In one’s life, the question may arise, “Why do I exist?” External circumstances may have given rise to it. For example, a loved one may have died, or life plans may have been thwarted, or a fatal illness may have broken out.
But even without a recognisable cause, the question can arise, and with existential power: Why do I exist? A mental answer is worthless from the outset, such as: My parents fathered me, or: I am the result of an incarnation.
Existence enters consciousness
Rather, existence enters consciousness beyond all the circumstances under which it takes place. Existence asks about itself: Why do I exist? Consciousness falters, its foundations are shaken because the question does not come from its own realm; it does not stem from the urge to want to explore the meaning of life philosophically or ideologically. The question leads to an abyss.
“One more step and I’ll go mad” – a sensation like this can occur.
Everyone is aware that they exist, but consciousness cannot grasp its own roots, the reason for its existence. To do so, it would have to pull the ground out from under its own feet and plunge into non-being, into non-existence.
And yet the question forces itself upon it, unbidden: Why does the world, life, me exist?
This question has come upon me in my youth, and through it I got to know the inner abyss. And it opened my eyes to the fact that there is probably such an abyss in every human being.
“ Adam, where are you? “
“Adam, where are you?” This is a similar question; it is asked in Genesis of the Old Testament (Gen. 3, 9). After experiencing the abyss, the answer could be, “I am here, on this side of nothingness.”
Every human being seeks safe ground. Our life consists in large part of consolidating ourselves. This in itself should make us suspicious. Is our existence not fixed and secure from the outset? No, it is neither on the outside nor on the inside. That is why we build ourselves up as an ego, seek protection in communities, wage our struggle for life, individually and collectively, accumulate material and immaterial values. We “clothe” ourselves with matter, culture, religion. Do we do this (unconsciously) to avoid “existing naked”?
The moment of death shows that this is futile. It places our consciousness on the fine line between being and non-being. Where do we go, where does our I go, when we step onto the “other side”?
Our life has an open flank, a wound that does not heal. We have to live with that, and so we watch films or read books in which the abysmal works, in which it is presented to us in doses so that we can cope with it. A flood of thrillers and horror stories is surging around the world. We use them to learn to be scared, to try out dealing with death, with the abyss, to deal with the fear that is deep inside us. And of course the abyss is the great reason for religion.
But if it belongs to us, does it perhaps want to be dissolved, does it want to be “redeemed”? Does the question of existing want to push me onto a path of redemption?
To fill the abyss?
What would it be like if I accepted non-being, if I accepted the abyss, death as an integral “part” of me, and if I tried to fill it? But with what?
There is no escape. The question of existing has arisen with existential force. I have to take the step into the unknown if I still want to look myself in the face. At the same time, I suspect that after such a step I will no longer be the same. The place of my existence changes, and also the nature of my existence. And with a certain curiosity I imagine what will happen to the question of existence.
If the abyss belongs to me, the possibility of gaining myself through it, in my completeness, could be contained in it.
Philosophers cannot finally explain my existence. The step that is given to me goes beyond philosophising. With the help of a weltanschauung, I can envelop myself in “positive energies”, but it is a sham security if I leave the inner abyss untouched in the process. On an inner path, however, it is possible for me to face the “open flank”, the wound, the abyss within me.
I take advantage of the help of a spiritual group. In doing so, I soon come up against the securities I have built up and the qualities that have made my life possible so far. They stand in my way and declare, as it were: “Do you really want to lose yourself? Why don’t you keep your feet on the ground?” But the decision is made and I try to use my securities and qualities in a new way. In the beginning, they can be “servants” on my path, but clearly the path will lead me beyond them.
The fixed point in space – the Spark
The Greek mathematician and philosopher Archimedes (285-212 v.C hr.) said: “Give me a fixed point in space and I will unhinge the world.” Spiritual teachings also speak of a “point in space”, a spark of cosmic (spiritual) fire.
One night, I had been seized by it, so it seemed to me; I was “him”. Had I dreamed this? Or had I created him myself through my faith, through my alignment with him? He was there, in peace and clarity, he was “me”, as pure consciousness. Now I realise that he had announced himself in many ways beforehand, among other things, through the question of the reason for existence, but also through the experiences of light, especially at the meetings of the group I had joined.
