Looking for a reason in everything will often times run you into a dead end, even if you don't realize that it's a dead end!
"Why does God exist?"
Have fun figuring that one out! Even God doesn't know the answer to that. And he doesn't care either, because "why" is pointless. He just *IS* and that's all that matters.
Sometimes you just have to accept that things *ARE*, without some "why-reason" behind it. It's only the ego-intellect that asks "why" about everything. It tries to create a REASON through REASONING, where often times there is none. Reason exists in the intellect. Step out of the intellect and you step out of reason. Yes, the faculties of reason and intellect do have their place, but only in this "dream realm" of relativity. "Why?" on this level has a purpose. Things that are "done" out of the intellect, can usually be "reasoned" through the intellect, and "why" can be asked. The intellect has reasons, because its very nature IS reason (although not very well developed in some people ;) )
But if you want to go "beyond", into deeper, more existential things, you're not going to get very far if you try to solve them with the intellect. And like I said, once you start going beyond the intellect, "why" becomes meaningless.
Ask a child why he plays.
You'll probably get one of two answers:
A) Just because.
B) It's fun.
In the case of B, you can ask further: "Why is it fun?"
Answer: "It just is!" ... and at this point they'll prolly start to wonder why you can't understand something so simple!
But that doesn't satisfy the intellect, and it will keep looking for "why". Someone in the intellect will go mad studying the child looking for reasons for his "playing", creating enormous theories and experiments and who knows what else, all because it created this "why", and won't be satisfied until it finds an answer.
But the kid isn't concerned about "why". It's a complicated matter for the intellect, because it's something that exists OUTSIDE of the intellect where it can never reach, but for the kid it's not complicated at all! He's just playing, simple as that! Why? Just because!
Similarily, a tree doesn't ask "why". It just is. Whether or not it knows "why" has no bearing on its existence. It's just being, and that's all that matters. Life goes on, regardless of "why", and if you get stuck in the trap of "why", then you're going to miss life.
"There's always a real, genuine cause"
Yep, for all that is, there is a primal cause behind it. But that doesn't mean there is a "reason" for the cause itself! :) Or, if a reason "must" be had, the only one that can be given is: God *IS* the reason. God *IS* the purpose. God *IS* the answer to the question "Why?"
"I'm just curious, though...and forget about Heaven and Hell and all things religios....would you theoretically wish for etermal life if that was given to you as a choice? Or, would you rather just die and be gone...?"
I have no preference in the matter. Whichever I would prefer, has nothing to do with what *IS*. Life -- in its manifested form -- is not eternal. But the "capacity" for life, the source, the cause, IS eternal -- or better worded, it's "always here". Life comes and goes, but I... YOU... WE... the CORE ESSENCE... is unaffected by that, completely untouched. We simply ARE... eternity.
I am, NOW, and so, I will ALWAYS be.
Out of all our "free will", this is the one thing we have no choice in. This is the one "promise" from "God" that can never be broken. It is the one "constant", in a dream where *EVERYTHING* else is subject to change and fluxuation. It is a promise that can never be broken because as an extension (or "child") of "God", we can never be seperate from "him". It's absolutely impossible. If you were ever seperate from "God", then you would not be perceiving this experience right now!
"But now I have a real peace in my soul that I've never had in 37 years."
Then all these questions and discussions and "reasons" and "why's" are completely irrelevant! Stop wasting time on all this, and start moving deeply into that peace, into what *IS*.