The Mystery of Life (or, Adam’s Best Apple Pie) (Meditation With a Poem at the End!)

We are born into a life we don’t understand, then wonder how it’s going to end. It’s not very satisfying put that way!

What is it we should be doing with this life given us? Collecting something? Remembering something? What can we take with us?


candleImagine you didn’t have any memories, as if you were given a drug that made your memories start to disappear. In this case, memorized muscle movement, the most invisible memories, are most resilient, but everything else starts falling off quickly, and you awaken from sleep into a new world.

Done in segments the point is seen more easily. Imagine driving your car on the same road you take every day, but you suddenly lose memory of the location you’re at; you don’t know whether to take a right or left; you’ve never seen this place before.

When we target one thing we understand through familiarity, and make it unfamiliar – just one of the hundreds of major things we interact with in a typical day — take just one of them away – we can start to see what it might feel like to truly awaken in another world. It is as true as anything real. Your waking reality exists in your mind’s remembering.

Memories are our physical liveliness, a playground. But they are not the same thing as life.


It’s a powerful concept. Memories create a grounding that allows us to forego constantly questioning if the world is real. But if you found yourself in your car one Tuesday afternoon wondering where you were, amazed you were driving (memorized muscle movement) but just staying within the lines on the road; no idea where you were … and then re-awoke to your memories and remembered everything … you might also have a sudden new respect for your mind’s passive routines. And might start to realize … your memories make up your world. You can call it awareness, but it’s the same thing as your entire world.

But we can see, in systematic memory loss, a fascinating disconnection of awareness and physical energy.


The memory loss idea can be a gateway to understanding death, the greatest mystery! All you have to do is add more layers to what you forget; in other words, imagine you’re in a safe place, home, and you don’t need to move; you’re just sitting, your mind doing as little as possible. Then imagine you begin to lose memories of location and history.

You’ve never been here before, but it’s a nice place! You hear the wind and wonder what it is; a cricket and bird, not knowing what sort of creature is making the sounds. The world of a baby.

This multi-layer loss of memory starts to seem like a new life, and in a surprisingly harmless, non-threatening way.

Taking away consciousness seems neither painful nor sad. When memory is lost, for example in a patient with dementia, each forgotten detail is simply one less thing to worry about, a removal of connection to the physical experience.


Is the meditation too big a leap, though? Is it all just in my imagination? Could it never be studied?

Nature answers: take a look! God gives us the same gateway to examine every night when we accept, each day, falling to sleep. Is He reassuring us death is just as comfortable and safe to the soul as a good night’s sleep?

Could He make the message more clear if He yelled?

Every morning we wake, and … it wasn’t so bad!

If we heard the voice of God as we fell off the night before, might we have called out “no, no, I don’t want to go to this different state of consciousness which I don’t understand when I’m awake! I don’t want to because because I’m scared!” And then after that happened day after day, might we eventually concede, even though we still don’t understand … it’s not so bad!

Human awareness and intelligence thrives, even though all is forgone during the nightly sleep ritual, and despite even our smartest don’t understand it. We take our memories with us into sleep, but what we do with them while sleeping we don’t know. Upon morning reboot all is back to normal … seamlessly!

We’ve gone around the circle of life; we have a total loss experience every end-of-day, and all we really complain about is sometimes it’s not vivid enough, and sometimes we don’t get enough of it! The biggest difference, maybe the only one that matters, between end-of-day and end-of-life is one is proven and the other isn’t; death is speculative.


That’s an important distinction! But what does Nature say?

She says She dies every year, don’t we see it? She says vegetation comes back to life, and its return keeps us alive! She says we can live forever, too, but as mortal souls are in training; She says the story of Eden is true; we must die!

Next time you look at an apple, take it and carry it around for awhile. Show it around. Polish it. God put all the answers within the garden; life’s a grand jigsaw puzzle. You are allowed to eat the apples, though, now … it’s okay, I promise!

But there’s a catch.

We, says the Bible, have to die because we wouldn’t get along with each other very well if we didn’t. It’s Adam’s curse; it’s why we’re mortal. Immortality would be too much for us.

It’s not hard to understand!

While you’re here, take the joyride. Eat the apples. Be honest and a good friend. Sleep, dream, wonder; then … dream some more.


When I was small I got down on my knees
A little too little for the birds and the bees
But seeing an apple fall from a tree
I wanted to know how to truly be free …

Sometimes I wonder how big is the sea
God, I said, tell me this mystery!
I asked Him please, Father help me succeed
Give me a clue of the things I will need

In this beautiful garden under Your sky
What can I do to be ready to die?
He said use any ingredients you think will fly
Because you will be judged for your best apple pie!

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