Especially for secular people, or people with different theological assumptions, that is what the creation of life kind of amounts to. Scientific materialism seems to force us to admit this. And I feel that on some level modern parents compensate for this meaninglessness by investing their child with meaning through planning. You were chosen. You were fated. You were designated. They are compensating for the meaninglessness of the way conception happens by choosing it on their own and by actively bestowing that significance upon them. We are the little gods of our own children. And we extend this to everything in our lives. In our education. Where we live. What we do. How we eat. Everything imbued with meaning by the fact of being chosen. And these choices, in turn, define us back to ourselves.
So, when we have something unchosen, unplanned, uninvited, it’s a direct attack against the very core of our being. And that’s why I started out with existential terror. It is a violent feeling thing and when confronted with the possibility of such a rupture in our lives it becomes this monstrous, almost apocalyptic force and that’s very mistaken. It’s a cowardice inbred in this way of thinking about life. I had a somewhat similar experience. I got kicked out of Yale in 2010. It’s actually not an exciting story, so I won’t bore you with it. But, you know, young undergraduate Ivy League student, first generation college student gets kicked out, that’s a terrifying experience. It seems like it’s going to be life ending. It seems like it’s going to be damning. It seems like it’s going to be apocalyptic. But then, of course, as many here know, apocalypse doesn’t mean destruction, it means uncovering.