Life...It's What We See When We Look
Inside this thing that we call life things grow. Lots of things are growing and in this growing there is a cycle. Things grow and things change. Sometimes they change form and disappear, gone from our sensory range. Where the things originate from no one knows.
Where they, seem to disappear to, no one knows. What we know is that within life all things are either coming in to view or leaving. A continuing cycle that has been going on forever. I use the word forever simply because its so "without reference" that it is appropriate. So what can one conclude from looking around as to the meaning or purpose of life?
Life provides every thing with what it takes to grow. Grass grows and its goal is to be grass and make more grass. It does so in a cycle, coming from out of sight to a dormant seed to a green plant and up to the birthing and back to dormancy. At some point something happens and it disappears again. The atoms are freed to whatever degree and it goes from one shape and state to another and we loose track of it. At the bottom of everything is what we have named energy. We have different instruments to detect it. This unseen energy is detectable in all things. It's in grass and it's in you. That is life.
Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life. Marcus Aurelius
When one considers the enormity in just that tiny portion of the world we can see it's highly improbable that anyone might know the meaning of life in its a totality. Believing that it's even possible is a little strange. Historically it's been the elders, shamans, priests and such that have told us about life and meaning. They were the leaders. They were the ones who told us why we were here and what life was all about. If you had good leaders, you had a better society. Anyone who wants to pick a path to follow could look back to past societies and find out what there ideas about life were. You could simply adopt your favorite. The one you thought produced the best society.
It has to raise a question for us today, as we examine our own societies in this light. If the society is in turmoil, if it's people are suffering, it follows that the leaders of the society have some meaning of life ideas that may not be...sane? This doesn't have to mean that the people are outright slaves. Consider the stress, the underlying dis-ease of our own (U.S.) society. Think maybe our leaders, our wise men and teachers might be...nuts?
I would suggest that this "need to find meaning" arises as much from living conditions as from our inquiring nature. Consider if the world we saw every day made a little more sense. Would we be as apt to question things that were working well? What if we looked around and saw harmony? All societies are the direct result of the stories it tells. Societies exist within their stories and are an overall reflection as to the quality of the story. The story manifests itself as the society.
Whatever the reasons for all the, what does it all mean, questions I can't think of anyone qualified to give an answer. One could spend the whole of their lives looking for better stories or they could pay attention to life itself. Why seek answers to a question that may not even need an answer? I finally discarded all the stories I'd heard and started over. I am better off as a result. The problem with me and stories is that stories always give us a role to play and I don't want anyone deciding what I am.
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains. Walt Whitman
What if we were told different life stories? The Tibetan Book of the Dead is, as you might have guessed, a book about dying. Its not a book of an ending. Its a book about a continuance of the growth cycle. The book is for everyone that finds themselves on earth. Its a much different story than what we in the, so called, west grow up with. Many of the stories we hear suggest that we will go somewhere, or not, depending on our behavior and beliefs. For me, these were pretty unsettling ideas and spurred my personal quest for an alternative meaning of life story.
This said, what is it we are doing here? Well, for sure we are growing just like everything else. That suggests we are part of life doesn't it? Since we are part of this life thing and doing our part, already, we must be connected to everything else. We must be life. Everything that appears in life is life. Like fingers and toes are body. We call them body parts, but that's just for our convenience. Travel deep inside a finger or toe and it becomes indistinguishable from brains and stomachs. One thing, one stuff, joined together in different combination's to make different forms. One characteristic shared by all life stuff is the potential for growth. So, where is life going as a whole? What is it growing in to?
Flowers have been growing to their potential, as flowers, for millions of years. Is there more for them to do? Have they reached the pinnacle of flower potential? That's hard to say but what is easy to observe of our species is that it has been changing in potential as it grows. On top of that, as a species, it's growing at a very rapid rate. In the earth/life phenomena we're literally racing forward. The physical shape has changed a lot but that is nothing compared to the change in our brain/mind complex.
The greatest leap for us, may have been, becoming conscious of ourselves, our relationship to our environment and the awareness that we could change our environment to suit us. At that point things just took off. Before that we found food when we were hungry, because we were hungry. After that perhaps we thought it would be nice to have something we hadn't eaten before. This imagination is the cause of invention. It's also the cause of erectile dysfunction and ADD.
(On a side note: people should have ADD. Who said we're supposed to sit still and do what we're told? What if we don't want to? Give that person something he's interested in and it will stop. He'll pay attention. Or we could drug them so they'll stop thinking and pay attention to whatever it is that people who give the drugs think is best. End of note.)
Prior to this self awakening our stories always ended at what was observed from the three dimensional standpoint. Without this awakening we wouldn't get on planes and fly. It is the human potential for imagination that has made all things possible that we experience today. Good and bad.
There was no "before" the beginning of our universe, because once upon a time there was no time. John D. Barrow
Be Leary of any belief system, or life story, that has an ending. These will put an end to, or at least greatly retard, your potential.
"We reproduce catastrophe because we ourselves are traumatized...both as a species and individually, beginning at birth. Because we are wounded, we have put up psychic defenses against reality and have become so cut off from direct participation in the multidimensional wilderness in which we are embedded that all we can do is to navigate our way cautiously through a humanly designed day-to-day substitute world of symbol... a world of dollars, minutes, numbers, images and words that are constantly being manipulated to wring the most possible profit from every conceivable circumstance. The body and spirit both rebel." (David Watson, The Pathology of Civilization)
We increase the power of the individual tenfold by including an element that is guaranteed to provide balance in all areas of our lives: nature intelligence. The current global crisis is an excellent demonstration of what we humans don't know about interfacing with nature's planet and about balance as it relates to every aspect of our lives and health. Well, here's an interesting idea: How about allowing nature - the intelligence inherent in that nature - to join us in equal partnership to give us the input we need to make new decisions and live in new ways that have a strong, positive impact on our lives and our health as well as the planet? Michaella Wright, Founder of Perelandra
I don't think perfection is the goal. The illusion comes in that perfection is the goal. I think the goal, if you need one, is more along the lines of thinking clearly...
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. Niels Bohr
Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. Thomas Jefferson