The Mystery Of Life (And What To Do About It)

There’s a mind beyond the brain which we sometimes call our “consciousness” or our “spirit.” From the perspective of the hard sciences it doesn’t exist. But there are some clues that it does exist. What we know of it is much more a matter of personal experience though. What we sometimes refer to as intuition, epiphanies and revelations. Even psychic and prophetic abilities.

Even what we experience as the physical or material world is actually non-physical and non-material at the quantum level. What we regard as “matter” actually only is so according to the perception of the observer. Everything otherwise exists as what physicists call “probability waves.” Or as physicist Niels Bohr said “everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

Neuroscientists have developed methods to detect and even to some extent observe thought and emotional activity in the brain and can even influence certain thoughts and behaviors. But they have not been able to explain how it can also work in reverse — how a person can influence their own brain and control their thoughts. Hence the “mind beyond the brain.”

And that is the great mystery of life. That we and everything we experience is beyond what it appears to be. That we are not just our DNA. That we have a higher existence. It’s our connection to what or who we call God.

But we don’t need to fully understand this mystery. What’s most important is that we accept it the way that it is. If your queries about the nature of reality cause you a lot of stress, let them go for a while. Anything you need to know will come to you when the time is right.

Science tells us a lot about how things are, but does little if anything to tell us why things are. And the study of metaphysics, as interesting as it is, is peripheral to the art of living in the now and finding peace among the challenges of day-to-day life.

Life is full of tough questions. Some of which we can answer, others we can’t. We shouldn’t shrink from facing these questions, but after a while it’s okay to let them go — to make peace with them. At some point we have to get on with living the life that’s in front of us each day and let some of the mysteries remain mysteries. 

It’s important to contemplate the mysteries of life, but don’t let it make you unhappy. If it’s making you unhappy, you are probably over-thinking it. Let it go for a while and focus on what you already know and understand.

We can torment ourselves with questions we’ll likely never find answers for or we can let them go and find a reason to appreciate being alive in the moment. One thing that we do know is that life is fragile and short and all we really have for sure is this moment.

In his book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning cited a story about a man who asked Mother Teresa to pray for him to have greater clarity and how she said to the man “clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When he said that she seemed to have the clarity he wanted, she laughed and said “I have never had clarity, what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”