Ideas and Musings

Whose “Meaning”?

I have been working through a career coaching book, trying with all my might to figure what I should do with myself. I’ve been following the exercises, even sent out questionnaires to people who know me, to try and figure out who I am and what I should be doing with myself. It plagues me. I would rather have toads raining down than try to quantify and qualify myself. Yet here I am again, terrorizing myself.

It’s a big question and it’s one of many big questions. What should I do with my life? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life? Should I follow this dream? Why does bad things happen to good people? Would my life have been better if I’d taken the red pill? They are the questions we ask ourselves as we hunker down in our blankies trying to soothe ourselves because something just doesn’t seem right.

We’re asking the right questions aren’t we? Everyone seems to be asking these kinds of questions. People are getting rich writing books, having seminars, and informing us that YES, there is an answer. We are asking the right questions. But are we? Are these the right questions? Maybe they are the wrong questions. Maybe they need to be rephrased. Maybe we need a whole new mindset about whether it’s the question or the answer that’s important. Maybe it’s all of these.

Yesterday I was contemplating the concept of “Meaning”. I was pretty much on that subject all day, in between the tests I was running at MITS. And I tell them I can’t multitask…. Anyway, I’m contemplating THE MEANING OF LIFE, and I realized some very basic things. Then today, I applied the same idea to all the questions.

Now all of this may not serve to comfort you, but it is one way of thinking about it.

I had been thinking of “The Meaning of Life” as “THE MEANING OF LIFE”. I presumed that there is one answer to that question. According to an online dictionary, meaning is “the end, purpose, or significance of something.” My question is: To whom? Is there one “Meaning of Life”, and who determines what it is? Does God/Goddess determine the answer? And if so, it begs the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” Does society determine it? Religion? Both have variations so varied how could anyone determine the truth? Do our souls determine it? “Look into your soul and you can see the answer…” That just leads us back God. It’s a never ending cycle.

What if meaning is just a construct? Human beings tend to think of things on an individual level. My soul, my purpose, my meaning. We take this concept and we apply it to God and since God is like us, God must have a meaning as well. And that’s why when something bad happens, we throw our fists to the sky and ask “WHY? WHY?”

And there are so many different meanings. Some people are focused on saving the whales. Some the trees. Some want to make the world laugh and feel good. Now I have to tell you, there are a lot of people out there who want to make their meanings, their purpose, ours. But really, if everyone is out saving the whales, who is doing the art? Who is teaching the children? Who is creating the new snack cracker?

We all have different meanings, different purposes, so why can’t God? What if….and this is my view of God, you may not agree….Everything truly is God. Yes, even you. What if God is “thinking” about God’s own meaning and purpose from God’s own view. We are all God. Would God’s purpose come even close to ours? Would our individual views be even relevant?

Here’s a metaphor. Say that all the parts of your body are sentient, individuals. Your right pinky has preferences, purposes and meanings. It thinks that its purpose is to press the “P” and the “?”, on the keyboard and feels very fulfilled when it gets to do this. It likes to be manicured and exercised. Then one day, something happens to your elbow. You don’t go to the hospital because you’re a stubborn cuss and it develops gangrene. You roomie forces you into the car and drives you to the hospital where the only thing they can do is to amputate your arm. Goodbye right pinky. The purpose of the amputation was to save your life. It has nothing to do with the pinky. The pinky wasn’t consulted. The pinky didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t deserve to be thrown into the dumpster with the other body parts. But it happened.

I think it’s the same with God. We can’t know the magical “MEANING”, we’re too limited in our manifested form. Bad things happen because they happen. It has nothing to do with our deservedness, or that we “chose” to have that experience when we manifested. That puts a lot of pressure on us. Some woman somewhere is being beaten and it’s her fault because she chose it. That’s just plain silly talk. It’s just a way try to make sense of our world, from an individual point of view.

So maybe it’s time to change the questions. “What is the meaning of MY life?” “What is MY purpose?” (and not trying to relate it to some mystical God purpose) “What do I WANT to do?” (rather than what I should be doing like there’s some master plan)

And maybe, rather than getting wound up trying to force an answer, the questions are just a beginning. The opening play of glorious game. A starting point for exploration. Living our lives as though it were play.

I believe all of this, even though deep inside I keep thinking there is one answer. And it’s my intention to let a lot of crap go in my life and let it be play. But I would still like some answers to my questionnaire! GRRRRR…..I only got two, and both were very illuminating. Help me explore. Let’s play together.