"..The trouble is, some of us can't seem to stop worrying about an afterlife that we don't really believe in, and as a result the toadstools of neurosis spring up in the dark labyrinth of our psyches. On the one hand, when we momentarily break free from the snaky coils of childhood teachings, we find ourselves fretting about our apostasy. On the other hand, when we sheepishly return to orthodox reverence, our self-respect is automatically diminished, and we regret the opportunities for personal growth and adventure that we are missing. Most of us need to be much tougher-minded, more resolute in rejecting the bribes of the afterlife. Once definitely done with our adolescent longing for the Absolute, we would find this world valuable after all--and poignantly valuable precisely because it is not eternal. Doomed to extinction, our loves, our work, our friendship, our tastes are all painfully precious. We look about us, on the streets and in the subways, and discover that we are beautiful because we are mortal, priceless because we are so rare in the universe and so fleeting. Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have--and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life."