Isn't this fun? Working out the great mysteries of life. Trying to make sense of this apparent world. Formulating a means of coping with the perplexities of our unrealizable yearnings.
We are part of a great tradition which began in the caves. It may seem to have become more sophisticated and refined, and perhaps it has, but in terms of actually finding "the truth of it all" it really hasn't progressed much further than the pot-bellied stone mother-goddess.
There are many great partings-of-the-way in our interpretations of Reality, but perhaps one of the most fundamental concerns whether these interpretations really make any difference in an ultimate sense. Does getting it right or getting it wrong impact our individual eternal destiny or that of the Universe? Does it really ultimately make a difference what we believe? Does any of this really matter? We cannot know. But since we cannot know this, we also cannot know what could make a difference in our eternal destiny even if there was something that could. For this reason, I precede on the basis that it makes no difference.
That is my 'reason' for believing that there is nothing eternal at stake in how I choose to live. But that is not the most fundamental reason I hold this view. This reason is beyond reason; it is rooted in the mystical, in the subjective experience of the fundamental unity of all that is. It is the testimony of life. This is no 'proof', but it abides in a realm where no proof is required. Nor does it feel any need to convince others.
One happy consequence of dwelling on this side of the divide is that it need not condemn the other side. If it does not matter, then it doesn't matter on which side one abides. That, unfortunately, is not a position the other side of the divide can affirm. If it matters what one believes, those who do not similarly believe are 'wrong' and have committed a fatal error. From this side, that's okay. It makes one smile.
None of this is to say that what one chooses to believe in this regard, and many others, does not matter in the short-term. It does. It matters in terms of one's personal happiness and in terms of one's role in facilitating or, at least not obstructing, the happiness of others.
Yes, I unapologetically subscribe to the belief that 'happiness' is really all that matters in this life. But I need not 'believe' it or 'prove' it, since it is simply how life expresses itself in me. And yes, I also believe that there is more to the life in me than the ‘me’ that would claim it.
This personal happiness is bound up in one’s relation to the world and the happiness of others, yet ultimately it must find itself in itself, for otherwise, there would be no happiness possible, there being so little of it in the world.
Are we having fun yet? Or are we so serious, so convinced of the gravity of our beliefs, that we wear them like chains and insist on enchaining the world?
You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.