The “fixed point in space” radiates itself, as an ideal, a question, a disturbance of the heart, as light. Its light has a special quality. When I assimilate it, when I try to apply it in my life, it transforms. It turns into soul “substance”, into “solid ground” in me. I am tempted to say: the “wave” collapses through me into a “particle”, as it is called in quantum physics.
Again and again I dare to take the step into the “sea of my darkness”, I set out, as it were, on the “night sea voyage” of which the ancients spoke, and I experience how non-being in me transforms into being. Again and again I struggle for my balance, try to gain security, gain myself as a “new land from the sea”.
Hardly imaginable dimensions
“Being human” is incomprehensible in its greatness and possibility. It seems to me that this is due to the inner abyss, the dimensions of which are immeasurable. There seems to be no end to the fulfilment we can experience when we set about filling it, when we allow the spiritual light that streams towards us to work within us, when we attune ourselves to its workings. Until now I have known myself as a mortal being. Through my steps into nothingness I experience an immortal component of “me”. A point in the transcendent shines towards me and gives me the certainty that it belongs to me. It is the guarantee that another identity, a continuing identity, lies within me in a hidden way. The more I surrender to it, the more it leads me on a path to “me”, to me as another.
Everything so far has been meaningful, has led me to maturity, to the “falling of the fruit from the tree”. All experience can now become the necessary humus in which the new can grow.
Thus, through long periods of time, without knowing it, I have been prepared for the path to nothingness. In the process, my failures, such as my futile efforts to achieve ideals, were also important. Only now do I fully realise the value and necessity of ideals. They are the impulses that now help me to fill the abyss. For they alone can form the necessary soul structures with which I win land from the void. Applied in our world, they usually lead to failure, indeed often to their opposite. On the inner path, however, they become soul forces, “substances”, like the light from which they originate.
Every human being can become a “coming human being”. Everyone can enter into “naked existence” on an inner path by leaving behind the old in a responsible way, letting it become humus to enable the birth of the new in him. Then he can be “clothed” anew.
The Goddess – cosmic love
The overwhelming experience is that in each of these steps into the unknown we are carried by love, a love that knows no limits. We need it on our way, and the special thing is: it needs us to be able to unfold fully.
A small child makes its mother happy because it needs the mother’s love completely. In the mysteries of the past, people worshipped “the Goddess”. I am now getting to know the Goddess again, the living cosmic love, the Mother, the Bride, the Beloved. She reaches out to me and encourages me to a childlike faith on my path, to an unlimited trust, a complete surrender.
It seems to me that creation rejoices when love can become effective in this way, that the miracle of transformation is waiting to be allowed to take place, the miracle in which nothingness becomes being, the abyss becomes soul.
The Son – immortal individuality
I understand the fixed point in the universe as the “Son”. In him, the “Father”, the universal creative being, the universal consciousness, individualises himself. Infinitely many of these points exist as Sparks of the Spirit. They are all one with the Father, and yet they possess individuality. They are individually and collectively the “Son”. And all mortals who are taken by him, the Son, are one in him, as also the Father and the Son are one. (John 17: 21,22). Again and again there are moments in which I feel taken by him, feel one with him. And then I am again his opposite, the other pole that listens for the call of the Eternal.
The immortal individuality, the “Son”, needs me. I am his reflection, his creature, his opposite pole. He reflects himself into me at every moment. He experiences himself in me as an individuality. It seems that he awakens to himself in me and that my awakening is his awakening. He sees himself with my eyes, he sees the world with my eyes. And my eyes in these moments become his eyes.
Should I not give myself up at every moment in order to receive myself anew through him who I am in the transcendent?
The I that I have gained on this side of the abyss is a “borrowed I”, reflection of the immortal individuality to which I belong. I have abused the reflection in a manifold way to strengthen just myself and have matured from my failures. But now I can consciously give myself to him, to the “spark of the gods”; I can give him back what I have borrowed. His joy becomes my joy. And the question of existence that had beset me? It finds its answer, it answers itself on my way to my immortal pole.
That is how I receive orientation. I had to enter the night; I had to accept my darkness in order to experience the shining of the star that belongs to me.