Well before dawn today.
Contemplating the question of our lives. This challenge you have of an exit strategy is of course not just material. It's our very being itself, AKA the soul, that has to find a pragmatic and objective center of gravity in regard to its own existence.
Our lives are a book we have inscribed ourselves. There are good passages and bad ones; a real man- one without quotation marks, as Gurdjieff would say- faces the truth of who he is and what he has done and is willing to suffer it. Eckhart would ask us to suffer it gladly, even; there is an objective merit in such suffering, since it brings the heart closer to God. This is what the master says; and like any good and truly German soul, he is quite practical about it.
I think we all fear ourselves; the reasons for this are complex and deep rooted. Is there a shame at the heart of my being I don't want to face? Probably; yet even with that knowledge, such matters do not yield easily to the eye of introspection, whether it is sharp and penetrating or soft and gentle. So there aren't any tricks as I reach inward towards this understanding; only persistence and a willingness to press forward will help me.
Every human being who actively thinks - as opposed to those who just react- has to ask this question of an end game, in fact, at all times, whether one thinks the end far or near. It is the essential question that ought to motivate every act in life; our agency itself ought to turn on it in each instance, as though a higher morality circumscribed by the inevitability of our own death defined the parameters of our deeds. It sounds like a high calling, but in fact perhap's it's the ground floor.
We can't say whether we're accountable to God (let us leave that mystery for our passing itself) but we can become accountable to ourselves. That is the task set for the soul in this life; what atonement consists of, only we ourselves can measure, because only we ourselves can measure from within the extent of our own sin.
This isn't to say we do not have good in ourselves; but we must find it. It does not just come knocking.
Those, my friend, are my thoughts this a.m. for the both of us on this grave matter you have put forth.