Jean-Paul Sartre defines “existentialism” as the philosophical perspective that all meaning and purpose originates from the individual. This is one of the predominate beliefs of our day. We hear this belief articulated in words like self-realization, self-actualization, self-exploration, and so on. Deepak Chopra encourages his followers to “go inside of themselves” arguing: “All the great spiritual guides have taught that there is another level of the mind where silence dominates. If you can experience this silence, your mind begins to shift. Instead of being dominated by fear, guilt and other forms of inner pain, it is dominated by a quiet, steady state. From this state blossoms a sense of well-being and a feeling that you are safe. If you remain on the path and keep experiencing inner silence, peace dawns and then joy and bliss.
In the first four words of Genesis – the book of origins, we get our first real clue as to what the Christian response is to questions of identity, purpose, meaning. “In the beginning, God…” We don’t search for answers to life’s ultimate questions by “going inside” ourselves. We look to God, the creator-God who was there in the beginning. Find out why as together we explore Genesis 1.