My grandparents – I’ve been staying with them for the past week – seem to live in such a way that they are living to continue living and to see their grandchildren “succeed in life”. But it’s not exactly clear what it means to succeed in life. And what does it mean that they are living to continue living? Have they already succeeded and this is their reward: watching those they love also take steps to succeed? Or did they fail to succeed and this is their consolation: watching those they love also take steps to succeed? Or maybe, they are still on the journey just a few decades ahead, trying in their own right to “succeed in life”.
What does it mean to succeed in life?
Can you fail in life?
There is certainly a way to create and inhabit hell on earth – surely that would be failure, right?
So maybe success is moving away from hell on earth?
But then you die.
I can’t conceive of succeeding in life without contemplating life-after-death. Isn’t that life’s span going to be much longer than the span of life before death? I guess it wouldn’t be if it didn’t exist at all [or if it did exist but just happened to be shorter – can time even be measured after death? Isn’t time just an construct by which we measure the distance between successive iterations of ordinally linked timespace?]…
If you don’t exist at all after you die, does what you do before you die really matter to you? No. It only matters to you as long as you are alive.
So, in my estimation it’s life-after-death or nihilism (or numbing addictions/distractions).
Which brings me back to the starting sentence of this paragraph, “I can’t conceive of succeeding in life without contemplating life-after-death.”
If there is life-after-death, that’s got to be one of the greatest inquiries of the age. Can it be prepared for on this side? Is it static?
Who can know these things?
Does succeeding in life mean adequately discerning the nature of life after death and preparing for it? Surely that must be the bottom rung without which there is only failure… right?