Excellence Reporter: Tiffany, what is the meaning of life?
Tiffany Lazic: Trying to find a simple answer to what is the meaning of life is akin to trying to find the loose end of a snarled jumble of wool. There are so many possible threads to follow that will all eventually take to you to place you wish to be, but which one to grasp? Which one is the most direct? Which one captures the essence of the whole complex jumble? In tugging at those threads, I have arrived back at the thoughts around the meaning of life that were niggling right from the start. For me, it all is summed up in one simple ancient Latin phrase: Carpe diem.
“Carpe diem” is most often translated as “seize the day”. Being raised by Latin scholars and hearing this phrase as a familiar instructive, I was very aware from quite a young age that this bit of existential brilliance came from poet Horace who lived in the first century B.C.E. and that a truer translation of his full statement reads as “pluck the day, put no trust in the future”.
At a surface glance, this approach can potentially appear to suggest hedonism, fatalism, or even possibly narcissism. But “carpe diem” is not an invitation to do whatever one wants without heed of consequence. It does not advise disregard for others. Nor is it a suggestion that our choices are inconsequential due to an unresponsive or possibly uncaring future. To the absolute contrary, it is an invitation to live fully and courageously, even in the face of devastating challenge. It is a call to engage with all aspects of life with heart, even when our hearts are filled with sorrow.
There is a perspective I hear fairly often to which I have given a lot of thought. It involves that yearning to “go home” that can be heard particularly in connection with the Ascension. The sense is that it is so much easier in the realm of the non-physical. That our truth is reflected in the embodiment of Spirit and this “Earth School” is a painful recess that must be endured before we are able to return to Spirit.
Many ancient teachings, including alchemy, present that everything in the Universe is made up of energy. There is just The All and we are all part of The All. Spirit and matter are simply different reflections – different vibrations – of exactly the same thing. If this is the case, then there is no ‘home’ to which we must return. We are already there. Always. There is no core difference between being in the Spirit realm and being in the human realm. The difference is our perception that there is a difference. The difference is our experience of one as opposed to the other. In truth, we are home in Spirit and we are home in human. We are home in joy and we are home in sorrow. We are at home when the stars are aligned and we are at home when every step seems dogged in catastrophe. We are never not at home. And I will admit to a secret part of myself that suspects our souls actually prefer the dense, material experience of the human realm. It gives us something tangible to grapple with and explore. It gives us material with which to both work and play.
Similarly, these ancient teachings reflect contemporary perspectives of the holographic view of the universe which presents amongst other aspects that all moments are contained in this moment. Past, present, and future all exist in the moment of now. Every moment is an act of creation. It is not about not having trust in the future, but rather having the profound understanding that to fully engage in this moment sets the stage for what is to come. “Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself”. We can’t control everything that happens in each and every moment, but we do have choice over how we respond. We can choose to shrink back from life or we can choose to engage. The choice to engage is expansive and life-affirming, requiring passion, vitality, energy, and courage.
It is the beautiful interweaving of all these elements that reverberate for me in the phrase “carpe diem”. For when we truly pluck the day, we are celebrating the Spirit that is imminent within us as we move through our human experience. When we truly pluck the day, we are honouring all the triumphs and trials have informed this moment, as well as setting the vibration for future manifestation and vision. When we truly pluck the day we are not setting up an expectation that we need to be happy all the time. We are making a commitment to be fully authentic and consciously responsive to life. In short, the meaning of life is the full embracing of the experience of being alive: to our experiences, to our relationships, to our shortcomings, to our growth potential, to the alpha and the omega. Pluck the day, each and every day, be it a shriveled raisin or a succulent peach of a day. It is the process of plucking not the goal of the pluck that defines us and gives life its meaning.
~Tiffany Lazic is a Registered Psychotherapist and Spiritual Director with a private practice in individual, couples and group therapy. As the owner of The Hive and Grove Centre for Holistic Wellness (Kitchener, Canada), she created and teaches two self-development programs, The Great Work: Patterns of Conscious Living and Spiritual Language of the Divine Programs, as well as teaching in the Spiritual Psychotherapy Training, Spiritual Directorship, and Esoteric Studies Programs at Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training (Toronto, Canada). An international presenter, retreat facilitator, and keynote speaker, Tiffany has conducted workshops for many conferences and organizations in Canada, the US, the U.K., Mexico, and India. She is the author of The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the Year (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2015) and the originator of Hynni, an integrative approach to energy healing drawing on Western wisdom traditions.
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