As I have been getting on in years (not realizing this simply by counting the numbers, but through the loss of parents, changes in living situations, and my body not being as athletic as it was just a few years ago) I have been thinking more and more about the big questions.
Actually, there is only one question when you get to the heart of it. What is real?
By that I mean, is the universe made up of only material things that can be counted and measured? Or are there more, non-material "things" such as souls, spirits, love, justice, free-will?
I am an educated person and I real a lot and hopefully with degrees in philosophy, holistic counseling, and psychology I should be able to say something meaningful about "the big question." I read and listen to lectures regarding these topics and have come to a tentative conclusion worth sharing. Do not expect a proof or such, because that is unattainable. The best any of us can do is submit evidence and others can do what they will with it. Everyone comes with their own biased lenses in how they see the world. We can never take those lenses off, the best we can do is to be aware and try to compensate for them.
Starting with the Big Bang does nothing to support a materialist reductionistic position. If you believe that matter is all there is, then good luck on hanging your hat on this one. We are asked to believe that there was nothing (or a tiny particle) and then we have the universe. Ha ha. That makes the miracle stories in the Bible seem like childs play. The best that scientists can say is that there was a quantum fluxuation and a particle "wormed" its way into existence (out of nothing). Easier to believe that a guy turned water into wine than that one.
From there I went back to my graduate studies on quantum physics. The story gets worse. Particles that only materialize some place when they are observed, until then they are only waves existing...everywhere and nowhere. I am not going to discuss quantum physics here other than to say that our best scientists describe the universe at the quantum level as...spooky.
Where does that leave me and my quest for understanding the big question, what is real? Right where it seems I am supposed to be. My conclusion is that we are not supposed to know. But, we are supposed to wonder. We are supposed to consider these things. And in doing that I find that I do have an answer to what is real. And it is exciting and of practical daily use!
What is real? Don't fall off your chair. This is the last thing I thought I would ever say. This stuff never interests me. Here it is:
Technically speaking...its ethics. Rationally speaking...its living a moral life. Practically speaking... its being kind.
Briefly (I've already made this blog too long) here is a simple bit of evidence supporting my thoughts.
What is the most healthy diet and life style for human beings? Turns out the healthiest is also the kindest. If you don't eat animals, or consume their means of reproduction, you will live longer and healthier. (There are some of you who will disagree, but, there is so much evidence for this position that I consider it a fact and dare any one to a debate about it.) At the same time you are being kind to the planet as a whole.
Anyway, you get the point. The hard science and physical universe is a mystery beyond belief. But, that's okay, because that isn't what is most important to you. You and I want to be healthy and happy human beings. And now you know how to do it.
If I had been listening to the Dalai Lama, who said that his religion is kindness, I could have found this out a long time ago. Good luck, be kind.