Delving into the Intangibles

   Quo Vadis?  

At a certain age, not a few people seem driven by a strong urge to discover their roots and learn about their family’s past––something they did not think of doing when young.

Recently I heard that professional genealogists undertake research jobs at the request of clients.

My older friends living abroad are no exception: they visit the countries where they or their ancestors were born and have encounters and make unexpected discoveries. Some are thrilled to see their family stories emerge bit by bit, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and take shape.

What we gain from this is something that we are able somehow to see, which leads us to ponder, as an extension of this reconstructed past, where we are going next?
After death, for example, we would like to know: Will it be Heaven or Hell?
No one has actually gone there and reported back to us.

As there is no way of proving the immortality of the soul, it would be arrogant to claim that only the human species is privileged with it.
What about animals, plants, insects, invisible bacteria, water, and clouds, all of them animate? It is questionable whether we should consider that only one species is equipped with a spirit.

The dualism of Heaven and Hell hardly explains all the tangible things in flux through the endless circle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Where are we coming from, and where are we going: from “the dark” and back to “the dark” again?
If the phrase “the dark” sounds so pessimistic then something like “the vast universe” should be a lot more comforting. In a book by Professor Takashi Maeno of Keio University, I found the following: “If all humans live up to eighty years of age that is equivalent to 170 billion and 125th part of the time since the birth of the universe, which, in turn, corresponds to only 0.18 of a second of life in human terms.”

Given the fact that we stay in this world for only 0.18 of a “universe” second, born from the great eternal universe before rejoining it again, a reconstructed family tree, spanning several generations, appeals as an interesting jigsaw puzzle that we can know.

For the same reason, no one can give a correct answer to the larger question. I cannot answer the question but am left to stare at a black page. I have come to realize that we who are located in tangible existence cannot provide answers to intangible questions.

As one ponders, “Where did we come from, and where are we going?” the realization comes to us that “We are given life at this particular moment.” This seems to be precisely the great gift that the universe bestows on us. So we must treasure and cherish it.

The notion that we are going back on equal terms, by God who are even handed, to the vast universe provides us with a sense of relief.

If I have made up my mind to give myself to the plan of the universe without impatiently striving for a quick answer, it may be because I am feeling older. Am I getting wiser because of my age? Or is this simply resignation?
If you come up with a good answer, it will be my pleasure to refer to it.