Most people live their entire lives without ever reaching the next step, the higher level. Though it may be subtle, we are all told how to live from a very young age. We go to school, spend time with friends and start to enjoy certain things with those friends, many of which require money. We begin to think about how we can make enough money to do those things, so we focus in school on exactly that. We grow up and get that money, we get to do some of those things and then we die. And over the course of our lives, we lose sight of the original goal we had: happiness.
I am convinced that as young children, we are the smartest, the purest. We have a view of the world that is untainted by the goals and desires of others. We carry the truth in the tiny palms of our tiny hands, confident that growing up will not be able to tear them from our grasps. And it does not. But as we get older, we choose to loosen our grips on them, no longer giving the same value to higher understanding as we did when we were children. Eventually, we drop the contents of our hands all together. Maturity does not tear the truth from our palms; we abandon it ourselves.
And so, with empty hands, we get jobs and families and money and mortgages. We get what we thought we wanted — for some people exactly what we thought we wanted — and then are left with a most peculiar feeling. Somewhere along the way, we must have messed up. Here we are, with everything we could have hoped for, unfulfilled.
Many of us return to the palms of our childhood, trying to pick up the pieces of truth that we once knew. But we can’t, and so we don’t. We continue our lives with the feeling that something is missing. We live with a void. Something, out of all the possible everythings, was lost from the recipe of our lives. We thought we had all the ingredients, but it doesn’t taste like we had hoped.
So we start experimenting. We add exotic ingredients to the recipe, unrestrained by our desperate hunger. Some people read books extensively, searching for a word or page that will fill their personal abyss. Some go to drugs, hoping that the temporary pleasure will fill the gap in their lives. Some never acknowledge the void at all, claiming that the rationality of science or the power of another’s love is enough to complete their lives. But I believe they are lying to themselves. We all live with this void.
It is the feeling that something is still missing, and we don’t know how we could have ever let it slip away. But here we are-with map in hand, exactly where we wanted to be — lost. There is an aching emptiness in some category of our souls that we can’t seem to fill. We try not to think about it, but when we do, it scares us senseless. So we fill the void with something, anything.
And that, I would argue, is why so many people believe in God.