Firstly, we must ask ourselves, ignoring for a moment the question of believer or atheist, what is physicalism and what does it mean to be a physicalist. It actually means many things, and in my case, at least four.
The first instance, and the one which revolutionised my existence, I owe to my Uncle Carlo. It was a winterís evening. It was cold outside, gusts of wind could be heard and rain mixed with hail was rattling on the roof. Uncle Carlo and I were sitting silently in the warm near the hearth. Suddenly, my uncle confronted me with the question:
Do you know that you’re actually richer than me?
That’s not true, Uncle, I answered immediately, as if I had been expecting this question all my life, you’re richer than I am. And that was the truth.
I’m not talking about material things, money, houses, land, animals, he replied dolefully, and yet with a force which sounded almost like disgust, I mean wealth in terms of age, youth, of life. You’re still a boy, I’m getting on, you’ve still got many years ahead of you, but I’ve only got a few left, do you understand?