Is the goal of existence, the end, an epiphany—a vision, as it were of God—as in “I see you”? Or is the goal of existence rational coping with passing appearances, seeking to enjoy one’s existential freedom and independence from the (opaque and non-talking) Ground of Being for however long one can manage to stay alive?
It seems to me that the global capitalist economy is devoted to servicing the latter goal, and people, even as they try to enjoy consumer hedonism as best they can, find this way of being in the world essentially chaotic and unsatisfying, and so turn to religion, at least once a week, as a port in the storm. There is a sense in most people that there simply has to be more to life than news, weather, and sports—and the freedom to switch the dial between them.
I share this intuition, though I can’t say that I trust it.
Still, I think that undirected existential freedom focused on individual preference and aversion is probably not the last word. There is almost certainly some Ground of Being—some ultimate source for existence and love—that it wouldn’t hurt human beings to daily remember and orient to. And this orientation carries the hope that at the end is some sort of culminating vision, a dropping away, as it were, of a curtain, as when Paul famously says in 1 Corinthians 13:
For now we see through a glass dimly, but then face to face.
Do you ever orient your mind—in meditation, reflection, prayer, or gratitude—toward the ontological mystery and love, or are you satisfied with the idea that the universe appears to have no purpose at all?