Matthew D. Hutcheson’s Explanation of Life
This excerpt is from a June 13, 2021 email written by Matthew D. Hutcheson to his family. It recounts a conversation with a group of men struggling with feelings of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about life.
“What you seek is not philosophical in nature. Philosophy has, for the most part, failed to answer humanity’s most difficult questions. It has provided few meaningful answers. In other words, philosophy is nothing more than a series of endless arguments and fallacious questions into intractable problems (even though I love philosophy and that I am sometimes called a philosopher by others). There are very few helpful philosophical ideas. What you need is a spiritual solution.
“There is a point of destination coming in each of your lives. A point of arrival. It will not happen during your mortality here on earth, but as the sun rises, and the universe moves, that point of arrival is coming.
“Every event and experience in your life has a purpose. It is to prepare you for the ‘point of arrival.’ So, the purpose of this earth-experience; this mortal experience, is preparation. The purpose of the preparation is to make us compatible with the destination. Your mother’s womb prepared you for birth. Your birth prepared you for experience in this life. Your life’s experiences build upon each other to prepare you for understanding. Your understanding expands, point-to-point, line-upon-line, grade-upon-grade. Elementary school prepares you for middle; middle for high; high for higher; higher for enlightenment. But even enlightenment is not the destination. There are more preparations to be had. Hardship and vicissitude animates virtue – which makes us compatible with the destination. Our body, and all its functions we experience here, will function and be experienced there. We will not digress in that regard. Our body will play a pivotal role in our joy there. In the universe, there are opposing forces locked in conflict. Gravity opposes light. Cold opposes heat. Entropy opposes genesis. Space opposes time. In other words, opposition makes preparation in the way vicissitude makes virtue. Opposition invokes struggle. Struggle yields moral growth and intellectual insight. As sure as your next breath you are preparing for the destination that is coming. Preparation is the purpose. Suffering and opposition play a critically important role in our compatibility with that glorious destination. This earth is not the end, but merely training grounds; a stepping stool. Your preparation through these means is not random or chaos. It is calculated by a power higher than man’s power, an authority higher than man’s authority, and enlightenment higher than man’s enlightenment. Your preparation is required to be part of the orderly society that awaits us. This earthy experience is not disorder or chaos. It is calculated and necessary to prepare us.
“William Molyneux (1656-98) was an Irish scientist and politician who presented a question his his colleagues. ‘Imagine someone, completely blind from birth, who has been able to explore both a cube and a sphere by touch. The blind person eventually is able to identify and name each object. Suddenly, the blind person regains his sight and sees the two objects before him. Will he be able to identify by sight alone which object is which?’
“This question has perplexed philosophers ever since. The point is that in order to fully understand the nature of something, it needs to be experienced in multiple ways. To prepare us for a glorious life hereafter – the destination to come – one must experience all ‘objects’ in every different context, form, opposing concept, good, bad, easy, difficult, pain, pleasure, suffering, ups, downs, triumph, and defeat. We are complex beings, and it requires a complex process to prepare us for an unspeakably amazing destination. But let the process work. It’s not chaos, it is preparation. It is not unfair, it is dynamic. It is not cruel, it is virtue-awakening. As painful as life can be, understanding this fills me with joyful anticipation and excitement. There is nothing quite so satisfying as knowing I am being prepared for something great to come.
“Preparation. Such a comforting thing. The destination must be glorious beyond all description for the preparation to be so rigorous. I am thankful for it. And that, gratitude for preparation, coupled with the insight conveyed here, is how one defeats life’s traumatic blows.”
© 2021 Matthew D. Hutcheson