Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The meaninglessness of seeking meaning

Many people wonder to themselves "Why am I here?" or "What is my purpose?"  These questions arise due to the veil of forgetfulness and ignorance that is the attribute of birth into physicality, which blocks this knowledge.  Behind the veil the answer always existed, but not the answer one may think or recognize.

When you consider life, we each have our own paths we follow.  That path may include experiences of joy, of pain and sorrow, of anger, or many other experiences that others will never experience in the same lifetime.  So each of us go through life with a different view of that life and its meaning.

Physical life is the means to experience these feelings.  Thus the feelings from experiences is life.  Without such experiences, life would not be life.  So when these experiences come into existence, they create meaning for us.  For some, it demonstrates the meaning of helping others, while to others, it demonstrates the meaning of hurting others.  When you consider the divergence of experiences for each individual, seeking the meaning of life becomes a meaningless pursuit.  Looking at life from this perspective, you see the meaninglessness of seeking meaning because it will always be subjective.

What I mean by this is that life is experience, and thus that alone is the meaning of life.  So when people try to find meaning to the meaning of life, it is pointless. Our purpose is not derived from another purpose.  It always is to experience.  So for those who feel like their life has no meaning, they are ignoring their experience of this meaninglessness.  In other words, the fact that they feel like their life is meaningless should impress upon them to find experiences that bring about the feeling of meaningfulness.  Many times, they feel like life is meaningless because it is their inner intuition telling them to try another path of experiences.  Unfortunately, they do not realize this because they focus too much on seeking meaning (or only seeing the lack thereof), rather than experiences, and thus they find life unfulfilling or undesirable.

In Buddhism, the goal of meditation is to learn to examine your thoughts and feelings for what they are and to observe and accept them as they occur.  It is learning to avoid identifying yourself with those thoughts and feelings and instead simply recognize them as experience.  In this way, you do not "attach" yourself to the environment and especially the identity of this life's personality.  In Christianity, it is written to "be content" and "not to seek the things of the world".  This does not mean you do not live in the world, but to recognize that you are not a permanent part of it.  "There is a time" for everything, and all of these "times" are parts of the whole experience.  But the experience itself does not define you.  Instead, they "fulfill" you.

Often times, people who are trapped in their feeling of meaninglessness create within themselves limitations and roadblocks that seem to prevent finding another path in their life.  Most often, these are merely excuses due to fear or indifference.  As we've heard many times, if you want something, you must make it happen.  There is truth to this statement that most will not recognize because they do not understand how reality really exists.  We create our own reality by our beliefs, and thus, those who believe their paths are blocked or inescapable have created their own reality of dead-ends and defeat.  Their life then truly appears to be meaningless.  But all one needs to do is to understand that whatever they desire, they can make happen by simply beginning to change one little aspect of their current thinking.  Most often, it is fear of change that holds someone back from stepping into that change of belief.  All the "What if..." stops them from asking "What next?"  Once this change is set, it puts into motion other changes that occur deep within their subconscious, which eventually will rise to the surface and the mind and body acts.  From this, a pauper can become a king (being a servant or enslaved to another's will whether a person or belief vs. being the ruler of one's self).

Everything I have said is in relation to seeking a meaning for physical life.  I am not necessarily talking about your "soul's" plan for development.  Physical life is one of many means for fulfilling those plans for development, but the meaning associated with the life is of our own making through living that life.  It does not come from looking for meaning.  Meaning is created by living your life through your choices and learning from the experiences you have.  At the end of that lifetime, the meaning that has developed will be clear when you review what was accomplished, and you will know how that life has either helped or hindered your plans for growth.

What meaning does anything really have except that which you give it?  Therefore, all experience has meaning, if you give it one.  That is the power of your creative and spontaneous ability.  If you want to know the meaning of your life, stop and think about where you've been and what you've done, for there you'll find your answer.  It was always there, but when you ignore the experiences you've gained already, you take for granted that life itself is the meaning.  If you like what it means, then enjoy your life and keep creating enjoyable experiences.  If you don't like what it means, then maybe you are here to learn how to change your beliefs and thus learn to manipulate your reality.

For those who do not believe in a purpose for life, you fall into the same category as those who seek meaning.  The only difference is you think you've found the answer, which is that it is meaningless.  And yet you live to fulfill your own desires and wants, ignoring the fact that those drives are meaningful to you.  You too do not realize that life experiences are the meaning to life.  And for those who believe life is merely the stepping stone to heaven must examine what purpose life then has.  If life is merely the proving grounds for your devotion or some type of display of commitment to God, then you too do not understand God, yourself, or life.  Physical life is the gift to experience who and what you are inside.  You may not like who and what you are currently, but that doesn't mean it is a lie or that you must deceive yourself to avoid seeing the truth.  Life is the tool to change yourself, your true, core self.   And every choice available is a means to that change, not a roadblock or obstacle.

[Edit 4/18/18] Here's a very good video that I found that explains this better: ELAN: The Assigners of Meaning


steve agnew said...

So let me get this straight...the meaning of life is that life is meaningless. You gotta love our language. By playing a language recursion, you address meaning by avoiding addressing it.

Thank goodness you acknowledge experience as part of meaning, or is it part of meaninglessness? Our philosophy is useful when it helps us to imagine better futures and then journey to those better futures.

If meaning is to have any meaning at all, it must mean something. Either meaning helps us imagine a better life or we slip into a meaningless destiny without imagination.

Simon said...

Not quite what I am saying. The act of seeking meaning is what I'm saying is meaningless. What point is there in trying to find "the meaning of life" if life itself is the meaning?