There is a human need to understand our lives along strong and clear narrative lines. Two ways to acquire such a narrative:
- Live an interesting, outgoing life where you collect personal experiences that can be told to others. By telling stories from your life, you simultaneously gain a narrative of it for yourself. Without reflection, you become the author and protagonist of your own life story.
- Invent a narrative, or accept one presented to you by another, and believe in it. Become a believer. This option is traditionally associated with religion.
I wonder if there is a statistical correlation between being an atheist or materialist and living an interesting life. Personally, I do think the fact that my life is uninteresting to the people I know and talk to, significantly contributes to my fascination – dare I say, attraction – to religious belief.
Added: I guess a third option is to write a particular kind of diary.
Only the fewest of us will manage to go through life without losing our minds – if not to psychedelic drugs or radical philosophy, then to ambition or the rhythm of habit. Or to each other.