Friday, July 2, 2010
The Meaning In Life
I think there are ways to generate a feeling we call "meaning" without having to resort to philosophy. I grew up, probably like most of you, thinking that meaning could only occur if there was a purpose to our lives, a destination. But watching my mind and playing with my experience has taught me that the feeling of meaning--of purpose and determination--comes when you dedicate yourself to caring about and helping others. If it sounds cliche, it's because it's true.
It goes like this:
Step 1: Face your problems and fears. The mind is habitually in a state of driving forward, making progress, seeking more pleasure and trying to minimize pain. You've got all these things in your life you're trying to solve or fix. Meanwhile, you have other things you're chasing. STOP. Stop driving forward. Stop the car, turn off the engine and wait. All the things you've been avoiding rush forward as you're left staring at all the ways you're deficient. Feel vulnerable? Fine. Don't start driving yet. Just wait there. Sit there with the feelings you've been running from.
Step 2: You realize you're okay. You don't have to force this. It just happens.
Step 3: Your heart is tender. You see people, see their suffering, and spontaneously want to help them out. Not be their savior, just help em out with whatever is bothering them. What you're really doing is making harmony. Meaning arises and flourishes by itself.
It takes guts and a shit ton of honesty to stop the incessant driving to no where, and you have to be ready to not know who you'll become when you let go. It's funny, really, because it's the only time you actually become your true self.