A man sits on the ledge of a high mountain. Out in front and below him a great chasm marks the separation between the precipice and the ground. Behind him lies the forest and a path that winds down the mountain to his transportation. One way leads to certain death and one way leads to life. But, which way is it? Is there life behind him? Indeed, does he even have life where he sits?
Man is made of a collection of atoms. All of his hopes and dreams, thoughts and actions are the byproduct of matter and energy moving from one place to another. Man’s behavior is controlled by pre-existing factors he doesn’t understand. He does not genuinely exist as a real person who makes his own choices; his choices were already predetermined. There is no life in him. There is just the illusion of perceived life. He is actually a puppet moved by the strings of the universe. The only thing that genuinely exists is the universe, except that it is dead. Peter Atkins so aptly describes the universe’s current existence as “nothing”. It’s positive and negative energies have the same force and both cancel each other out, so there is nothing that exists. Lawrence Krauss adds to this and explains how the universe came from nothing at all. The man on the precipice is dead where he stands. It makes no difference whether he goes forward or backward. Whatever direction he goes, could not have chosen otherwise. He is nothing that in the end goes to nothing and came from nothing.
Man and the universe is made by Life itself. The Life is the Light which makes the light which makes the day; and the Life is the light that lightens every man that comes into existence. The universe is not dead, but is living. It began with Life and continues to exist by that Life; and the universe is the eternal language of that Life infused with meaning and written to man. Man himself is co-creator with the Life, and is given the gift of freedom to make his own choice – to be his own person. The eternally existent Intellect, Will and Imagination from which the man flowed and came into being, repeats every moment Its eternal act of creation within the man’s finite mind – essentially instilling Its image upon the man giving him intellect, will, and imagination. Life is running throughout the universe and flowing within and without the man. Therefore it makes a difference whether the man squanders his life-gift, or whether he preserves it. Life is within him and behind him in the path through the forest.