J. Jaye Gold: The Meaning of Life… a gift we receive breath by breath

Excellence Reporter: J.Jaye, what is the meaning of life? 

J. Jaye Gold: Questions of this nature can really only be explored, not answered. For this inquiry, let’s explore the purpose of an individual human life.

It is fruitful to examine human life as a “process,” rather than a “product,” a “verb” that we participate in, rather than a noun to be studied and described. We would do well to view our human life not a conglomerate event, but rather as a gift we receive breath by breath, one moment at a time, to be appreciated and understood by actually being there, “awake” to the process of life by living it. 

It is also interesting to consider that there are different phases to a harmonious human life. When we are born, transitioning from unmanifest to manifest, we enter a world that we are meant to explore. “What does this feel like? What does that taste like? What is this for? How does it look? Sound? Smell?” Our purpose in youth (or however long it takes a person to engage in this process) is to discover and embrace and experiment with this world—boldly. Timidity prolongs this phase. Until one participates in this exploration with some gusto, one really should not, and likely cannot, proceed further in personal or spiritual evolution. 

After a good deal of this “going out,” if we’re paying attention and are honest with ourselves, life can begin to feel repetitious. We may have a hunch that our next episode will be just another variation on a theme we have already lived, and that perhaps there is some elusive depth of quality we’ve missed. This is indicative of a slowing down of one phase and the entering of another.

As a boomerang goes out, out, out and then invariably begins its return, so it should be with a human life. As you approach the zenith of your “going out” curve, you may find you have new questions, a different attitude, and feel the pull to connect internally with something more essential. Like Hesse’s Siddhartha, who explores passion in the arms of Kamala, masters the world of finance under the tutelage of Kamaswami, owns property, wears fine clothes, etc., and eventually wearies of it all, turning to rest and study under the beguiling timelessness of the river, we too may tire of our external conquests and seek an internal possibility. 

Beginning to make this turn, you can actually relax, because you’re becoming more aware of the energy that keeps you alive. You don’t have to work so hard to fill yourself up from without, because you are getting filled up from within. Through observation and honesty, and with help, you may discover you need less of your old protective devices, your cynicism, anger, self-righteous indignation, self-pity, and blame. Your need for attention and acknowledgement decreases. These were useful tools in the first phase, when you were striving to map out your individual identity and competing for money, and partners, and praise. But as Bob Dylan sagely advises, “Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.” 

In letting go of some of these weights, you find yourself a little kinder, more patient, more understanding. You can listen a little better, sit still longer, receive a little better and—a critical piece—you can give more, patiently helping any fellow human struggling with any “rung” that you yourself have already traversed. Thereby, you lift up the whole.

As your state of being rises, you can gradually cease resting the weight of your life on impermanent things — job, reputation, looks, money, a relationship (which are all too often crushed by that weight). It becomes possible, eventually, to meditate on an inner sound and an inner light, and begin to rest the weight of your life on the only thing that can hold it — the inner reality of the actual energy that created us, gives us breath, and keeps us alive.   


~J Jaye Gold(Justin Gold) has been assisting people in their search for inner meaning for 40 years. He is currently living in the Sierra foothills of Northern California where he works with several dozen seekers of truth. Over the years he has deliberately resisted the trend to become a “traveling guru” in favor of preserving an element which he considers precious – that of maintaining opportunities for developing an actual teacher/student relationship. He is available to anyone who seeks his guidance and has never asked to be compensated for his help, either monetarily or otherwise. J Jaye Gold has written four books available through More information about Justin is available at, Twitter @jjayegold, and Facebook.

Copyright ©2019 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Awakening, Elders

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