Anthony Lewis

Humans are probably the first creatures that have evolved both a direct awareness of our own mortality and, through language, to be able to communicate the brute absurdity of our inevitable non-existence.

I would have loved to have been at the campfires of our ancestors as they collectively shared the emerging realisation that our embodied existence in this world is contingent and that our inevitable demise is a certainty. What a shocker!

This salience about our own individual non-existence is a scary thing for all of us at a deep, personal, subjective, emotional level. Our cognitive abilities have not really evolved sufficiently for any of us to truly touch directly at a deep level our own non-existence. None of us can physically kiss our own elbows, and likewise none of us can directly experience our own non-existence.

The resultant existential terrors have been a fertile ground for religions and all sorts of explanations that humans have developed throughout the ages to assuage our fears. We find our own paths to make the most of our lives – that brief moment in eternity when the light bulb of our own unique existence shines brightly as the filling in a dark sandwich of non existence marked by our birth and death!

This is why I am a humanist, a geoscientist, a husband, a friend, and a volunteer. I chose to focus on this one precious life that I experience directly and know about. I face squarely the mystery of existence authentically and with humour, and defy those who profess to know the answers as probably deluded. I yearn to live the most authentic, connected life I can, in all its glory and chaos, for myself and others, acknowledging honestly that this is all there is. This is it. Make the most of it.