Without First Cause

eric mccarty
2 min readJun 15, 2021
Without First Cause — Poetry — Headless Now — Moca McCarty Photo

Without first cause:

eventually, we are left without an answer — our every inquiry ends with the silent assurance of mystery, ineffable, and without need of knowing more. Life just is. This doesn’t negate the curiosity of science, seeking to explain the working of the world, exploring how life came to be. Philosophers too, continue to ask the deeper questions. But we know that it all arrives without first cause, spontaneous in appearance, and that the questions of why things are exactly as the are for us — will never truly be answered. Our inquiry ends without knowing.

perhaps this is hard to accept, that we need to place ultimate praise or blame on a singular source. We need God for his parental wisdom, or some karmic explanation to provide order to our world. Yet this too is just more mystery. We are back to just not knowing why, and now feign satisfaction with some infinite cosmic plan. No, our real acceptance is more straightforward — we live without need of first cause, without true knowing, and allow life to flow without requirement of either praise or blame.

life is it’s own responsibility.

this isn’t a claim to deny God’s existence, and I hope it isn’t fatalistic. It’s more a call to relax and know that life simply happens on its own. It’s all appearance and response and we are not the true cause of any of it. We just do our best through every moment. This truly is a deeper faith, that we are capable of being alive, part of life’s greater wisdom. We know only of what’s really needed, of the sun for its source of energy, air to give breath, and all the abundant gifts of life. Without wish or demand we are grateful for each moment. Without first cause we accept exactly what’s been given. There may indeed be something further to this all, an answer to every question why — but if so it’s beyond us, and giving time to this takes from the present moment.

life, right now…is what we have.





eric mccarty

Writer, prose poetry, meditation teacher and lifetime student