CONJUNCTIONS:51, Fall 2008

The Meaning of Life
Tom Robbins

                                                                                       
THE SEARCH FOR MEANING is not a whole lot different than the yearning for certainty, which is to say, an unsuitable pursuit for any who might aspire to nimbleness of mind, amplitude of soul, or freedom of spirit.
    Our human purpose, inasmuch as we have a purpose, is to consciously, deliberately evolve toward a wiser, more liberated, and luminous state of being; to return to Eden, make friends with the snake, and set up our computers among the wild apple trees. When there’s meaning in this, it’s because individuals created that meaning to their own specifications, rather than discovering an intrinsic, universal secret.
    Deep down, all of us are probably aware that some kind of mystical evolution—a melding into the godhead, into love—is our true task. Yet we suppress the notion with considerable force because to admit it is to acknowledge that most of our political gyrations, religious dogmas, social ambitions, and financial ploys are not merely counterproductive but trivial.
    Our mission, then, is to jettison those pointless preoccupations and take on once again the primordial cargo of inexhaustible ecstasy. Or, barring that, to turn out a good thin-crust pizza and a strong glass of beer.
    Now, despite the absence of a single pixel of verifiable evidence, the pious maintain that there’s an afterlife in which the tap is eternally open, the oven forever hot. However, since their tap would doubtlessly dribble only lemonade, and since those of us who’ve broken their rules would end up inside their oven, it’s probably best that we eat, drink, love, and strive for higher consciousness in this one life we can actually count on, leaving the gamble on postmortem fulfillment to those who find earthly existence to be overly carbonated, too fraught with garlic and spice.