To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of Life.
This is the fictional motto of Life magazine in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was a feel good movie that advocates for making the most out of the lives we have. One key ingredient I think it misses is laughter, but otherwise it’s good advice for freethinkers. It applies to everyone that understands this moment in time, this one physical existence, is all we truly know we have.
Anything beyond this universe is wishful thinking and fantasy. Walter Mitty often zoned out and lived in fantasies beyond his mundane existence. He didn’t fully live and feel his most alive until he went beyond his fantasies and went on true adventures that rivaled the fictions he created for himself. The real moments were so much more vivid, impressive, and satisfying because they were real.
The Sean Penn character of Sean O’Connell really captures the truth about the beauty of life and our existence when he said, “beautiful things don’t ask for attention.” I think that aspect of the movie speaks to the human relationship with religions which don’t just beg for our attention; they practically demand it.
You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure (Worship), You Were Formed for God’s Family (Fellowship), You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship), You Were Shaped for Serving God (Ministry), You Were Made for a Mission (Mission)
The quote above is Rick Warren’s religious view of a Purpose Driven Life. It really sucks. It distracts people from their reality and tries to refocus them on fantasies outside our universe and wishful thinking outside our actual lives.
Yes, a Heaven and eternal life might be nice. However, it’s the type of thing nobody can give you a guarantee for its existence. It makes little sense that a god would pluck you out of an eternal Heaven to live one little blip of a human life in this universe and reward you with going back to your eternal existence. It makes even less sense that our purpose is to worship an egotistical god and spread a religion among the same souls that were also momentarily pushed into human existence. If we’re really eternal souls, then why bother with this human life?
If that weird fantasy is real then I could also imagine the same god pushing us into a million lives in a million different beings and universes beyond our comprehension. Why not keep doing it to us for the worship and entertainment value? If so, then maybe we’re more entertaining if we don’t blindly worship such a god and the real test is how gullible we are to believe religious nonsense. Maybe “human” isn’t an important form in our eternal existence. Maybe a selfish and jealous god isn’t worthy of our worship… but that would assume such a god is believable.
I really believe that the religions that appear to be an invention of primitive imagination simply are what they appear to be. Each religion is a fiction that proves all others are false and ends up making the whole mess of them false. What we do have is this life and the real moments we live. You may choose to keep to your zoned out fantasies like the early Walter Mitty, but I’d prefer to be the man he became at the end when he really started to live his life to the fullest.