Take a look at this picture:
What do you see? Words? And yet there are no words. Your hunger for meaning invented the words. The words exist only in your mind.
Place a human being in a world without design or purpose and what is the result? An endless quest for meaning. People invent their own meaning. We find God, we discover spirituality, we peer into the esoteric, we unearth the occult. We invent stories that explain how God made the world in 7 days, or how Zeus impregnated Danae. We are so good at this, we just can’t stop ourselves.
Ask a thousand people what God or spirituality means to them, and you’ll get a thousand different answers, despite the desire of organised religions to impose uniformity of belief and to stamp out heresy.
What if the true secret of the universe was that there is no secret? There’s no God waiting to be worshipped. There are no ancestors waiting for us to join them in heaven. There is no universal force, and magic is for Harry Potter.
What do these numbers mean?
Are they the word of God or are they just random numbers?
What is hidden in this familiar sequence?
Perhaps nothing. But that’s so hard to accept.
The lure of the esoteric is strong. Everyone wants to belong to a secret club. If the prize on offer is the secret of life itself, then the temptation is too intoxicating to resist.
If you’re searching for spirituality, that’s totally understandable. Billions have searched before. But believing in the occult, the supernatural or the esoteric is a persistence in the face of the obvious truth.
Always we are looking for meaning. To be told there is none is plain cruel. But perhaps it is the truth.
But for a happier alternative ending to my quest for the spiritual, tune in tomorrow for part 4.