Excellence Reporter: Mary, what is the meaning of life?
Mary Reed: It would be easy to answer this question by saying that the only meaning of life is that which we give it.
But as a mystic, the question feels a little like asking, “Does your mother know you’re pregnant?” because both questions are predicated on assumptions that, in my own embodied experience, are false. I’m not pregnant, and “meaning” is an imaginary playground of perspective, so I can’t answer either question in the way it is phrased.
I can, however, perhaps inspire a visceral experience of meaning from the mystical vantage point…
Imagine for a moment that you are sitting under a tree in the remote Australian outback and an Aboriginal grandmother is describing the meaning of life to you. This revered elder has lived her entire life at one with the earth; she knows weather and wildlife and the dynamics of nature intimately. Her voice feels ancient, her words certain, and as she speaks she looks you square in the eye. Feel how her wisdom flows in your body.
Now imagine that you move in a blink and find yourself sitting at a sleek glass conference table in a high-rise office in New York and a business mogul is describing the meaning of life to you. He is confident, polished, and powerful. Feel the shift in how his wisdom flows in your body.
Now find yourself listening to a Hindu priest in the Himalayas. And then a Somalian warlord. A princess and a beaten housewife. A rickshaw driver and an Olympic skater. Feel the shifts as you receive this wisdom from setting to setting, vantage point to vantage point.
Do you see? Within your own body you can feel expansion and constriction, ease and challenge just by imagining these varying perspectives of experience that someone else is offering.
Now, imagine you are sitting on the floor of a kid’s room with a golden retriever puppy. Feel into what the meaning of life must be for her. Feel the sense of fun and frolic within your own body. And then imagine sitting with an olive tree. And a starfish. A bolt of lightening. Wheat and peach and kale. Word and voice and song. Compassion and rage and confusion.
Do you see? Every single perspective on meaning feels differently. And every difference in feeling is a new gift to God, not just from God.
We search for meaning in life when, in my experience, meaning is actually our gift to life. It’s an offering available only from our unique lenses of awareness, of love, of existence.
And all meaning is a gift from our mind. Our mind is the only thing that weaves meaning into explorations of experience. Without our mind, the puppy and the starfish and the confusion are entirely without meaning.
Do you see? God — All That Is — includes the gift of every meaning imaginable to life…and no meaning at all.
~Eighteen years ago Mary Reed, an agnostic healthcare executive based in Washington, DC, began an uncontrollable mystical journey back through humanity’s entire evolution, embodying the origins of pivotal events in our exploration of all that we are. In 2011 Mary finally left her executive life for a monastic life in the Himalayas, and today she is back in America living the message of humanity’s awakening—embodying, reflecting and nourishing in others the Divine truth that is rising up in all of us. Mary has traveled widely sharing her stories and has appeared on numerous programs, including Buddha at the Gas Pump and Conscious TV. She is the author of the award-winning book, Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love. More information is available at www.unwittingmystic.com
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