Wonder and awe is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, if my memory of catechism serves correctly.
I think that the human propensity to live in mystery is what makes it all make sense- or rather, gives it meaning.
My dude said that life has the meaning that you give to it. Very Jean Paul Sartre. But I think that even this existentialist answer in itself points to the larger issue- we just don’t really KNOW what’s out there. We have to assign a meaning on our own, based off what we individually choose, based off our individual perceptions in the world.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think the mystics had it right. The Sufis, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, all those people whose earthly experience took on a celestial tinge.
I heard a second quote Kazantzakis quote, referring to St Francis:” Man is the arrow, God is the abyss…JUMP!”
In my one human lifetime, even if I had infinite time and resources, or even if I could live forever, I could not KNOW all there was to know. Not even in a thousand lifetimes. I couldn’t study all there is to be studied, or travel to every beautiful place, or speak every tongue that ever was or will be. We as humans have this handy construct of past, present, and future, because we need to create such abstractions in order to cope with this vast unknowing.
If we could contain all that was, we would know the real names of things, and maybe those things wouldn’t seem so separate.
I am not a mystic- I don’t fast or do spiritual exercises, and I don’t feel compelled to be at one with God (who, let’s be honest, is the biggest mystery of all- is He/She there or not, what is He/She like, etc…) like a monk or sister in this life.
Maybe most people are ok with not knowing, and maybe some of us are pilgrims/scientists trying to figure out all the life that is on this earth we are journeying on for a brief time.
But ask yourself- do you really want to know everything about your own life? Do you want to know what’s coming next? Do you want to never be surprised? Do you want to just live every second of your life knowing EXACTLY what would follow?
i don’t. Much as I like to know everything I can, and travel every where I can, I don’t absolutely want to know. Much as I become neurotic and forget my wonder sometimes.
Would you really like a concrete answer to the meaning of life? Would you like to know it the way you know your ABCs, times tables, or how to get home?
Maybe this is all too big and grandiose, but I don’t think existential questions have to be scary. I think we can just admit, “well, I don’t know.” And how you handle that shows you what meaning you are creating, and maybe brings you a little closer to God, the unknown, too.