When asked at a cosmic scale, the answer to the question “Is this all there is?” may often be yes. Measured by the secular—in the sense of very long duration—ages that predict the heat death of the universe, the prospects for eternal meaning look dim. Measured by the storytelling genius of George Eliot, Alice Munro, and Elena Ferrante, the answer is also a kind of yes. All that there is can be found right in front of you, in the people whom you encounter in your everyday lives, on the street, in a classroom, in your home. Human relationships are not the only force in the world for change, redemptive or evil. But they are, I hazard, required for our existence.
For the ten-year anniversary of The Immanent Frame, I shared a personal reflection on mothers, daughters, and books under the Is This All There Is? theme. It can be found here.