A philosophy tells you how to live your life. A religion tells you what happens to you when you die.

My philosophy changes from time to time, but I can say with straight-faced sincerity that my religion is Pac-Man. Pac-Man, though a simple game created by a man, is a useful symbol of life. You are deposited in a carefully regimented and yet chaotic world with no instructions. You collect objects of arbitrary value, hounded by dangers on all sides until they finally, inevitably overcome you, resulting in your death.

I wonder, does Pac-Man ponder the meaning of his brief electronic existence? This is why I don't believe in an infinite heaven or an infinite hell. What if each of us was given only one game of Pac-Man which, depending on how you played, would decide your fate forever, either in an endless land flowing with pellets and cherries or in a dank and pixellated pit of torment?

Of course, that may well be exactly what happens when we die. I have no idea, just as Pac-Man has no idea. However, in a life where nothing is certain and all outcomes could be equally likely, I prefer to think of life as a game; as something that I, in fact, agreed to before I was born. That I agreed to all of the inherent rules: the uncertainty, the suffering, the weirdness, the doubt. That when I take that final wrong turn and the ghosts overtake me, I'll post up my initials next to a fat high score and die happy, soon to awaken in the celestial arcade, with quarters in my pocket and more games to be played.

              "and there would be no fires burning
                      in the hellish holes below
     in which I might have stepped
              nor any altars in the sky except
                            fountains of imagination"
                              -- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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