This life is more than a just material experience or a collection of random sensory experiences. It has a deeper and richer emotional and spiritual dimension and pattern to it that goes beyond our mortality. I believe this spiritual dimension is part of each individual and it is what we refer to when we talk of individual growth and individual freedom. And, I believe that this spiritual part of the individual is eternal. I believe we are more than just atoms and or evolutionary cells. I do not relish the logic of being a human with no soul. As Coleridge once said:
“Either we have an immortal soul, or we have not. If we have not we are beasts; first and wisest of beasts, it may be, but still true beasts.”
I believe all humans intuitively recognize and believe this on some level and that historically societies have recognized this eternal nature in some form or another, such as the Hindu concept of reincarnation. The French novelist Marcel Proust acknowledged this intution about our eternal nature when he stated:
“All that can be said is that everything in our life happens as though we entered upon it with a load of obligations in a previous existence. There is no reason arising from the conditions of our life on earth for us to consider ourselves obliged to do good, to be tactful, even to be polite…All these obligations whose sanction is not of this present life, seem to belong to a different world, founded on kindness, scruples, sacrifices, a world entirely different from this one, a world whence we emerge to be born on this earth, before returning thither, perhaps to live under the empire of those unknown laws we have obeyed because we bore their teaching within us without knowing who had taught us.”–La Prisionniere
And I believe this truth about a eternal spiritual dimension is the foundation of all other truths we seek for in this life and it is what gives a profounder meaning and purpose to our daily thoughts and actions, whether or not we believe in it. It does not need our belief to exist.
In addition, I believe this eternal spirit within each of us thrives in environments of love, freedom, and moral self-discipline and flounders in environments that our divisive, obsessed with legalities and the creation of confusion and discontent, and are morally undisciplined.