This I Believe

Penny - LOS ANGELES, California
Entered on July 18, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: purpose

I believe that my life has a purpose.

My purpose has been paradoxically hidden from me, along with knowledge of the source of my arising—yes, I know, the sperm and the egg, and honor thy mother and father, but I’m looking to the ancient conundrums of “in the beginning there was darkness and the void” and “which came first, the chicken or the egg? And hidden too, knowledge of my ultimate destination—what becomes of the-me-of-me when I die?

I believe that this cloak of mystery was and is the first clue as to my purpose.

I think of my older brother, Bruce who was my teacher, my mentor, and tormentor. He received a gift of brilliance and then endured the gradual transformation of it into psychosis that ended in suicide. I was left to endure the pain of his desertion. Why hadn’t he saved himself? What path was I on? Following him, as I had done, was doing, led evidently to the abyss.

Now, I’m sitting here, 20 years later, and it seems to me that this is a way station. I’ve stumbled and blundered, most often blind to the consequences of my actions; like one nation invading another for its own good. I’ve come to a parting of the ways, a new understanding is dawning.

I believe that if I can bear to see myself as I really am, warts and all, that if I strive to do that in spite of all the forces arrayed against me, which is to say the stream of life, and the forces of nature that go on and on, relentlessly and apparently blithely, despite events great and small, that if I make that effort the foremost intention of my life, that is, feel it as an obligation, I believe that possibly, even probably, a certain substance (unknown to great science and its many apparatus designed for measuring things) may be generated that is required for the continued right functioning of the source of everything that is, has been, and will be; in other words, the source of my arising and, possibly, the ultimate destination of the-me-of-me—which is to say: the good.

To end with paradox as I began, my brother Bruce held this belief.

I’ll have to tread lightly, trim the lantern; there are many turnings on this path, self-delusion no doubt being but one.