Once in a while we all ponder that age-old question, “What is the meaning of life?” But there is a subtle difference between “life” as a blanket term and “my life” which brings the phrase into personal terms.
If we are talking about life, as in all life, it stands to reason if there is indeed an answer that it must be universal in nature. Therefore the meaning of life must be the same for a slug or a worm as it it is for a human.
What is the meaning of life for a slug, a worm, a mouse, a dog, a whale, a tree, a flower and so on? The universal answer is to survive and thrive. An ant wants to live in a harmonious way having sustenance, basic necessities, and exist without fear, much like a human. But the human mind is much more complex as is the human sense of self, or ego.
So for the human, a bigger question arises: “What is the meaning of MY life?”
The human mind is the creator of ego, an aggrandized sense of self that sees itself as unique and separate from others. The human ego has evolved over thousands of years and with it has come bigger dreams, bigger wants, and bigger desires and bigger problems. Thus we humans are no longer content with simply surviving; we now believe we have a purpose to fulfill.
Why are we not content with simply fulfilling the basic hierarchy of needs as defined by Maslow? Why is it we are always desiring what we don’t have and never really content with what we do have? Even the poor these days have more luxuries than most humans of the past. But yet we are not fulfilled.
As a yogi I approach this question from a spiritual position. Could it be that the general discontentment of the human race be really a longing to merge back into God consciousness?
If we can accept that we have a soul, perhaps we can also agree that the vast majority of humankind has dedicated very little time to creating a relationship with it. We certainly have a relationship with the mind and body, but somehow the soul aspect has been largely ignored.
In truth, I believe there is no ordained purpose or meaning to life. It is just a phenomena that has occurred. We are born, we live for a time and then we die. We seek that which is pleasing and avoid that which causes suffering.
But while there may be no meaning of life there is certainly one thing that makes life meaningful: love.
In some magical or mystical way when we feel love we are merged back into what we can call God consciousness, Cosmic consciousness, Source, or whatever term you feel comfortable with. Love is the realm of the soul.
If you love a man or woman with only your body it cannot be called true love. If you love a man or woman with only your mind certainly it would be very shallow and again not fit to be called loved.
But if you can love with your soul love is now is complete, whole, sacred. When the soul becomes part of the equation both the mind and body are elevated to reflect the spirit of love, which is pure and divine.
Love of course is not restricted to loving only one other person, but is inclusive of all humanity, all the trees, the flowers, the rivers, the oceans, all the animals, and all creation. Love alone gives meaning to life.
If we like, we can rephrase the initial question to “What is the meaning of death?” Perhaps this is a more profound inquiry as how one dies defines how one has lived.
If one has lived with hatred, anger, and fear this will be reflected at the time of passing.
But if one can breathe their last breath with contentment, peace, happiness, and love in her heart, without regrets or resentments, I would say this person has learned the great and most valuable secret to giving life meaning.
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