was born without any knowledge of the time that preceded me.
  • I have lived without knowing whether the existence I perceive even exists.
  • I will die in total ignorance of whether there is more beyond this physical existence.

If the grandchildren of Adam and Eve did not tell their own children about their great-grandparents, Adam and Eve would have passed into the Mists of Time purposeless. Those great-grandchildren would have opened their eyes in ignorance of the past, and would have gone on to know that they would eventually die. All that they would attain in life would be only an exercise in futility. Wherein could they find purpose to existence?

None of us really knows anything about a purpose to this existence. Yet, we are keenly aware that this is a self-recycling existence and that whatever we are, or think we are, will be ground into dust to be reused in another existence that does not include us. We persist, though, in active consideration and pursuit of what we do not know. We find answers to this physical universe’s operation, but we don’t know if they are correct answers since we cannot see the whole of the universe.  We think we find purpose in the things we do daily in response to physical needs and social obligations. But, when you die and leave to this world all your possessions, achievements, and creations, you will be little more than a curious name to your great-grandchildren; what, then, was the purpose to your tiny blip of existence?

There are many who will immediately jump on that “I will die in ignorance of an afterlife,” and espouse many reasons – according to their beliefs – why I cannot disbelieve THEIR beliefs on the subject. They will ignore that I did not state disbelief in an afterlife; they will assume so and take advantage of the moment to loudly aver THEIR faith in THEIR beliefs.

I must point out, there can be no faith unless there is ignorance. By touting faith, one confirms ignorance. It is ignorance that troubles our souls all the days of our lives.

What does our ignorance conceal? Briefly, the future. Our angst over life’s purpose is a dark, foreboding cloud that heightens our fears and spurs our hopes with indistinct, onrushing images that could forebode either blessing or calamity. What will be our destinies, what will be our worth at the end of life’s road? Our fears and concerns are like Poe’s raven tapping just outside our sphere of awareness for entry into our minds.  The one in the poem acquiesced and invited the uncertainty inside. The mysterious, dark raven made itself at home, and its host pulled up a chair and pondered endlessly on why it uttered only that one word.

In like manner, we dote on the Unknown and beseech it for answers. We occupy ourselves linking fancy unto fancy in a vain effort to pry meaning from this ominous, ancient cloud of obscurity. Though it crowds our every moment and hovers darkly over our future, allowing us to discern only one reply to our requests for full disclosure – Never! Nevermore!

We continue as temporal wanderers, trekking an unending trail through a wilderness of ignorance seeking any light from the dark abyss of Tomorrow, while our dark companion, Uncertainty, like Poe’s raven…

,,,still is sitting, still is flitting, upon the pallid bust of Pallas just above Tomorrow’s door.   And, our souls from out its shadow shall be lifted,

…nevermore.

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