When I was young I admired people who were on a spiritual quest, who wanted to find out meaning and value in their lives.
I don't mean people who wanted to be priests or sought out a church every Sunday morning. That seemed to be just another route into the spiralling sinkhole of confusion. I am talking about those whose eyes were turning to the East for enlightenment, those whose attention was turning inward for peace, meaning and security. They were my heroes even though I wasn't following in their footsteps.
Herman Hesse's Siddhartha and the desert-wandering Carlos Castaneda seemed like people on a real journey – and it wasn't any sort of a package holiday. Kubrick and Clarke's astro-voyager Dave Bowman looked like somebody who was really finding something important – and he wasn't staying at home to get it. Travel looked like the key to getting there. And getting there meant getting the knowledge that was beyond just life skills, cooking lessons and tire rotation.
But for myself, I thought, best to do this later. "Spiritual meaning is something for later in life. Life is to be lived when you are young. And a life well lived will deliver meaning." That was my philosophy: worry about meaning when you are knocking on heaven's door.
But for each us who are seekers, the questions remain. When is the time to seek? When is the time to find? What are we here for?
Do you want to know a secret?
We are all a part of something greater. We are each a stitch in a fabric which is stretching across an infinite universe. It has folds and pleats and a design of such delicate beauty created by the warp and weft of each thread. Everything is connected – including you and me.
Most people are procrastinators. They put off their homework until Sunday night. They clean the house only when guests are expected. They seek the meaning of life only when death is calling.
Troubles make us seek solutions. Crises give us cause to find truth. But why wait?
We each have a choice: to live a shallow life, bouncing about at the whims of others on the current of mundane events or we can seek out the deep end of the pool, know who we are and live a life secured by that knowledge.
If life is a journey of discovery, why not figure it out now and have a richer time of it? Why not become the thing that you want to be, your true self, rather another soul lost in the crowd?
Don't ignore the inner call until you are too old to remember the question.
"Open the pod bay doors, Hal." Let's begin the real journey.