“Sweet Mystery of Life – At Last I’ve Found You,” sang Madeline Kahn near the end of “Young Frankenstein, and if you want to know what she thought it was, well, watch the movie as Terry Garr described a roll in the hay in the movie, “it’s fun, you should try it” (and no, it ain’t what you think it is).
On a more serious level, just what is the meaning/secret of life anyway? Could be many things.
Christians would have us believe that it is about accepting Jesus Christ as a personal savior and ending up in heaven. Some Christians believe in the “Once Saved Always Saved” theology, which means once the salvific act occurs, one is guaranteed a spot in heaven. Other Christians believe you have to “walk the walk” of a Christian to go to Heaven.
To the once saved, always saved crowd, the purpose (is this a secret?) would be, I guess to gather relationships and experiences to take with you to the next world, focusing on the good ones. To the “Walk the Walk” crowd, life on earth is a long test, an audition to see if you make it to Heaven.
Cyclical Religionists (those who believe in reincarnation) would have us understand that our time here should be spent doing good so we build up sufficient positive Karma to be reincarnated at a higher plane, eventually reaching the end. . .Nirvana? At the worst, it is a time of learning.
Richard Bach’s Book, “Illusions”, posed it along these lines: How do you know if you have accomplished what you were sent here to do? If you are still here, you haven’t.
Yet another way of cyclical thinking (also in Bach’s book) is that we are eternal beings and the Earth is more or less a playground, where we come periodically to experience things, much as we go to a movie. Perhaps, we will go see a romance or action movie, or a tragedy, whatever. His theory is we get to choose the type of life we experience and when it is all over, we go back to the where-ever it is we truly live, talk about our last earthly time and make plans for the next one.
Those without a belief in the afterlife believe it is about making things better for all, for enjoying the limited time we exist, changing things, leaving a legacy discovering how things work.
Yes, yes, and yes and yes. Life is all these things. To me personally, I don’t live my life trying to earn my way into Heaven. It is about family and friends and being kind to people and helping where and when you can. If there is a Heaven, perhaps this will be enough to get there.
Perhaps the best view of the secret of Life is summarized wonderfully in John Lennon’s Imagine. Now, before you Christians dismiss this out of hand, think closely about the similarities between the lyrics of this song and the things you believe Jesus said.
Yeah, John, they may say you (and I) are dreamers, but we’re not the only ones. I too, hope someday the rest will join us and the world will live as one.