Excellence Reporter: Laura, what is the meaning of life?
Laura Plumb: I once heard Joseph Campbell answer this question by saying he doesn’t believe there is so much a meaning to life, but rather that we are alive to feel ourselves fully alive, and that when we come fully alive we feel that our lives are meaningful.
After all, what is the meaning of birds singing, or the wind blowing, or trees swaying in that wind, or mountains reaching to the sky, or flowers whose faces turn to follow the sun over the course of a day?
I guess the meaning is that we are alive and it means something to have a life. It means you get to see those things, feel, smell, touch and listen. It means you get to have experiences that move, excite, rub, imprint, hurt, uplift, awaken, enlighten…
Maybe it means we get to love even when love feels like the last worst option, or attune ourselves to see rays of light in the darkest places, or we get to wake up even when the day seems impossible… Cumulatively this would give meaning. Your life would hold the meaning of presence, or the meaning of integrity, or dignity, or commitment.
Primarily life is. It’s a verb, not a book, or a philosophy or a star spangled meaning. Life just is – like a star is, or the sky is, or the field of orchids growing behind a waterfall that are rarely seen and yet rise to the sky in a silent exaltation of beauty. What is the meaning of that?
Like Camus, I believe that life has inherent worth even if it doesn’t have a meaning. So maybe that is it – we are here to grow and bloom and rise up towards heaven, and do it, not to be seen, not for external value, but because you are alive to be the coming alive of you: exalted, beautiful and worthy.
~Laura Plumb is the the best-selling author of Ayurveda Cooking For Beginners, the writer and host of a 53-part tv series called VedaCleanse and a 12-part series called Divine Yoga. As a graduate of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy and the American Institute of Vedic Studies, she is a leading educator on the power of the Vedic sciences to promote sacred, sumptuous living.
Formerly the General Manager of The Discovery Channel Europe, Laura is the founder/director of VedaWise, offering clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness and trainings in the Vedic sciences. She offers classes and consultations in Ayurveda, Jyotish, Yoga Therapy, Whole Food Cooking and Nutrition, and serves as a contributing Ayurvedic educator at the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, the Sevanti Institute, teaches at the Kripalu Center, and is a staff writer for Spirituality & Health, as well as an Ambassador for Banyan Botanicals.
Laura’s blog food-alovestory.com is an inspirational resource for Ayurvedic recipes and wise living. Her popular whole food, plant based seasonal cleanses are powerful, effective and deliciously nourishing. Her articles on health and wellness have been published in Huffington Post, Ayurveda Next Door, Spirituality & Health, and the Times of India, among other national and international media.