THE MEANING OF OUR LIVES
Stone: Blue Sapphire.
To comprehend the secret meaning of our lives we must confront the mystery
and the emergence of our own consciousness
from the Inconscient.
a) The issue is introduced by noting that
in the present materialistic culture mankind seems to be trying to find water in the most arid desert of all
because the values that such culture emphasizes
have almost no real meaning at all.
All the various meanings that are usually attributed to life, from the most basic ones like becoming rich and successful, a perfect partner, etc, to such things as philanthropy and conventional religion
are but empty MIRAGES.
Vaclav Havel adds a very unpalatable truth:
The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less
about the meaning of his own life, but that
it bothers him less and less.
As you are reading this, surely it bothers you.
But does it bother you enough?
Freeman Dyson has a warning:
You ask: what is the meaning or purpose of life? I can only answer with another question:
do you think we are wise enough
to read God’s mind?
An Unknown agrees:
Searching for a meaning is life is like searching
for a drop of water in the ocean.
But this is true only when we search it at the mental level.
b) At the human level, there is only ONE real meaning for our lives
To find out whom we really are.
Yes, indeed the Great Awakening and becoming one with the Divine are the highest possible aims,
but until we have found out who we really are there is none
there yet in us who can achieve them.
Unfortunately, the attitude of most is the same as the one of V. E. Frankl here:
“The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”
But usually the meaning that most give to their lives
is almost meaningless.
And he was by no means the only one with such a dismal attitude: Anais Nin said that “There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers. There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.”
End even Erich Fromm, who usually doesn’t talk nonsense, said that “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life…”
But this is a barely disguised form of nihilism.
c) According to Antoine de Saint-Exupery,
Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day
for something other than itself.
How often?George Bataille sadly says that:
Life has no meaning the moment you lose
the illusion of being eternal.
Actually life only SEEMS to have no meaning the moment one loses the feeling of being eternal because
it is still something like a cocoon in which the caterpillar we are
is preparing to become a wonderful butterfly, no matter
how many lifetimes it will take..
Only the essence of the butterfly in us is eternal,
not the caterpillar.
It is recorded that when a visiting Sheik asked the Kabuli the meaning of a hadith very difficult to interpret, being aware that the Sheik would have considered His interpretation of it too unorthodox He only replied:
In my youth whenever I could not understand something deep I wandered in the desert with but one water skin and no food, ready to perish there if I did not realize it,
but the desert winds always answered me before I died of thirst:
why don’t you listen to them?
In the Dreamgame finding the meaning of oneself and of one’s life is the STARTING POINT.
Indeed most people go through life without bothering about it,
but then they haven’t really started in any real sense,
it is only the appearance of life.
The Devil’s Advocate:
Of course, the only possible meaning of life is enjoying it as much as you can while it lasts, for it doesn’t last very long.
And yet some eggheads imagine all sorts of other “meanings”!
Everyone must have some fun as he can!
Until the Great Awakening, the ultimate meaning of our lives
consists in waking ourselves up.
All others are mere hints
or preparations to it.
Word of Power:
“No finite point has meaning without an infinite
reference point.” J. P. Sartre
Which is the infinite reference point?
Stanislav Grof noted that for any culture primarily concerned with meaning,
The study of death – the only certainty that life holds for us –
must be central, for an understanding of death
is the key to liberation in life.
Is it central for you?
If not, why not?
Don’t be deceived.
Indeed for most people death is the only thing that prevents them from becoming completely identified with the false images that they have of themselves:
death gives a measure of meaning to their lives by reminding them that
their time here is limited and that their material possessions,
their partner, etc, won’t last forever.
According to Tolstoy,
The sole meaning of life is
to serve humanity.
But this is only the second best meaning.
Which is the very best? Antoine de Saint-Exupery got a bit closer to it:
The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves,
but in our attitude towards them.
Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life.
It is not something discovered: it is something molded.
Richard Bach has the right attitude:
The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life:
overcome fear, behold wonder.
And Viktor E. Frankl an even better one:
Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is,
but rather he must recognize that
it is he who is asked.
Never say: “The meaning of my life is in achieving what I want”
But tell yourself:
The meaning of my life consists in finding out whom I really am
and becoming one with the Divine
Question/ko’han 1 to 4:
What is the meaning of your life?
On which frames of reference did you evaluate it?
If you don’t know, or aren’t sure, how will you find it out?
Question/ko’han 5 and 6:
According to Clifford Geertz, meaning is socially, historically, and rhetorically constructed.
True or false?
Is this the true meaning, or just the one generally agreed upon and socially accepted by the mass?
The last word is that at the level of the human mind
what most people call ”meaning”, even when not wrong, is usually but a program in the computer of their brain,
and it is necessary to go far beyond it to discover
the mystery and wonder of our lives.
– Meditate on this observation of Erwin Schrodinger:
A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities,
but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation
of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.
– Note that also the way of finding out the ultimate meaning of ourselves as human beings
abides in the interconnections between our life
and our inner being awareness of it.
– This experience of Black Elk:
Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again
and feel the meaning with a part of me like
a strange power glowing in my body;
but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning,
it would be like fog and gets away from me.
The strange thing is, either too many
meanings or none at all we always have.
Ask yourself then: who is in me forever trying
to reach the Understanding beyond words?