Friday dinner/metaphysical discussion with a friend who is currently trying to figure out the answer to the-meaning-of-life question.
Savoring a bit of marinated Parmesan I toss on the table what seems to me a delicious idea: what if the meaning of life is LIFE? What if the key to the meaning of this moment can be found in the moment itself and if one finds meaning in every particular moment (responds to each moment appropreately) there will be no need in looking for any one meaning in life?
I question the question itself. If I ask what the meaning of life is I assume there does exist a meaning of life as a reality not just as an abstraction, a concept we humans have come up with to bring some order into our existence and give it some direction.
Kabir seems to share my confusion and reflects on our way to intellectualize reality and try to approach it with the constructs of our mind.
I have been thinking of the difference
and the waves on it. Rising,
water’s still water, falling back,
it is water, will you give me a hint
how to tell them apart?
Because someone has made up the word
“wave”, do I have to distinguish it
My philosophically inclined dinner guest somehow does not find the idea appealing: it seems he doesn’t know what the meaning of his life is but he can tell what it is NOT. And apparently it should be more than just consuming olives and cheese and enjoying it. This means my friend already has a set of criteria for that we call the meaning of life. Is this then a genuine question if we are not open to receive the answers that we get and try to reason our way around them, filtering them? Is meaning of life like a mushroom in a forest: I need to know what and where to look for and I might just be lucky?
With the word “reason” you already feel miles away…
I wonder where this urge for justifying one’s existence comes from. It seems of all the leaving creatures we are given the bliss of a big brain and very inquisitive mind that also turns to be a curse: we are the species that seem to be less capable of enjoying the life we have.
The blue sky opens farther and father,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in the world.
(Kabir, from “Ecstatic Poems”, versions by R. Bly)