One might think by now someone would have come up with an answer—Meaning of Life? The very supposition that there is meaning is a question unto itself: What constitutes meaning? Where does it originate? Is it developed or simply exogenesis and we tap into it? Such philosophical conundrums drive me to seek solace in adult beverage, which definitely does have meaning, thus I’m forced to deduce there is meaning and consequently pour myself another glass to lock in the gestalt.
Yet this recognition of the presence of meaning still begs an answer as to what it is? And if you haven’t guessed by this point let me assure you that I don’t know!
Yet I do have my suspicions. School comes to mind right off, doesn’t it? Lots of classes, poor grades, endless homework, harsh teachers, mandatory summer school, meetings in the principal’s or dean’s office. However there is learning underway here, albeit never enough it seems. Nevertheless, here is where the utility of life manifests most poignantly; a place where we are granted a co-participatory engagement with evolution at a very fundamental level. In effect, we’re all in school, unless of course you opt to drop out.
Much to my poor mother’s duress, I was born a seeker. Always questing why things were the way they were. How did the world happen? And just how did Moses pull off parting the Red Sea, and if so, wouldn’t the ground be vastly too muddy for crossing? And if God knows what we’re thinking, why do we need to pray? Isn’t that redundant? Can I have all my deceased dogs back when I get to heaven, and if not, I ain’t going! I needed answers, still do.
This entire quest, this longing to find meaning, percolates within us for a reason. That reason might be a subconscious belief that in finding those answers we will manifest a reconnection to: the Universe, Godhead, Buddha fields, Great Mother, Cosmic Union, Divine Whole—whatever term fits your fancy. Nothing wrong there I suppose, yet unless you dropped out of school (remember school boys and girls?) the more we learn the more questioning arises, and thus more uncertainty, more need to find reassurance that there is meaning, and consequently we are held lovingly within that meaning. It’s brilliant irony, this stuff.
So after decades of endless school, and philosophical wormhole diving, occasionally fueled by adult beverage therapy, I’ve come to view life, well the entire Universe really, as a giant paradox. That’s it kids, now try to live with it. Life is a paradox. And in truth, it’s okay not to have the answers, but it’s truly good to keep seeking them. Now go do your homework assignments, pop quiz on Wednesday.
~Robert Owings is the author of Call of the Forbidden Way. He holds a master’s degree in philosophy and religion, with a concentration in cosmology and consciousness. He maintains an active interest in an eclectic mix of subjects ranging from transpersonal psychology, altered states of consciousness, alchemy, and complexity theory to Buddhist cosmology, cross-cultural shamanism, and ancient mystery religions.
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Categories: Philosophy, Psychology
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