I’ve cracked it. Through the great confusion of being alive, through the moments when you become so separate that the world does not seem worthwhile, and through the moments when you are so happy that you feel as if you have become the world, there is one great love and one great fear underlying all things. It seems so obvious, and yet I have had to figure it out for myself. I believe that the greatest human fear is the fear of separation; in which case, then the greatest human love is the love of connection. Surely, then, the meaning of life is unity?
Happiness is located in connection. Think about all the times when you have been happiest and you will find that this is so. Perhaps you were at a party with your friends and were singing along to the same song together, or perhaps you were totally alone and were looking fascinatedly at the moon, or perhaps you had woken up beside someone you loved and felt a joy beyond comfort that they loved you too. Think about the places or the things that give you a consistent, recurrent happiness, such as your hometown, or your favourite film, or your best friend or siblings. Perhaps your greatest happiness is in playing football or reading a book. Whatever the case may be, whatever the depth or shape or scene of the happiness, it is because you felt connected with something that you felt happy.
When your girlfriend slips her fingers around yours in the cinema, it is to remind you that you are connected with her. When you smell the scent of a flower in a garden, it is to remind yourself that are connected with nature. When you send your friend a silly text, it is to remind her that you are connected with one another. When you so much as get out of bed in the morning, it is to remind yourself that you are part of a world that you are connected with, whatever extent you do or don’t acknowledge it.
And when we are sad, we are disconnected. When we hear about the death of a loved one, we feel disconnected. When we get bored of doing something, we feel disconnected from it. When our friend snaps at us, we feel disconnected from them.
So we can see that connection and disconnection are the two poles of happiness and unhappiness. When you are truly a part of something, when you enter into the flow of a community and gain a sense of purpose from it, you are truly in the happiest natural state you can be in. When you spend a lot of time alone then you will be melancholic and disillusioned, and if you spend a lot of time with people but still feel disconnected, then you will be even more sad. The greatest disconnection people can feel when they are alive is depression. This is where the fear of death comes from, because actually what the fear of death is is the fear of being separated from life. Similarly so with the Fear Of Missing Out: you are afraid of missing out on connection.
You can almost scan life in the sense that birth was the first disconnection, when you were first separated from your mother and the connectedness of pre-birth, and everything you have done since then is the attempt to rediscover that sense of connection. Relationships, therefore, are the seeking of connection. Sex in particular is the embodiment of connection in a relationship.
To my mind this is absolutely, almost indisputably true, and I believe that if you go through life without acknowledging that what you are seeking is unity then you simply haven’t seen it for yourself. We all feel as if we are seeking something; in fact, what you are seeking is yourself, and yourself is the world around you. In order to connect with other things you must first connect with yourself, and therein lies the unity we all surely want.
Although this will probably seem awfully profound and most likely too far-fetched for you the reader to take seriously at first, I will keep it brief. I ask that you ponder what I’m saying here for a bit, and that you think about what unity really is. It is connection with all things, from yourself, to your friends and family, to the ground and the sky outside, to the very universe itself. It includes connection with birth and death and the process of life. Think about what it might mean to connect with these things and you may well find it is like connecting with someone you previously did not get on with: whereas before they made you angry, the moment you connect over a good conversation with them you find that they are really not such a terrible person and there was nothing to be suspicious of in the first place. To connect is to understand, and to understand is to be free of suffering.
And if you really, really disagree with me, well then you can come round to my house, slam your fist on the door and give me a serious telling off about my ignorance of philosophical concepts, the futility of human life and the inherent separation of human beings in the face of a hostile and alien world. But we’ll still be talking about it, and I think that rather proves my point, don’t you?