I have undertaken this project for those people, like myself, who want to believe that their lives are innately meaningful. Many people shudder at the thought that existence is without purpose and that it may be, at its core, utterly meaningless. Our fearful response to such thoughts is not always related to a concern for our own mortality but to a deep sadness that our lives, our actions, our beautiful inventions, mean nothing.
Religion has often become the refuge for those who seek to place meaning at the heart of their experience. Religion provides an understanding of the world that chases away the abyss of meaninglessness that surrounds the more secular and scientific understandings of existence. But religion is far from perfect. Most religions are growing frailer because of their inability to evolve. Religions are often obsessively attached to their founders and their original writings that they have become overburdened with history and interpretation. This may not have been too problematic when the world was big and there was little or no information on competing theories of existence. Today, the world is small and information is everywhere.
Our entire life fits within one small moment. It is difficult to establish just how big this moment is. We live between the edge of the future and the beginning of the past. We occupy this boundary our entire lives. We can move neither into the future nor into the past. Our experience of this moment is all we have. This single moment of experience slides through time with us as its passenger. As we slide into the future it becomes the present for a short while before becoming our past.
Our moment is furnished throughout our lives by a variety of people, objects and events. It is littered with artefacts form the past: books, ornaments, photos, memories… and ideas about the future. We live surrounded by stories embodied in our collected relics. It is in our one moment that we encounter the divine. First as a stranger and then over time, as a friend.