I recently received this question by e-mail:- “Does anything in this life matter?”
Well, firstly it depends on what is meant by the question. Nothing has any meaning beyond what it is in itself, so all the grand stories about life having a meaning or purpose are empty. Most of these stories are religious or spiritual but there are secular stories as well to do with science, philosophy and politics. They suggest that we are moving towards a future which in some way will be better than what’s happening now, a future which never arrives. This creates a problem:- as long as we are entranced by these stories, it is difficult for us to appreciate the simplicity of what is. When this is realised, we may be able to relax and value what is actually going on instead of being lost in a story in our head.
In this sense, nothing matters.
However, individuals have preferences about life so in that sense certain things may matter to us very much. It may matter to us that our children are happy, that our friends are healthy, or even that there is enough marmalade in the pot for our breakfast. In that way, many things may matter. But none of them have any meaning or add any purpose to the universe. The universe doesn’t need any meaning or purpose added to it because it is already whole and complete.