Irvin Yalom


When I step back and look at the absolute vastness of the universe in terms of both time and space, I must admit my smallness is absolutely overwhelming. In 150 years (give or take), there will be no living record that I ever even existed. All the things that occupy my narrow consciousness, will have been proven entirely inconsequential….that’s either terribly disheartening or terribly reassuring and it really depends on the day as to which side I fall on that argument. How do we mere mortals manage our finiteness in the infinity? Yalom would say, we as a species have managed this by needing meaning and being very creative in the way we develop and cultivate a meaning for ourselves. The trick is fooling ourselves into believing that that meaning came from “out there” rather than being manufactured from inside…because if we realize we are just making it up as we go along – well, we’re back to facing that infinite void in which we are but a finite speck.