Since the beginning, human life on Earth has been an assiduous battle with the unknown and a series of unprecedented risk-taking. Exposure to danger seems to be the price to pay for progress. This is the first lesson learned in childhood, when the need to move from dependence to independence pushes us beyond the limits of safety and personal comfort. It familiarises us with the risks.
In the maximalist search for evidence that can justify our belief and, at the same time, help us defend our reputation, something is lost: the very concept of faith.
I had a ringing in my ears due to that unusual inner silence which I was paradoxically experiencing at the same time as a thought-storm that made me scream on the inside.
I believe that doubt is a part of faith, not its opposite. It took me quite a few years to say this without feeling guilty. I needed to have many experiences before I could accept that questions are legitimate and not a sign of spiritual decay.
Without ever looking for doubt I often welcomed it with interest and gratitude. I did not run away from it, nor did I treat it with indifference. I rather sought to tone it down.
Pliny the Elder wrote, in Naturalis Historia, a well-known adage: "Among [mortals] the only certainty there is is that nothing is certain." Few know that Pliny made this statement in a chapter on the gods.
After 27 years of marriage, billionaire couple Bill and Melinda Gates publicly announced their divorce in May, sending shockwaves across the globe.
On the morning of the 15 November 2016, I awoke in a hospital bed, with no memory of how I got there. My favourite pyjamas had been torn from my body, and I lay in a hospital gown, a piercing pain in my head, impaling my brain. I was barely able to think and incapable of speech. I was scared, though this was no surprise. My new normal comprised of regular hospital visits and multiple near-death experiences. I was trapped in a routine of near-monthly sprints to the emergency room, and days of recovery. Death was a very close neighbour.
As we look at ourselves from the outside, taking our life seriously becomes difficult. This loss of confidence, as well as the attempt to regain it, are both matters related to the meaning of life. – Thomas Nagel, View from Nowhere