Nicolae Tanase: Alan, what is the meaning of life?
Alan Morinis: The meaning of life is to live with full-bodied gusto. We raise our glasses and we call out loudly, “L’Chaim!! To Life!!” That choice is not so obvious to us, so much so that the Bible finds it necessary to instruct us: “Choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
We see the hand of God in the blessings we acknowledge in our life and the rest is just unfortunate. That’s the view of the ego that seeks happiness, not the soul that seeks joy.
In the Jerusalem Talmud it says that when we die and are called to give a final accounting for our lives, we will be held accountable for every pleasure in this world that was available to us that we did not enjoy. Live with gusto. And let your spiritual practice focus on getting out of the way whatever impedes that experience.
~Alan Morinis, anthropologist, filmmaker, and writer
Founder and Dean of The Mussar Institute
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