The Meaning of Life – November 18 2019

The Meaning of Life – November 18 2019

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

Joseph Campbell

There is a coherent plan to the universe, though I don’t know what it’s a plan for.

Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer

What is the meaning of life? There are of course many answers to this question. Here are a few, culled at random from the collective:

  • To become the best and highest version of yourself
  • To seek happiness
  • To reproduce
  • To learn as much as you can learn
  • To help others, to give of oneself, to do good
  • To know God
  • To achieve unity with God
  • To achieve spiritual enlightenment
  • To Be
  • To find true love
  • To have fun
  • To win
  • To become all-powerful
  • To rule the world (or some part of it)
  • There is no meaning other than what you bring to it

(And, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, the answer to life, the universe and everything is ’42.’)

Meditation will help us regardless of which of these ideas we may embrace, for stress is always a component if we are failing to achieve our full potential in any field, and so release of stress will be a help. Also, as we meditate, we settle into a deeper experience of Self. Identified as Self (rather than as ‘self’) we may find ourselves with new ideas of life and new priorities.

The Veda would answer the question this way:

Before the beginning of time, there was only oneness. One great, unbounded, undifferentiated oneness.

Now, to put it in human terms, this oneness became bored with itself (for if there is only one thing, there can be no interaction, no movement, no travel from one point to another, no passage of time). After an eternity of time, or after no time, the universe decided to do something about its boredom and it gave itself the supreme gift of forgetfulness. It allowed itself to forget in parts here and there its oneness with itself; and in that moment of forgetting, the whole of the relative world was born. The world of multiplicity exploded from the infinitesimal point of oneness, spreading itself into infinite space (and even now still expanding) so that the unity of the All became hidden under the complexity of all things.

The universe did this for one reason: in order to have the joy of reuniting with itself. Self finding Self, again and again, through all of life, until it remembers completely once again its oneness. This Self finding Self is what we humans call love. Self looks into the eyes of another and recognizes Self, and unity occurs.

‘I love you,’ we say to one another. ‘Namaste,’ we say, and we bow. The Self in me recognizes, acknowledges and bows down to the Self in you.

We learn to love, and we learn to be loved.

In time, all of this universe will have remembered Itself as one thing, and in that moment the universe will again collapse into the singularity and all of it will happen again.

To align myself with the universe today, I can love. No matter what, no matter who. I can know that love is what I’m shooting for. And I can make a point to recognize it in others regardless of how clumsy their expression of it might be towards me.

Today I will look beyond the ‘shortcomings’ in those around me until I can see in their eyes evidence of Self. I will look past every reason I see not to love, and I will choose to love anyway.

Wheels, abandoned blacksmith shop, Young’s Point, Montana