This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The answer to the question is us

Having spent a great deal of time examining the ‘question’ with which man is concerned, and in light of all that we’ve said about knowledge, the sense of the transcendent, and the purpose and meaning of religion, we can restate the issue as follows:

The more we examine the question the more we feel that it is not some much a curiosity about a reality that we’d like to know about, but is felt as an immediate compulsion to know what we are to do. We do not want to know the meaning of everything just to be able to entertain an abstract thought about it, but in order to know accomplish a task that we feel has been delegated to us. Our great drive to understand is for the sake of knowing how to live. We want to know the purpose of things because we sense that we are here to fulfill a purpose.

We spend so much time asking questions and nothing satisfies because when we finally understand, we realize that it is not a question we need to ask God, but rather we have always known that it was He who posed a question to us. His existence is not the mystery—it is the immediately obvious reality. Ours is the mystery, the meaning of my life and my purpose are the things which create in me so much tension. I ask because I know that something is asked of me, and I am striving to sense what exactly that is.

This is part of the pain that comes with an awareness of transcendence not buttressed by affiliation with a religion: it is to know that we have been delegated a sublime task but never to be able to know what that is. It is the part of religion, based on Revelation, to provide that guidance: religion is not God, it is the answer to what God asks of us.

In the end, it was not necessary to come into possession of concepts after all, but to come into possession of the divine commands we must carry out in order to feel like we have answered the call that we tried for so long to properly hear.

We end by realizing that we do not have the question, but it is God who poses the question: I am the answer. Or rather, it is up to me to be the answer, or to decline.

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