A lot of time is spent discussing when human life begins. But it seems to me the more important concern for us is when human consciousness first appears in us. When were we first aware that we were a conscious individuality, separate from other people and separate from the world? This leads me to this wonderful thought from GK Chesterton:
“Every man has forgotten who he is. One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. … We have all forgotten what we really are. … All that we call spirit and art and ecstacy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.” (Orthodoxy 38)
And that remembering is what opens our heart in prayer and our thought to God. Our eternity is found in remembering who we are.