I read two very different ideas on big questions today; one of the existence of God and the other the why we are here. I guess it was a day for the big questions.
The first article was from a posting I follow called Brain Pickings. It reviewed Stephen Hawking’s last book Brief Answers to Big Questions. I wasn’t going to read the article because I knew from a prior news article that at his death, Hawking didn’t believe there was a God, which isn’t my experience. But in my quest to be more open to differing views instead of assuming I understand where he is coming from, and because I found his prior books fascinating, I read it all the way to the end. I’m glad I did. Hawking sums up his book by saying, “It’s my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation: there is probably no heaven and afterlife either. I think belief in an afterlife is just wishful thinking. There is no reliable evidence for it, and it flies in the face of everything we know in science. I think that when we die we return to dust. But there’s a sense in which we live on, in our influence, and in our genes that we pass on to our children. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”
He does say earlier in the book that perhaps you could define God by the laws of nature, but based on his experience, he can’t scientifically come to a belief in anything behind the Big Bang. It’s a fascinating read on the science of his view and I came to appreciate how he arrived at it. But it still didn’t explain Love to me. Yet he does come to something else at the end of his life that we agree on entirely- gratefulness for the present moment. Now that is deep wisdom for living life on this planet that is revolving in a vast Universe!
The second reading was far more brief and it came off a picture on the wall in my kitchen, posing an answer to the question of the meaning of life.
I’m not sure why and I have no scientific evidence, but this answer always gives me joy. It might be true.