Time is a finite experiment to find your soul in the place it has always been, before and after your birth. Belief is not irrelevant, but guides the way beyond the point where materialism cowers, and realism becomes a fixation on detail. All roads lead back to a flaky individualism for those unable to accept that this experiment cannot be carried out in isolation.
Traditions in the vein of hermeticism are nonetheless valid, while the triptych divide between alchemy, gnosticism, and mysticism holds water when you consider that mythic imagination is genetically wired into everyone on this earth, realist or not, and how quickly the average person reaches decisional entropy when you take away their job or social life.
The determination of origin can be expressed precisely, that is to say, scientifically, but only for those able to discern. This is a futile enterprise for the unwilling who run from enormity. They need surface treatments, and they feed surface treatments back to any group who will listen merely to constantly feel good about themselves (because hippies).
They are marketers, knowing that direct contact with the transcendental (call it the Absolute if you wish) is too much. Humility is an obvious concern, but then they are humble in front of the undeserving, while they approach It with comedy. Calamity befalls them. Calamity upon awe upon woe. Even the beyond-good-and-evil pretenders must stand before It and tremble.
Information theory is the extrapolation of pure mathematics into the applied sciences, and it says failure to reach agreement with the consistent principles of nature and reality will spell failure to complete this experiment — time — with any great success. In certain strains of hindu eschatology, this means “dead forever.” In the secular world this is what drives their obsession. They cannot stop to consider it, they must run away from it continuously, and fall into a cycle of avoidance. Fear of death –> attachment –> feverish action –> accept mortality –> ?
The ? is due to premature enlightenment. Every 4 – 6 years a movie comes out to explain it to them with visual cues, but over time, they watch dumber and dumber movies, read dumber books, and look for easier and easier answers. Short memories and limited concentration spans, because doing what is right is for fools, yet their standards for achievement are low, non-existent, or predicated by idiots.
They did not really accept it, they only pretended to. Everyone has the dubious ability to lie to themselves, and some must use it to perfection to make up for being responsible for nothing important whatsoever. It’s the point where they have to dig deep, but instead they just go back to square one. “This is life,” they shrug, because competition with morons is their path to success.