Reflections on the
Meaning of Life @42
Making Life Meaningful
The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe to it.
Being alive is the meaning - Joseph Campbell
Having now reached the meaningful age of 42, with gratitude for still being alive, here are some reflections on the meaning of life.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose is to give it away - Picasso
Know Thyself - the great inscription at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi - commands us to discover our deepest selves - which includes our unique calling or gift in life. Humans are of course meaning-making machines - adept at adding layers and layers of theory, analysis and mad thinking to complicate life. So to know oneself may require excavation of layers of conditioning to liberate our true selves. The dig is worth it - for at the heart of every person is a treasure trove of creativity that can be channelled into infinitely diverse works, projects, relationships, artistry and the pure joy of simply being alive.
If you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life - Dalai Lama
To give away our gift in live enables us to contribute to the lives of others - to share our artistry, love, compassion, empathy, creativity and happiness-bestowing qualities generously with others. In doing so we find that happiness shared is happiness magnified and multiplied exponentially.
Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. - Monty Python, The Meaning of Life
The big search for meaningful living is shared by everyone. When we remember this, it is easy to respect that there are as many paths to meaning as there are people. With this understanding, we can then create connections across perceived boundaries of creed and culture and extend warmth and compassion for every person engaged in the journey of life.
Letting It All Go
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
It's possible that if we did actually know the exact meaning of life was we might a) give up looking, searching and creating it, b) explode because it's too huge to fathom, c) find that what is known rapidly transforms into another layer of unknowingness.
As all the great mystics and artists have ever taught us - the great mystery of life cannot be named, cannot be conceptualised - so the attempt to find it is absurd. A glimpse can sometimes just be shared in the peak moments of life, when we find ourselves vibrantly alive in the joy of our truth, connecting with others to create a better world or indeed sharing laughter at the madly beautiful meaningful meaningless of it all... ;)
Wishing you a Meaningfully Meaningless August