“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.”
-Carl Sagan, acclaimed astrophysicist & father of modern skepticism, The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)
A Question I’ve Long Pondered:
Why am I born who I am?
Come on, it’s not like I don’t know how babies are made, but I’m asking this from a deeper level—why am I born as a male human being, in this country, to these parents? Why not in Zimbabwe, or Syria, or even North Korea? Why not an elephant for that matter, a soaring blue jay, or an advanced alien race, at the other end of the Milky Way?
Who is the “I” in this case I treasure so deeply? Because to me, this identity has to be something more than simply the symbols that my parents assigned since arriving to this world.
In other words: why am I me and why are you you?
And why are we both alive right now, as intelligent beings on a beautiful planet among billions of others in this galaxy?
Unfortunately, we as a humanity are at the mercy of a paradoxical existence: As much as we come to know our bodies, identifying with it as we are told, we can never shift outside of ourselves, and look directly into our soul. As such, it wasn’t long before I was made to forget this question that others would consider so strange, knowing simply:
“My name is Mark. This is me! I come from a Roman Catholic family. And I am only seven years old.”
Oh but I hated Sunday school! And that’s putting it lightly. My twin and I would devise all sorts of ways to escape this religious instruction, and it is no wonder I was not prepared in the least for my first communion . . .