Kathleen Dowling Singh on the Meaning of Life

IMG_0767What is the meaning of life?

We often think of “meaning” as having to do with understanding. Although we live and move and have our being in mystery, ego wants to catch the symbolism of a word or a phrase or an event so as to feel it has some solid ground. We think of meaning as somehow having to do with the correct interpretation of things. All of our survival instincts, functioning in service not just to the physical organism but also to our constructed sense of self, want to make sure that we have understood correctly. If there is a meaning to life, our ego wants to know it.

As we mature spiritually, though, “meaning” begins to go beyond the connotation of interpretation and into the experience of value. With spiritual maturation, we enter a deeper being where meaning is inherent. Higher-order qualities of human existence, the noble qualities of our essential nature, pour forth as we awaken. Intrinsic value simply exists in each act, thought, and moment of aliveness.

“Meaning” ceases to have meaning. The pain of trying to understand, to resolve our relationship to the universe is based on our mistaken idea that we are separate from it. As our sense of separateness begins to melt, we enter deeper levels of truth, where meaning is self-manifest and inarticulate.

Adapted from “The Grace in Dying: How We Transform Spiritually As We Die”


~Kathleen Dowling Singh, author, dharma student and practitioner. Kathleen is trained academically in transpersonal psychology and works as a mentor for deep psychospiritual growth work. She lectures widely throughout the United States on spirituality at the end of life, spiritual transformation in the midst of life, and meditative and contemplative practices.

Excellence Reporter 2015

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